Rural News

  • Murray Goulburn trust makes positive debut AAP - 1 hour 33 minutes ago

    A special purpose funding vehicle linked to Australia's largest dairy company, Murray Goulburn, has had a positive debut on the Australian share market. The MG Unit Trust is a special purpose funding vehicle that will allow external, non-farmer investors to invest in Murray Goulburn. Murray Goulburn has raised $500 million in new capital from non-farmer investors in the MG Unit Trust, and from an issue of more shares to supplier shareholders.

  • Construction of big wind turbines begins AAP - 5 hours ago
    Construction of big wind turbines begins

    A $50 million wind farm to be built in northwest Victoria will boast the biggest turbines in Australia, with a rotor diameter of 117 metres. Wind energy company Windlab has started construction of the wind farm at Coonooer Bridge, 80km northwest of Bendigo. Each of the six Danish-designed wind turbines will generate around 13,000 MWhs (megawatt hours) of electricity each year.

  • Construcion of big wind turbines begins AAP - 6 hours ago

    A $50 million wind farm to be built in northwest Victoria will boast the biggest turbines in Australia, with a rotor diameter of 117 metres. Wind energy company Windlab has started construction of the wind farm at Coonooer Bridge, 80km northwest of Bendigo. Each of the six Danish-designed wind turbines will generate around 13,000 MWhs (megawatt hours) of electricity each year.

  • Aust bonds higher amid weak US jobs data AAP - 9 hours ago

    The Australian bond market is stronger, tracking US trends amid weaker American jobs data. ANZ economists said US Treasuries rallied solidly overnight after the non-farm payrolls jobs report showed that ...

  • Decline in dairy price a warning sign for economy Newstalk ZB - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 3:24 PM NZST

    A slump in the price of dairy is being seen as a major warning sign for the economy.

  • Farmers cheer for new agriculture umpire AAP - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 7:07 PM NZST

    Farmers say a new umpire to settle their disputes with supermarkets will ensure there's a level playing field in the system. The federal government is to appoint the commissioner to work under the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It's one of the measures of the agriculture white paper, which will be released on Saturday in the Victorian regional centre of Warrnambool.

  • Price set for MG Unit Trust AAP - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 4:28 PM NZST

    Australia's largest dairy company, Murray Goulburn, will list its special trust on the Australian share market on Friday at $2.10 per unit, the lower end of the indicative price range. In May, Murray Goulburn indicated a range of $2.10 to $3.20 per unit in the MG Unit Trust, but the company says the price had been hit by falling financial markets across the world. The MG Unit Trust is a special purpose funding vehicle that will allow external, non-farmer investors to invest in Murray Goulburn.

  • Govt to appoint agriculture umpire AAP - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 1:03 PM NZST

    The Abbott government will appoint an umpire to help settle disputes between farmers, processors and supermarkets. Having a commissioner, who will work under the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, ...

  • Business, unions join climate alliance AAP - Mon, Jun 29, 2015 2:11 AM NZST

    Big business, social welfare groups and unions have joined forces with environmentalists to lobby for strong climate change policies. The unprecedented alliance - which includes the Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group, Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Climate Institute - believes the nation must do its fair share to slash carbon emissions. The competitiveness of Australia's trade-exposed industries, like aluminium, should not be affected unnecessarily, the group says, and costs of climate policies should be spread evenly across the community.

  • Qld banana farms to receive Panama kits AAP - Fri, Jun 26, 2015 2:59 PM NZST

    The Queensland government hopes to help banana farmers prevent the spread of a devastating fungal disease by mailing out hundreds of information kits. Panama Tropical Race 4 was detected at a far north Queensland farm in early May - the first time the soil-borne infection had made its way into Queensland after wiping out the Northern Territory's industry in the 1990s. Queensland's 280 commercial banana farms will be sent information kits from the state government about precautions to prevent the disease from spreading, Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said on Friday.

  • Group gets green light for Vic wind farm AAP - Fri, Jun 26, 2015 2:05 PM NZST
    Group gets green light for Vic wind farm

    A deal has been struck to construct a $450 million wind farm in Victoria, just days after the renewable energy target finally passed parliament. A consortium of five companies, including America's GE and Australian contractor Downer EDI, has agreed to finance and build the 75-turbine Ararat wind farm in southwest Victoria. Project leader Renewable Energy Systems says the wind farm will be the country's third largest when construction is completed in 2017.

  • US dairy giant mulls bid for a2 Milk AAP - Wed, Jun 24, 2015 6:32 PM NZST

    US dairy giant Dean Foods has been unmasked as the mystery predator interested in making a tilt at New Zealand's a2 Milk Company. The NZ based milk company on Monday revealed that a consortium of two unnamed companies had made a non-binding and conditional expression of interest in acquiring a2. Sydney-based muesli bar and cereals maker Freedom Foods identified itself as one of the parties within hours of the announcement, with media reports speculating that either Dean Foods or China's New Hope Dairy were part of the consortium.

