Rural News

  • Trump's trade plans to test deal skills AAP - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    US President Donald Trump said he was protecting jobs as he officially pulled out from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Most analysts say the 12-nation agreement, the product of years of negotiations during the previous administration, would have reduced prices and boosted sales abroad for carmakers, farmers and tech companies. White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that the decision to abandon TPP "ushers in a new era of US trade policy in which the Trump administration will pursue bilateral trade opportunities with allies around the globe".

  • ACCC dairy inquiry to hold public forums AAP - 17 hours ago
    ACCC dairy inquiry to hold public forums

    Struggling dairy farmers will have a chance to vent their concerns in public after the consumer and competition watchdog invited them to series of forums on the industry. The public meetings are part of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's inquiry into the dairy industry's structure and behaviour, which has been running since November. The ACCC is examining competition among milk processors, processors' contracts with farmers, global supply markets and the profitability of dairy farms.

  • EPA transition team draws on oil groups AAP - 20 hours ago

    US President Donald Trump's administration has drawn heavily from the energy industry lobby and pro-drilling think tanks to build its landing team for the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a list of the newly introduced 10-member team seen by Reuters. The email lists at least three former researchers from think-tanks funded by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch and at least one former lobbyist for the mining industry. Several members of the team have also publicly argued against US efforts to combat climate change, a key function of the EPA under former president Barack Obama.

  • Bellamy's facing second class action AAP - Mon, Jan 23, 2017 7:35 PM NZDT

    Troubled dairy company Bellamy's is facing the prospect of two class actions from shareholders aggrieved over the plunge in share value suffered since a shock trading update last month. Litigation funder IMF Bentham announced on Monday it has agreed to back a class action by Bellamy's shareholders who believe the infant formula company kept them in the dark over its financial performance.

  • Bega bites on Vegemite and cheese combo AAP - Thu, Jan 19, 2017 7:09 PM NZDT
    Bega bites on Vegemite and cheese combo

    Vegemite is back in Australian hands after dairy giant Bega decided the iconic spread's combination with cheese would work just as well on a balance sheet as in a sandwich. Bega Cheese is buying the quintessential Aussie foodstuff and a basket of other well-known grocery brands from US-owned Mondelez International for $460 million. It is recognised as Australia's favourite breakfast food," Bega chairman Barry Irvin said on Thursday.

  • Bega Cheese brings Vegemite home AAP - Thu, Jan 19, 2017 2:53 PM NZDT
    Bega Cheese brings Vegemite home

    Vegemite is back in Australian hands and its new owner is hoping Aussies are going to eat even more of it. Dairy processor Bega Cheese has agreed to buy the iconic yeast spread and other well-known grocery brands from US-owned Mondelez International - one of the world's largest snack foods companies - for $460 million. "Vegemite is an iconic Australian brand.

  • AGL to sell Silverton wind farm to PARF AAP - Thu, Jan 19, 2017 12:24 PM NZDT
    AGL to sell Silverton wind farm to PARF

    Electricity producer and retailer AGL Energy has tied up debt funding for its planned 200 MW wind farm at Silverton in NSW and will sell the project to the Powering Australia Renewables Fund it set up ...

  • Joyce Berlin-bound for agriculture talks AAP - Thu, Jan 19, 2017 10:55 AM NZDT
    Joyce Berlin-bound for agriculture talks

    Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce is bound for Germany where he will gather with international counterparts in a bid to boost Australia's exports. Mr Joyce will attend the G20 Agriculture Minister's Meeting in Berlin and chair a session on water access at the 9th Berlin Agricultural Ministers' Conference. "There is much that we can contribute at an international level by sharing Australia's experiences, our successes and our challenges, but equally a great deal we can learn from our partners who face similar challenges," he said on Thursday ahead of the trip.

  • Greece reports outbreak of bird flu AAP - Thu, Jan 19, 2017 9:39 AM NZDT
    Greece reports outbreak of bird flu

    Greece reported an outbreak of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus among laying hens on a farm in the southern part of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said. The country had already reported a case of H5N8 in a swan in December but this would be the first outbreak on a farm. The H5N8 Bird flu virus has spread among European countries in recent months with more than 20 countries hit so far, according to the OIE.

