Rural News

  • Low cattle numbers drive prices up AAP - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 7:47 PM NZST
    Low cattle numbers drive prices up

    Falling herd numbers and rising global demand are pushing up the price of Aussie beef and the problem could get worse for meat producers. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) expect production to hit its lowest level since 2003 next year as farmers rebuild herds. "Australia has a really interesting dynamic, as we export about 70 per cent of beef produced, we are a small population that produces a lot of beef," MLA Manager of market information Ben Thomas told AAP on Friday.

  • Gina Rinehart snaps up NT cattle stations AAP - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 2:22 PM NZST
    Gina Rinehart snaps up NT cattle stations

    Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting has snapped up two cattle stations in the Northern Territory, adding to the billionaire's steadily expanding livestock portfolio. Hancock has acquired the Riveren and Inverway cattle stations, located southwest of the town of Katherine, from Indonesian cattle importer Japfa for an undisclosed sum. Ms Rinehart, Australia's richest woman according to Forbes, has been one of the biggest investors in cattle stations over the past two years as she bets on rapidly growing demand for Australian livestock and dairy in Asia.

  • Ruralco live exports take another hit AAP - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 7:34 PM NZST

    Shares in Ruralco have fallen after the agribusiness was ordered to halt live cattle exports to Vietnam. The federal government has raised concerns over animal control and traceability in Vietnam. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has directed Ruralco's live export business, Frontier, to cease supply of feeder and slaughter cattle to Vietnam.

  • Ruralco told to halt Vietnam live exports AAP - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 11:24 AM NZST

    Ruralco has been ordered to halt live exports to Vietnam after the federal government raised concerns over animal control and traceability in the southeast Asian country. The Department of Agriculture ...

  • Report calls for major agriculture reform AAP - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 10:12 AM NZST

    Farmers are being burdened by red tape, according to a new report that recommends sweeping changes to agriculture regulation. The Productivity Commission's draft report on Thursday names bans on genetically modified crops in some states as regulation that is unsupported by evidence and should be scrapped. Commissioner Paul Lindwall has also taken a swipe at controls on foreign investment in agriculture, insisting a recent tightening by the federal government "lacks a sound policy justification".

  • NSW farmers can review land clearing: govt AAP - Wed, Jul 20, 2016 10:49 PM NZST
    NSW farmers can review land clearing: govt

    NSW farmers will be able to review land-clearing legislation affecting their properties once detailed maps are released next year, Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair has confirmed. Mr Blair told the NSW Farmers' conference on Wednesday it would be followed by a half-year consultation period. The NSW government says the laws, which replace the decade-old Vegetation Act, will give farmers more freedom to clear land.

  • Victoria's largest wind farm approved AAP - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 4:36 PM NZST
    Victoria's largest wind farm approved

    Victoria has approved a new $650 million, 96-turbine wind farm as the state bids to become the nation's renewable energy leader. The wind farm, in Dundonnell in the state's southwest, will save an estimated 700,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year - equivalent to removing 170,000 cars from Victorian roads. The approval of the project means 300 direct and indirect jobs will be created during construction, and the turbines will generate 1000Gwh of clean energy each year.

  • New $650m Vic wind farm approved AAP - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 2:47 PM NZST
    New $650m Vic wind farm approved

    A new $650 million, 96 turbine wind farm will be the largest in Victoria as the state bids to become the nation's renewable energy leader. The approval of the Dundonnell project means 300 direct and indirect jobs will be created during construction, and the turbines will generate 1000Gwh of clean energy each year. The wind farm will save an estimated 700,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year - equivalent to removing 170,00 cars from Victorian roads.

  • Quad bike safety rebates for NSW farmers AAP - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 1:16 PM NZST

    NSW farmers will be able to apply for a government rebate of up to $500 to help them put more safety measures in place to reduce the number of quad bike accidents on farms. The rebates, announced as part of the NSW government's $2 million quad bike safety rebate program, can be used to purchase suitable helmets or safer side-by-side vehicles for riders. Quad bike accidents are a common cause of death on farming properties, with a 30 per cent rise in fatalities recorded in Australia last year.

