Rural News

  • Vic dairy farmers rally for further help AAP - 2 hours 19 minutes ago
    Vic dairy farmers rally for further help

    Dairy farmers have welcomed federal government assistance but say the crux of the issue - low milk prices - is yet to be addressed. Hundreds of farmers with cows, horses and dogs rallied in Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane on Wednesday to highlight their plight. The Melbourne protesters appealed to the city's coffee addiction, chanting "You want a latte?

  • SA urged to support local dairy farmers AAP - 5 hours ago

    South Australians have been urged to continue supporting local farmers by snubbing home brand dairy items. "If consumers can add one or two dairy items to their shopping trolley every week, collectively that will help the dairy industry and it will help profits to flow back to local farming communities," dairy farmer Gino Pacitti told AAP. Mr Pacitti said the federal government's $578 million support package would help some dairy farmers being hit by falling prices for their produce.

  • Farmers urge SA to keep buying local AAP - 5 hours ago

    South Australians have been urged to continue supporting local farmers by snubbing home brand dairy items. About 100 farmers rallied in support of the industry outside Parliament House in Adelaide on Wednesday, ...

  • Dairy farmers protest in Melbourne AAP - 6 hours ago
    Dairy farmers protest in Melbourne

    Victorian dairy farmers, stock horses and a cow have paraded through Melbourne's streets in protest against the low milk prices. Several hundred protesters have welcomed the federal government's $578 million ...

  • $578m assistance for dairy farmers AAP - 10 hours ago
    $578m assistance for dairy farmers

    Struggling dairy farmers will be able to access a $578 million support package as the federal government comes to their aid. Farmers doing it tough since milk processors slashed farmgate prices will be offered $55 million in low-interest concessional loans up to June 30. An extra $500 million will be set aside for loans over the next two years, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announced on Wednesday.

  • Help may be on the way for dairy farmers AAP - 10 hours ago

    Help may be on the way for struggling dairy farmers, with the agriculture minister reportedly to announce a federal assistance package. Barnaby Joyce is due to provide details on Wednesday in his NSW seat of New England, the ABC reports. Dairy farmers have been doing it tough since milk processors unexpectedly slashed prices in response to weaker demand and a higher Australian dollar.

  • Rally in Melbourne over milk crisis AAP - 11 hours ago
    Rally in Melbourne over milk crisis

    Dairy farmers will take to Melbourne's Federation Square and march to Parliament House in a call to action over milk prices. The two-hour rally on Wednesday starts from 11.30am. Senator John Madigan will ...

  • Funds finally flow for Vic dairy farmers AAP - Tue, May 24, 2016 4:03 PM NZST
    Funds finally flow for Vic dairy farmers

    Victorian dairy farmers will receive expert assessments of their farms and finances as part of an $11.4 million support package which comes a month after milk prices were slashed. Farmers will also be able to access expanded counselling services after they were hit with massive retrospective bills when the prices were cut. Dairy Australia managing director Ian Halliday says the Taking Stock program will help farmers determine their true position.

  • Extra counselling for Tas dairy farmers AAP - Tue, May 24, 2016 1:12 PM NZST

    Tasmania's dairy farmers left reeling by cuts to milk prices will be be offered expanded support services with the state government setting aside extra money for counselling. Primary Industries Minister ...

  • Vic dairy farmers receive $11.4m support AAP - Tue, May 24, 2016 12:31 PM NZST
    Vic dairy farmers receive $11.4m support

    Dairy farmers in Victoria impacted by savage retrospective cuts in milk prices are set to receive an $11.4 million support package backed by the state government. "We're going to provide $11.4 million in partnership with the dairy industry and that's going to provide targeted support," Premier Daniel Andrews told ABC radio on Tuesday. Mr Andrews said the government would contribute $4.5 million to provide immediate assistance, on top of the $1.5 million to boost counselling services that was announced last week.