  • US dairy giant behind a2 takeover tilt AAP - Wed, Jun 24, 2015 1:45 PM NZST

    American dairy giant Dean Foods has emerged as the mystery predator interested in making a tilt at New Zealand's a2 Milk Company. The NZ based milk company on Monday revealed that a consortium of two unnamed companies had made a non-binding and conditional expression of interest in acquiring a2. Sydney-based muesli bar and cereals maker Freedom Foods identified itself as one of the parties within hours of the announcement, with media reports speculating that either Dean Foods or China's New Hope Dairy company was also part of the consortium.

  • Farm cashflows forecasted to remain weak Newstalk ZB - Tue, Jun 23, 2015 7:59 AM NZST

    Despite a better milk price forecast, dairy farm cashflows will remain weak this season.

  • Freedom Foods eyes up a2 Milk AAP - Mon, Jun 22, 2015 6:35 PM NZST

    Muesli bar maker Freedom Foods has teamed up with a mystery international dairy company to consider making a tilt for New Zealand's a2 Milk Company. The Sydney-based food company says it is part of a consortium that has made a non-binding and conditional expression of interest in acquiring a2. The consortium, which includes an unnamed international milk company, hopes to carry out an examination of a2's books before deciding whether to make a bid.

  • Freedom Foods interested in a2 Milk AAP - Mon, Jun 22, 2015 6:02 PM NZST

    Freedom Foods has emerged as one of the mystery bidders behind a potential takeover offer for New Zealand's a2 Milk Company. Freedom, the Sydney-based company famous for its muesli bars and cereals, says it is part of a consortium that has provided a non-binding and conditional expression of interest in a2.

  • Takeover move made for a2 Milk AAP - Mon, Jun 22, 2015 11:02 AM NZST

    The a2 Milk Company has received a takeover offer from two mystery parties. The New Zealand dairy giant said two parties, who have requested confidentiality, have put forward a joint expression of interest ...

  • Government wants to end wind: Greens AAP - Thu, Jun 18, 2015 5:53 PM NZST

    The Greens have accused the Abbott government of trying to destroy the wind energy industry after more deals on the renewable energy target surfaced. A letter from Environment Minister Greg Hunt to crossbench senators reveal government plans to establish a wind farm commissioner and research body in return for votes to include wood-waste burning as a clean source in the renewable energy target. Greens senator Larissa Waters accused the government of "wanting to get rid of" the wind energy industry, after signing a bipartisan deal to slash the target.

  • Healthcare jobs on the rise AAP - Thu, Jun 18, 2015 4:30 PM NZST

    The Australian jobs market is looking rosy for nurses, doctors, scientists and admin staff, but bleaker for those in the retail, agriculture and finance sectors. Detailed labour force figures show an extra 69,100 healthcare jobs were added in the three months to May, followed by another 38,000 professional and scientific services jobs and 24,300 administration and support roles. CBA economist Michael Workman said the healthcare sector remained the largest employer in Australia, comprising 12 per cent of all jobs, and was getting bigger.

  • NZ economic growth slows AAP - Thu, Jun 18, 2015 11:16 AM NZST

    New Zealand's economic growth has slowed to its weakest quarterly pace in two years, driven by a dairy-led contraction in agriculture and the impact on the mining sector of a drop in oil and gas activity. Gross domestic product grew 0.2 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to Statistics New Zealand. Weak growth may stoke speculation the Reserve Bank will cut the official cash rate again in coming months after last week's quarter-point reduction to 3.25 per cent.

  • Failed SA dairy plants rescued AAP - Wed, Jun 17, 2015 4:04 PM NZST

    Two dairy production plants recently closed in South Australia have been saved with a local company buying the failed operations from the receivers. The Beston Global Food Company has bought the Murray Bridge and Jervois plants previously operated by United Dairy Power (UPD). Beston chairman Roger Sexton says the company will re-open the plants in September with just 12 staff but hopes to later employ most of those who lost their jobs.

  • Tasmania welcomes China free trade deal AAP - Wed, Jun 17, 2015 2:51 PM NZST

    A free trade agreement with China will help Tasmania reach an ambitious $10 billion annual target for the value of its agricultural sector, the island state's government says. With the deal to be signed in Canberra on Wednesday, Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff welcomed the news that he said will give exporters a competitive advantage in China, the state's largest trading partner. "For too long our premium export products including dairy, beef and seafood have been disadvantaged by significant tariffs, while our greatest competitors, including New Zealand and Chile have been trading under FTAs since 2008 and 2006 respectively," Mr Rockliff said in a statement.