  • Defence, energy key focus for Turnbull AAP - Mon, Jul 18, 2016 8:22 PM NZST
    Defence, energy key focus for Turnbull

    Malcolm Turnbull has made defence industry jobs, a better approach to health and connecting energy and climate policies his priorities in a modest post-election reshuffle of his ministry. The newest cabinet minister is Queensland Nationals senator Matt Canavan, who takes on the resources and northern Australia portfolio. With the government planning $195 billion in investment in ships and other assets over the next decade, former innovation minister Christopher Pyne has been made defence industry minister.

  • Rainy weather boosts SA farmers AAP - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 6:27 PM NZST

    South Australian farmers have had their water allocations improved and could soon receive an even bigger share thanks to better conditions across the Murray Darling Basin. Water Minister Ian Hunter said a positive rainfall outlook through to September meant the allocations could soon be improved again. "We understand from Bureau of Meteorology projections there's a likelihood of even better allocations in the future," he told reporters.

  • Rain boosts water share for SA farmers AAP - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 5:19 PM NZST

    Farmers in South Australia have received a welcome boost with improved conditions across the Murray Darling Basin allowing water allocations to be increased. Irrigators had been told they would receive ...

  • One Ruralco export licence lost to BJD AAP - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 1:21 PM NZST

    One of Ruralco's two live export businesses has lost its export licence after dairy cattle tested positively for Bovine Johne's Disease on arrival in Japan. Ruralco said on Friday that FIA had received notice of the cancellation of the licence from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. "While the cattle tested negative prior to departure from Australia, it has become evident that certain preparation and isolation procedures within the supply chain were not adequately followed," Ruralco said.

  • Ruralco loses one live export licence AAP - Fri, Jul 15, 2016 12:17 PM NZST

    One of Ruralco's two live export businesses has lost its export licence after some dairy cattle tested positively for Bovine Johnes Disease on arrival in Japan. Ruralco's Frontier International Agri (FIA) ...

  • Warrnambool warns on milk prices AAP - Mon, Jul 11, 2016 7:28 PM NZST

    Dairy farmers are set for another tough 12 months with Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) chairman Lino Saputo Jr signalling further falls in milk prices are ahead. Although 2016 was a tough year for the dairy industry the next 12 months could be even harder as milk prices remain weak, WCB chairman Lino Saputo Jr said at the company's annual general meeting on Monday. Mr Saputo said the company had already reduced the price paid to suppliers by 14 per cent on July 1.

  • Greyhound ban 'brings biosecurity issues' AAP - Sat, Jul 9, 2016 5:12 PM NZST

    A major family-run greyhound pet food supplier has warned of serious biosecurity issues when they close because of NSW's greyhound racing ban. Rebecca and John Pace run Luddenham Pet Meat, about 70km west of Sydney, which is also a knackery. Ms Pace said local horse owners and farmers will have nowhere to take their animals to be humanely euthanised when they, and several other knackeries, close because of the greyhound racing ban.

  • Share market steady ahead of US jobs data AAP - Fri, Jul 8, 2016 7:08 PM NZST

    The share market has closed relatively steady as investors await the release of key US jobs numbers. Trading volumes were low as investors sat on their hands ahead of the release of US non-farm payroll ...

  • Dairy sector resilient despite price cuts AAP - Thu, Jul 7, 2016 3:10 PM NZST
    Dairy sector resilient despite price cuts

    Cuts to milk prices will make the 2016/17 season challenging for Australia's dairy sector, but many farmers' prudent financial planning will get them through it, according to agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank. A lot of dairy farmers in recent years have used improved profits to reduce debt rather than expand their business, according to a Rabobank report. "This focus on manageable debt levels has proved paramount to maintaining farm resilience in an ever-increasingly volatile climate," Rabobank senior dairy analyst Michael Harvey said on Thursday.

  • Opportunity to work on key issues: Leigh AAP - Tue, Jul 5, 2016 11:23 AM NZST
    Opportunity to work on key issues: Leigh

    Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh believes the deadlocked election outcome offers offer the opportunity for the two major parties to work together on key issues such as taxation and climate change. "I'd ...