  • Dairy probe stretches ACCC workforce AAP - Fri, May 20, 2016 6:40 PM NZST

    The competition watchdog has had to pull resources from other matters to investigate the cuts to the milk price paid to farmers by dairy producers Murray Goulburn and Fonterra. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims says the ACCC is constantly making a trade-off on how many issues it considers and how much it focuses on them. "When the Murray Goulburn matter came along, it's not as if we had people lounging around and when the fire alarm sounds they slide down the pole and get to work," Mr Sims told reporters on Friday.

  • Farmers want milk price security AAP - Fri, May 20, 2016 6:38 PM NZST
    Farmers want milk price security

    Struggling dairy farmers will get government help but they say milk price security is the most important thing they need. South Gippsland dairy farmer Tristan Zuidema said the government had "gone missing" since milk prices were dramatically slashed three weeks ago. "They've only started coming out now because the public's started putting them under extreme pressure," Mr Zuidema told AAP on Friday.

  • Dairy farmers may get extra federal funds AAP - Fri, May 20, 2016 2:11 PM NZST
    Dairy farmers may get extra federal funds

    Struggling dairy farmers could soon receive more assistance from the federal government with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asking the opposition to back the plan. Mr Turnbull on Friday acknowledged a dramatic reduction in milk prices was having "a very harsh impact" on dairy farmers. Because the government is in caretaker mode ahead of the July election, it is in talks with the opposition "about making more assistance available to dairy farmers", the prime minister told reporters in Launceston.

  • Xenophon calls for action on 'milk crisis' AAP - Fri, May 20, 2016 1:03 PM NZST

    Independent senator Nick Xenophon is calling for an emergency temporary levy on milk and stronger protections for dairy farmers after savage milk price cuts. Dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn has slashed what it pays farmers for milk solids from $5.60 a kilogram to between $4.75 and $5 a kilogram because of a slump in global prices. Competitor Fonterra has followed suit.

  • ANZ offers assistance for dairy farmers AAP - Fri, May 20, 2016 12:52 PM NZST
    ANZ offers assistance for dairy farmers

    ANZ will suspend loan repayments and waive fees as part of an assistance package for dairy farmers hit by cuts to farmgate milk prices. Dairy producers Murray Goulburn and Fonterra recently slashed the price they pay farmers for their milk, putting farmers under considerable financial pressure. "While the macro fundamentals in the medium and longer term of the industry remain strong, we know many of our customers are doing it tough at the moment," ANZ general manager of regional business banking, Christine Linden, said.

  • Vic $1.5m for dairy farmers' mental health AAP - Fri, May 20, 2016 12:19 PM NZST

    Struggling Victorian dairy farmers will be given additional counselling rather than cash under a $1.5 million assistance package announced by the state government. Labor on Friday said the cash would go ...

  • ANZ to help dairy farmers AAP - Fri, May 20, 2016 12:08 PM NZST

    The ANZ bank will help dairy farmers affected by cuts to farmgate milk prices. As a part of its assistance package, ANZ will suspend repayments on loans, including credit cards, for three months. The bank ...

  • Joyce asks Labor for help with milk crisis AAP - Thu, May 19, 2016 6:03 PM NZST
    Joyce asks Labor for help with milk crisis

    Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has asked Labor to work with him on a bipartisan support package for dairy farmers grappling with savage cuts to the price of milk. Caretaker provisions triggered by the election mean the federal minister cannot make policy announcements, but Mr Joyce says he is determined to help farmers. "I ask my opposition counterpart to work quickly with me in a bipartisan way to finalise the support package," he said on Thursday after meeting with farmers in Gippsland.

  • Vic dairy farmers facing financial ruin AAP - Thu, May 19, 2016 5:31 AM NZST

    Demoralised dairy farmers have been urged to stay strong in the face of plummeting milk prices. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who met farmers and dairy leaders in Shepparton on Wednesday, says the industry downturn would be short lived and global demand for Australian dairy products would remain strong. "We'll find our way through this and we'll continue on," Mr Joyce told reporters.