  • Milk formula factory opens doors in SA AAP - Mon, Jan 9, 2017 3:19 PM NZDT

    A new processing plant for turning powdered milk into milk formula has opened its doors in South Australia's southeast. Premier Jay Weatherill says the factory in Tantanoola, run by the Chinese-owned Blue ...

  • Golden era for farmers ahead: Joyce AAP - Mon, Jan 2, 2017 12:54 PM NZDT
    Golden era for farmers ahead: Joyce

    Australia is on the cusp of a "golden era" in agriculture production. Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said national production value this year is expected to exceed $60 billion for the first time. "The good times are finally here," Mr Joyce told The Australian.

  • New year free trade boost for farmers AAP - Mon, Jan 2, 2017 11:34 AM NZDT

    Australian exporters have started the new year with tariff cuts to 7000 products as a result of free trade deals with China and Korea. Premium Australian bottled wine, ice cream, seafood, some fruits and ...

  • Downer wins $190m solar farm contract AAP - Fri, Dec 30, 2016 12:38 PM NZDT
    Downer wins $190m solar farm contract

    Engineering group Downer EDI has secured a $190 million solar farm contract in north Queensland. Global solar development company FRV has awarded Downer with the contract to build, operate and maintain ...

  • Bolivia's drought highlights shortcomings AAP - Thu, Dec 29, 2016 2:31 PM NZDT

    Water shortages caused by Bolivia's worst drought in 25 years have been exacerbated by booming population growth in cities, poor infrastructure and the impact of big agricultural plantations and mining projects, campaigners say. Bolivia has declared a national state of emergency as a prolonged drought has decimated crop harvests and cattle, affecting more than 177,000 families across the country. Environmental and land rights campaigners say the drought has exposed the impact of mining projects, which they say divert water supplies and contaminate lakes and other water sources.

  • South Korea culls 25 million birds AAP - Sun, Dec 25, 2016 7:51 PM NZDT
    South Korea culls 25 million birds

    South Korean authorities say they have culled 22.5 million birds so far this winter and plan to put down another three million in the coming days to contain the spread of bird flu. The measure is intended to check the outbreak of the H5N6 virus that was detected on November 16 in the droppings of migratory birds in Haenam in the south of the country, and which has now spread to other parts of the country. The number of poultry culled so far is equal to around 15 per cent of the country's total, according to Lee Yon-jin of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Yonhap agency reported.

  • Olives root farmers to rural Morocco AAP - Thu, Dec 22, 2016 7:25 PM NZDT

    Standing amid rows of healthy fava bean plants, El Badaoui Abdelatif explains how his team of young technicians has helped farmers in rural Sidi Badhaj, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, grow more olives - and earn more money - despite a drying climate. Pruning, the use of electronic equipment and more precise irrigation have increased yields from 20kg per tree to 100kg or more. The work performed by Abdelatif's team of seven men and three women, replicated in other municipalities of Al Haouz province, south of the city of Marrakesh, means fewer young people are migrating to urban areas in search of work.

  • Fonterra's Aust milk production falls AAP - Wed, Dec 21, 2016 7:48 PM NZDT
    Fonterra's Aust milk production falls

    Australian milk production in October was down 11 per cent from a year earlier because of unfavourable pasture conditions, dairy giant Fonterra says. Volumes were affected in all large producing states, including Victoria, NSW and Tasmania, as farmers experienced a wet spring, Fonterra said in its latest global dairy update. New Zealand and Europe also experienced lower milk production, but US production continued to grow.

  • Bullish A2 Milk update sends shares higher AAP - Wed, Dec 21, 2016 2:48 PM NZDT

    Milk supplier A2 Milk has sought to allay concerns about the strength of the infant formula market, issuing an update to say its continues to trade very strongly, with significant growth in its formula business. The company's latest trading update follows heightened attention on rival infant formula maker Bellamy's, which on Wednesday asked for the suspension of its shares to be extended into 2017. A2's update triggered a jump in the group's share price, with shares were up 10.5 cents, or 5.4 per cent, to $2.055 at 1246 AEDT in a higher Australian share market.