  • Fonterra cut another blow to dairy farmers AAP - Thu, Jun 30, 2016 3:04 PM NZST

    The latest price cut from a major dairy producer could force some Australian farmers out of the industry as they struggle to break even. Fonterra Australia has joined Murray Goulburn and Bega Cheese in lowering their farmgate milk prices for the 2016/17 financial year, continuing the trend of recent months. Fonterra will offer an opening farmgate milk price of $4.75 per kilogram of milk solids for the 2016/17 season, and expects that to rise to $5.00 later in the year.

  • Fonterra cuts milk price in Australia AAP - Thu, Jun 30, 2016 12:44 PM NZST
    Fonterra cuts milk price in Australia

    Fonterra has announced a lower opening price for its Australian farmer suppliers in the upcoming season, but says it expects prices to recover over the year ahead. The Auckland-based dairy co-operative announced an opening farmgate milk price of $A4.75 per kilogram of milk solids for the 2016/17 season, rising to $A5 by the end of the season. Fonterra's forecast is ahead of Australia's dominant milk processor Murray Goulburn which this week announced an opening forecast of a net $A4.31 for the 2016/17 season, which it expects to rise to $A4.80 by the end of the season.

  • Vic's dairy farm water supply studied AAP - Wed, Jun 29, 2016 2:43 PM NZST

    Victoria's drought-affected South Gippsland will be the focus of a $50,000 study to improve water security for dairy farmers. The feasibility study will look at constructing a 23km pipeline from Foster extending Victoria's water grid and the best ways to increase on-farm storage. The state's Dairy Industry Taskforce is also looking at measures to support the welfare of farmers and regional communities.

  • Dairy farmers gutted over new milk price AAP - Tue, Jun 28, 2016 7:35 PM NZST

    Dairy farmers already reeling from having their milk prices slashed have been handed another price cut for the upcoming season. Many farmers faced huge bills when Murray Goulburn retrospectively slashed its milk prices in April to between $4.75 and $5.00 per kilogram of milk solids, down from $5.60. "This opening price is below the cost of production for many dairy farmers and we'll all need to pull together to get through the months ahead," United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president Adam Jenkins said on Tuesday.

  • Vic farmers gutted at milk price offer AAP - Tue, Jun 28, 2016 5:39 PM NZST

    Victorian dairy farmers say the latest Murray Goulburn milk price offer has left them "gutted". Many farmers faced huge bills when Murray Goulburn retrospectively slashed its milk prices in April ...

  • Murray Goulburn sets low FY17 milk price AAP - Tue, Jun 28, 2016 1:17 PM NZST
    Murray Goulburn sets low FY17 milk price

    Dairy Farmers will still get a low price for their milk from co-operative Murray Goulburn over the 2016/17 season. Murray Goulburn announced on Tuesday that it expects to pay dairy farmers $4.80 per kilogram of milk solids (kgms) for the 12 months ending June 30, 2017. Last week, dairy producer Bega Cheese announced an opening farmgate milk price of $5.00 per kgms.

  • Murray Goulburn sets lower FY17 milk price AAP - Tue, Jun 28, 2016 12:35 PM NZST
    Murray Goulburn sets lower FY17 milk price

    Dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn has forecast a full-year profit of $42 million, with its farmgate milk price again lower. Murray Goulburn says it expects to pay farmers $4.80 per kilogram of milk solids for the 12 months to June 30, 2017, which is at the lower end of the $4.75 to $5.00 range it set in April for the rest of the current financial year. "Global conditions have not improved, and the latest data suggests excess global inventories, including the impact of European intervention, may have surpassed the equivalent of six billion litres of milk," Murray Goulburn interim chief executive David Mallinson said in a statement on Tuesday.

  • Joyce stands by investment rule tightening AAP - Wed, Jun 22, 2016 5:51 PM NZST
    Joyce stands by investment rule tightening

    Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says Australia has enough capital to invest in agriculture and does not need to ease foreign investment rules. Mr Joyce has called on superannuation funds to use some of their $2 trillion to invest in farms and boost exports to Asia. "Let's not say we don't have access to capital - we do," Mr Joyce told the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.