  • Joyce meets struggling Vic dairy farmers AAP - Wed, May 18, 2016 10:18 PM NZST
    Joyce meets struggling Vic dairy farmers

    Deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has urged retailers to increase the price of milk after meeting Victorian farmers affected by drastic price cuts from dairy giants. The federal agriculture minister is pleased Coles has promised to boost the price by 20 cents per litre after a meeting with some of the country's largest retailers, and farmers, on Wednesday. "I know other people have a sense of cynicism about it - I don't," Mr Joyce told reporters in Shepparton.

  • WA 'free range' egg farm deceived shoppers AAP - Wed, May 18, 2016 8:17 PM NZST

    One of WA's biggest egg producers deceived shoppers in labelling its products free range, a court has found, but the company says it may appeal. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission brought the action against Snowdale Holdings over its farms in Carabooda and the Swan Valley in December 2013, after Humane Society International reported a neighbour's claims. The Federal Court of Australia heard most of the chickens did not leave the barns and probably half never got outside because the buildings were overstocked and had only one exit, which was too small.

  • Freedom Foods enters Vietnam UHT market AAP - Wed, May 18, 2016 5:40 PM NZST

    Cereal and snacks maker Freedom Foods is expanding its international operations with a move into the Vietnamese UHT milk market. The Sydney-based company says its Pactum Dairy Group business is partnering with International Dairy Products to launch a range of Australian products. "The product range will retail at a small premium to domestic UHT fresh products," Freedom Foods managing director Rory Macleod said in a statement.

  • WA 'free range' egg farm misled consumers AAP - Wed, May 18, 2016 4:13 PM NZST

    A Perth-based egg producer misled shoppers over its "free range" hens, the Federal Court of Australia has found. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission brought the action against Snowdale Holdings, which has farms in Carabooda and the Swan Valley, after Humane Society International reported a neighbour's claims. A visibly upset Snowdale manager Barry Cocking said he was very disappointed after the judgment by Justice Antony Siopis on Wednesday.

  • 'Free range' egg farm misled: court AAP - Wed, May 18, 2016 3:25 PM NZST

    A Perth-based egg producer misled shoppers over its "free range" hens, the Federal Court of Australia has found. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission brought the action against ...

  • Cuba, US draw up roadmap for talks AAP - Wed, May 18, 2016 3:01 PM NZST

    Cuba and the US aim to reach new agreements on co-operation in law enforcement, health and agriculture over the coming months, as part of the former Cold War foes' drive to normalise ties. The Communist-ruled island and its northern neighbour re-established diplomatic relations a year ago after decades of hostility and have since signed deals on the environment, postal services and direct flights. A bilateral commission met in Havana earlier this week to establish a roadmap for talks over the rest of 2016, which would include more high-ranking official visits, said Josefina Vidal, head of the Cuban delegation.

  • Trump willing to speak to N Korean leader AAP - Wed, May 18, 2016 12:32 PM NZST
    Trump willing to speak to N Korean leader

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to try to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program, Trump has told Reuters in an interview. In a wide-ranging discussion, Trump also said he disapproved of Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in eastern Ukraine, called for a renegotiation of the Paris climate accord, and said he would dismantle most of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations if he is elected president. "I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him," Trump said of Kim.

  • Victorian farmers face being milked dry AAP - Wed, May 18, 2016 5:32 AM NZST

    Victorian farmers fear they could be milked dry if a recent cut to milk prices is a sign of things to come. Australia's biggest dairy cooperative Murray Goulburn slashed the price they pay farmers for milk solids from $5.60 a kilogram to between $4.75 and $5 a kilogram and issued a profit downgrade, leaving farmers facing huge bills. It's a move its major competitor Fonterra mirrored soon after.

  • Backpacker tax delayed until January AAP - Tue, May 17, 2016 6:29 PM NZST
    Backpacker tax delayed until January

    Working holidaymakers from overseas will get a reprieve from paying more income tax as the Turnbull government seeks to rid itself of an election irritant in rural and regional seats. The federal government had planned from July 2016 to slug backpackers with a 32.5 per cent tax rate from the first dollar they earned, unlike other workers who don't start paying tax until their income exceeds $18,200. Farmers and tourism operators feared they would shun Australia as a travel destination, and 48,000 people signed an online petition in protest.