  • South Australian dairy plants saved AAP - Wed, Jun 17, 2015 12:55 PM NZST

    Two dairy production plants recently closed in South Australia have been saved with a local company buying the failed enterprises from the receivers. The Beston Global Food Company has bought United Dairy ...

  • Flood-affected NSW farmers get help AAP - Mon, Jun 15, 2015 1:20 PM NZST
    Flood-affected NSW farmers get help

    NSW farmers battered by the April storms will receive further assistance from the state and federal governments to get back on their feet. Grants of up to $15,000 for clean-up and recovery will be available to beef and dairy farmers, oyster growers, egg producers and others hit by severe flooding and storms in the NSW Hunter and Central Coast that claimed four lives. The Dungog Community Support Worker Project will also receive $145,000 to provide practical and emotional support to people badly affected by the floods.

  • No letup in Fonterra coal campaign Newstalk ZB - Mon, Jun 15, 2015 5:35 AM NZST

    A group protesting Fonterra's use of coal in its factories is promising not to back down.

  • National 'free-range' egg standard wanted AAP - Fri, Jun 12, 2015 6:10 PM NZST
    National 'free-range' egg standard wanted

    Farmers who don't allow chickens to roam freely outside most days could soon be prevented from labelling their eggs "free-range". State consumer affairs ministers agreed on Friday there should be a national standard that restricts which farms can use the label. It follows recent court findings that consumers expect free-range hens to be able to move about freely on an outdoor range on most ordinary days.

  • RBNZ cuts interest rates AAP - Thu, Jun 11, 2015 10:32 AM NZST

    The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points and is signalling more cuts could be on the way. Governor Graeme Wheeler cut the rate to 3.25 per cent - the first reduction in the rate since January 2011. "The weaker prospects for dairy prices and the recent rises in petrol prices will slow income and demand growth and increase the risk that the return of inflation to the mid-point would be delayed," Mr Wheeler said.

  • Winston Peters blasts government and Fonterra Newstalk ZB - Thu, Jun 11, 2015 7:48 AM NZST

    Winston Peters is putting the government and Fonterra on blast, for failing to foresee the impact of falling dairy prices.

  • Winston Peter blasts government and Fonterra Newstalk ZB - Thu, Jun 11, 2015 5:19 AM NZST

    Winston Peters is putting the government and Fonterra on blast, for failing to foresee the impact of falling dairy prices.

  • G7 climate vision requires economic shift AAP - Wed, Jun 10, 2015 12:01 PM NZST

    Despite gains by renewable energy sources in recent years, the world is still hooked on fossil fuels that are powering our homes and businesses and fuelling our cars, trucks, aeroplanes and ships. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels now exceed 30 billion tonnes a year, according to the International Energy Agency. What President Barack Obama and other G-7 leaders envisioned in Germany on Monday is a world where those emissions would be phased out by the end of the century.

  • Fonterra cutting hundreds of staff Newstalk ZB - Wed, Jun 10, 2015 11:34 AM NZST

    Fonterra has confirmed it will be laying off hundreds of staff.

  • Fonterra expects hundreds of layoffs AAP - Wed, Jun 10, 2015 10:59 AM NZST

    Fonterra says it will be laying off hundreds of its 1,500 head office and support function staff in a major reshape of the business following the global decline in dairy prices. Chief executive Theo Spierings gave details about the restructure following widespread criticism over the dairy cooperative's management performance at a time when global dairy prices and farmer payouts have plummeted. Mr Spierings wouldn't confirm the number of layoffs until a final review is completed and approved by the board in August, but says it wants to redirect more staff into sales roles and into markets to help drive up returns.

  • Record number of cows going to slaughter Newstalk ZB - Mon, Jun 8, 2015 7:39 AM NZST

    A record week at the works may not be a sign of doom and gloom for the dairy sector.

  • $A lower ahead of US job numbers AAP - Fri, Jun 5, 2015 7:21 PM NZST

    The Australian dollar has fallen back below 77 US cents ahead of the release of key US employment figures. The market is waiting on the release on Friday night of US non-farm payroll tax employment figures, Easy Forex currency dealer Andreas Tjahja said. At 1700 AEST, the Australian dollar was buying 95.81 Japanese yen, down from 95.91 yen on Thursday, and 68.48 euro cents, down from 68.68 euro cents.

  • Qld govt signs MOU for massive farm AAP - Thu, Jun 4, 2015 4:40 PM NZST

    Queensland's government has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a farm that's bigger than Luxembourg and Liechtenstein combined. The $1.98 billion Etheridge Integrated Agricultural project on the Gilbert River, in the state's north, will include about 325,000 hectares of grazing land, crops, aquaculture, water storage and infrastructure. State Development Minister Anthony Lynham says the government has now signed an MOU with developer Integrated Food and Energy Development (IFED).