  • Bega cuts farmgate milk price AAP - Tue, Jun 21, 2016 5:18 PM NZST
    Bega cuts farmgate milk price

    Bega Cheese has followed its rivals by cutting the price it will offer dairy farmers for their milk. Bega has trimmed its 2016/17 farmgate price from $5.60 to $5.00 per kilogram of milk solids, a cut of about 11 per cent that brings it into line with Fonterra and Murray Goulburn. "These are difficult times in terms of farmgate milk prices," Bega executive chairman Barry Irvin said on Tuesday.

  • Energy and climate priorities equal: BHP AAP - Tue, Jun 21, 2016 3:09 PM NZST
    Energy and climate priorities equal: BHP

    BHP Billiton says combating climate change cannot take priority over the need for affordable energy, and is bullish on the future of coal. "We believe the world must pursue the twin objectives of limiting climate change and providing access to affordable energy," said Mike Henry, the global giant's head of Australian mining. In an update on its coal business on Tuesday, BHP said its coal portfolio is resilient "in both an orderly and a rapid transition to a 2 degrees C world" - a reference to the two degrees celsius figure identified as the limit of warming to avoid catastrophic climate change.

  • Origin sells NSW wind farm to Duet Group AAP - Fri, Jun 17, 2016 7:50 PM NZST
    Origin sells NSW wind farm to Duet Group

    Origin Energy has agreed to sell its Cullerin Range wind farm in NSW to Duet Group for $72 million, as part of an ongoing program to offload non-core assets. The 30 megawatt wind farm, located near Goulburn in southern NSW, was set up in 2009. The sale is part of Origin's plan to raise $800 million through divestment of non-core assets that began in September 2015, aimed at strengthening its balance sheet amid a slump in oil prices.

  • Australian milk production down: Fonterra AAP - Fri, Jun 17, 2016 7:31 PM NZST
    Australian milk production down: Fonterra

    Dairy giant Fonterra has blamed dry weather and low prices for a fall in Australian milk production over the last year. The New Zealand-based firm's June global dairy update reported that milk production in Australia was down by three per cent in April compared to the same month a year earlier. Production in Australia for the 12 months to April was down by one per cent.

  • Origin sells NSW wind farm for $72m AAP - Fri, Jun 17, 2016 12:12 PM NZST

    Origin Energy will sell its Cullerin Range wind farm to utility Duet Group for $72 million, but still take the electricity it produces. The 30 MW wind farm, located near Goulburn in southern NSW, was set ...

  • Lamb gets chop in supermarket price war AAP - Wed, Jun 15, 2016 7:05 PM NZST
    Lamb gets chop in supermarket price war

    Woolworths has opened a new front in the supermarket price war by announcing a significant cut to its price for lamb legs alongside reductions in other fresh meat products. As Coles responded with an immediate match to its rival's latest move on Wednesday, the peak farmers' body expressed concern about the impact any long-running discount war would have on meat producers. Woolworths announced a 28 per cent reduction in its regular price for lamb leg roasts on Wednesday, plus cuts to other meat prices as part of a $45 million spend on lowering prices in the meat category.

  • A2 Milk lifts profit forecast AAP - Wed, Jun 15, 2016 6:17 PM NZST
    A2 Milk lifts profit forecast

    Shares in A2 Milk have soared after the dairy producer lifted its full year profit guidance due to continued demand from China. A2 Milk also said it is well placed to respond to any further regulatory change in China governing the supply of infant formula. Shares in A2 Milk gained 20.5 cents, or 13.6 per cent - their best daily gain in over five months - to close at $1.71.

  • A2 Milk shares lift after profit upgrade AAP - Wed, Jun 15, 2016 12:54 PM NZST
    A2 Milk shares lift after profit upgrade

    Shares in A2 Milk have climbed more than 10 per cent after the dairy producer lifted its full-year profit guidance due to continued demand in China. A2 Milk also said it is well placed to respond to any further regulatory change in China governing the supply of infant formula. Shares in A2 Milk were 16.5 cents, or 10.96 per cent, higher at $1.67 at 1033 AEST.