  • Farmers wait for detail on Coles milk plan AAP - Tue, May 17, 2016 6:16 PM NZST
    Farmers wait for detail on Coles milk plan

    Dairy farmers hit by falling milk prices are waiting to find out how they will benefit from a new brand that supermarket giant Coles says will put more money in their pockets. Each litre sold of the yet-to-be named brand, which Coles expects to have on shelves within three months, will put 20 cents into a fund for about 2,600 NSW and Victoria farmers hit by Murray Goulburn's decision to cut how much it pays them. Coles said it will forgo any profit on the project and throw in an extra $1 million, but the farmers are waiting on the full details.

  • Farmers waiting for details on Coles milk AAP - Tue, May 17, 2016 1:16 PM NZST
    Farmers waiting for details on Coles milk

    Australian dairy farmers are waiting for more detail about Coles' new milk brand to find out exactly how they will benefit from the supermarket's initiative. Coles says it will forgo any profit on a brand that will deliver an extra 20 cents per litre to an independent industry fund for more than 2,600 farmers in NSW and Victoria. Australian Dairy Farmers president Simone Jolliffe said Coles had discussed the project with the industry body but that more information was needed about how it would work.

  • Backpacker tax pushed past election day AAP - Tue, May 17, 2016 12:56 PM NZST
    Backpacker tax pushed past election day

    The Turnbull government has deferred introduction of the so-called backpacker tax in a bid to rid the issue as an election irritant in rural and regional seats. From July working holidaymakers were facing a 32.5 per cent tax from the first dollar they earned, sparking fears by farmers and tourism operators they would shun Australia as a travel destination. Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer, addressing reporters in the NSW regional seat of Eden-Monaro on Tuesday, said the tax would be suspended for six months pending a ministerial review led by Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce.

  • New Coles milk brand 'will help farmers' AAP - Tue, May 17, 2016 12:40 PM NZST
    New Coles milk brand 'will help farmers'

    Coles is launching a new milk brand that it says will help support struggling dairy farmers. Coles will meet with farmers' representatives and dairy processors this week to discuss the initiative, which follows Fonterra and Murray Goulburn cutting the price they pay farmers for milk solids.

  • Government backs away from backpacker tax AAP - Tue, May 17, 2016 12:32 PM NZST
    Government backs away from backpacker tax

    The Turnbull government has deferred the introduction of the so-called backpacker tax in a bid to rid the issue as an election irritant in rural and regional seats. From July working holidaymakers were facing paying 32 per cent tax from the first dollar they earned, sparking fears by farmers and tourism operators they would shun Australia as a travel destination. Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer, addressing reporters in the NSW regional seat of Eden-Monaro on Tuesday, said the tax would be suspended for six months pending a ministerial review to be led by Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce.

  • Canada wildfire nears crude oil tank farm AAP - Tue, May 17, 2016 12:20 PM NZST
    Canada wildfire nears crude oil tank farm

    A massive wildfire burning around the oil sands hub of Fort McMurray, Alberta, is about a kilometre away from Enbridge Inc's Cheecham crude oil tank farm, but is under control for now, emergency officials say. The blaze near the tank farm was stable because the wind was co-operating as Enbridge's industrial firefighters tackled the blaze, the officials said at a news conference on Monday. The entire population of Fort McMurray, about 90,000 people, were forced to flee the Canadian city nearly two weeks ago as the uncontrolled wildfire raged through some neighbourhoods and destroyed about 15 per cent of structures.

  • Tough markets for live exports: Elders AAP - Mon, May 16, 2016 6:49 PM NZST
    Tough markets for live exports: Elders

    Live export markets are likely to remain under pressure, but agribusiness Elders still expects its annual financial results to improve. Elders on Monday booked a half-year net profit of $24.6 million - up 55 per cent on the profit of $15.9 million a year earlier. Chief executive Mark Allison said Elders' Australian operations - sales of farm inputs such as agricultural chemicals and fertiliser, and services selling sheep, cattle and farms - had performed well.