  • Banks need to regain trust, says ANZ AAP - Fri, Dec 16, 2016 6:13 PM NZDT
    Banks need to regain trust, says ANZ

    Banks have to regain the trust of customers angry with big business and politicians for appearing out of step with real life, says ANZ chairman David Gonski. Speaking at an annual general meeting that was later disrupted by climate change activists, the highly respected businessman said there is a growing disparity in the reality of people's lives and how political and business leaders live and talk. Many Australians are worried about their jobs, the cost of living, and whether their children will have a better life than they have, Mr Gonski said.

  • Vic farmers bid to stop quad bike deaths AAP - Thu, Dec 15, 2016 11:45 PM NZDT

    A quad bike is necessary equipment for many farms but it can also be one of the most dangerous," Finance Minister Robin Scott said on Thursday. Last year, 22 people died and 70 were injured as a result of quad bike incidents in Australia.

  • Mitsubishi wins stake in wind farm AAP - Wed, Dec 14, 2016 8:03 PM NZDT
    Mitsubishi wins stake in wind farm

    Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation has announced it will design, build and operate Belgium's largest offshore wind farm in collaboration with Dutch energy company Eneco. The consortium between Mitsubishi - through its subsidiary Diamond Generating Europe - and Eneco will hold a 50 per cent stake in the Norther project. The project will cost Y150 billion ($A1.7 billion) and have a maximum capacity of 370 MW, enough to power almost 400,000 homes, according to a statement by Mitsubishi.

  • Flood, drought hit Tas economy: Eslake AAP - Wed, Dec 14, 2016 10:20 AM NZDT

    Drought and floods, a failing Bass Strait electricity cable and contracting manufacturing sector hit Tasmania's economic growth hard in 2015/16, an economist says. Saul Eslake on Wednesday presented the Tasmania Chamber of Commerce's 2016 report showing the island state's 1.3 per cent growth for the financial year was less than half the national average. "Had those things not occurred, and all else being equal, the state's economy probably would have grown by two per cent to 2.25 per cent in 2015/16, which would have been the best result since before the onset of the global financial crisis," Mr Eslake said.

  • Countries race to regreen Africa's desert AAP - Tue, Dec 13, 2016 1:31 PM NZDT

    The areas surrounding the Sahara desert which decades ago were covered with forests, crops and grasslands, can be restored - a significant chunk of them by 2030 - according to agriculture experts. For the first time, the Sahel area straddling 27 countries has been mapped in painstaking detail showing where and how the work can be done - and just how big the job is to create what is called Africa's Great Green Wall. Home to some 232 million people, it stretches coast to coast, from Senegal in the west to Djibouti in the east, and along Africa's northern shores.

  • Agents sell one-way ticket to debt bondage AAP - Mon, Dec 12, 2016 6:00 PM NZDT

    Nijam Khan was on a recruiting spree. All through the autumn, he drove to villages around the town of Kantabanji in India's eastern Odisha state looking for labour. "There are no jobs here," Khan said, sitting in the office of his transport company in Kantabanji, a railway town in the drought-prone district.

  • New dairy boss shifts from brew to moo AAP - Mon, Dec 12, 2016 4:10 PM NZDT

    Murray Goulburn's new boss-to-be, former Carlton & United Breweries chief executive Ari Mervis, says the dairy co-operative is not unlike the CUB of a few years ago: an iconic business in need of a turnaround. ...

  • Beer man Mervis to lead dairy co-op MG AAP - Mon, Dec 12, 2016 12:45 PM NZDT

    Murray Goulburn has hired former beer executive Ari Mervis as its new chief executive as the dairy co-operative looks to put a troubled year behind it and win back the confidence of dairy farmers. Mr Mervis was managing director of brewer SAB Miller in the Asia Pacific, and chief executive of Carlton & United Breweries in Melbourne. Mr Mervis, who has more than 27 years' experience in the beverage industry, left SAB Miller and Carlton & United this year following SAB Miller's takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

  • Murray Goulburn hires Mervis as CEO AAP - Mon, Dec 12, 2016 11:00 AM NZDT

    Murray Goulburn has hired former Carlton and United Breweries chief executive Ari Mervis to lead the dairy co-operative. Mr Mervis, who left Carlton this year following its parent company's takeover by ...

  • Canada 'deal' on federal carbon price AAP - Sat, Dec 10, 2016 1:48 PM NZDT

    The Canadian government has agreed a deal with eight of Canada's 10 provinces to introduce its first federal carbon dioxide price, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says. Trudeau has said the move will help Canada meet its international climate change obligations. The energy-producing province of Saskatchewan did not sign up, saying the cost would be too great.

  • Two Canada provinces wary of carbon price AAP - Sat, Dec 10, 2016 11:14 AM NZDT

    The Canadian government is trying to negotiate a first-ever federal carbon dioxide price with the country's 10 provinces, two of which appear increasingly unhappy about the potential financial price. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - who says the price will help Canada meet its international climate change obligations - is promising to impose a carbon price on any province that refuses to sign on. Brad Wall, premier of oil- and gas-rich Saskatchewan, complains the price will make Canadian firms less competitive at a time when Donald Trump looks set to adopt policies cutting energy costs when he becomes US president next month.

  • Tassie keeps lights on despite challenges AAP - Fri, Dec 9, 2016 7:14 PM NZDT

    Tasmania's energy supply sector has had a rough 12 months, battling bushfires, drought, storms, floods and the failure of a Bass Strait electricity cable delivering backup power from the mainland. But ...

  • 1000kg fish produced weekly at prize farm AAP - Thu, Dec 8, 2016 6:15 PM NZDT

    The fish are biting at one prize NSW farm, where 1000kg of barramundi are produced each week. Nick Arena was awarded NSW farmer of the year on Thursday for his barramundi operation Bobs Farm in Port Stephens, boasting 1440 square metres of tanks which house the tonne of fish. Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair, who gave Mr Arena the $10,000 cash prize, said the farmer is a leader in the land-based fish production industry.

  • More Qld jobs from clean energy, groups AAP - Thu, Dec 8, 2016 12:12 PM NZDT

    Strong action on climate change and clean energy would generate 90,000 new jobs across Queensland by 2030, tens of thousands more than the Adani coal mine, greens groups say. The research released by the Australian Conservation Foundation, and based on modelling by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, claims many of those jobs would be created in regional Queensland. "The real jobs boom in Queensland is in clean energy and protecting the 70,000 jobs that depend on a healthy Great Barrier Reef, not in Adani's reef-wrecking coal mine," ACF campaigner Gavan McFadzean said on Thursday.

  • Clean energy to create 90000 Qld jobs: ACF AAP - Thu, Dec 8, 2016 11:38 AM NZDT

    Strong action on climate change and clean energy would generate 90,000 new jobs across Queensland by 2030, tens of thousands more than the Adani coal mine, greens groups say. The research released by the Australian Conservation Foundation, and based on modelling by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, claims many of those jobs would be created in regional Queensland. "The real jobs boom in Queensland is in clean energy and protecting the 70,000 jobs that depend on a healthy Great Barrier Reef, not in Adani's reef-wrecking coal mine," ACF campaigner Gavan McFadzean said on Thursday.

  • GC growers look to truck cane to NSW AAP - Wed, Dec 7, 2016 3:54 PM NZDT

    Gold Coast sugarcane farmers are preparing to truck some of their crop to NSW in an attempt to salvage something from this year's harvest. Growers on the northern end of the Gold Coast have been scrambling to get this summer's crop crushed after a fire shut down the region's only mill late last month. Already delayed after repairs to the Rocky Point Sugar Mill, local growers were facing a disastrous harvest when the 130-year-old facility was damaged in the blaze on November 29.

  • 'Ask Josh', PM says on carbon backflip AAP - Wed, Dec 7, 2016 2:31 PM NZDT
    'Ask Josh', PM says on carbon backflip

    Malcolm Turnbull has left his Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg to answer why he backtracked on a review into climate change policy following concerns from backbench MPs. After telling the ABC on Monday an emissions intensity scheme was being looked at as part of the inquiry, the minister on Tuesday denied ever mentioning it and on Wednesday said one wouldn't be introduced. "The review is business as usual," he told reporters at the Sydney Fish Markets.