The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2016-12-12T05:02:04Z Barber’s pole a risk for southern sheep graziers this summer 2016-12-12T05:02:04Z barber-s-pole-a-risk-for-southern-sheep-graziers-this-summer A leading Victorian Veterinarian is warning southern sheep producers to act early on worms this summer, or risk poor animal health and pasture contamination in 2017. Hamilton-based Consultant, Dr Graham Lean of Agrivet Business Consulting, says high subsoil moisture and prolonged cool weather in southern Victoria and Tasmania has created prime conditions for worm production. “Worms are a major risk this summer, because of continual worm pick up and heavy worm burden that have accumulated due to the prolonged wet and cool conditions. So, it’s a very dangerous time for sheep to be grazing from a worm point-of-view,” Dr Lean said. “Roughly 40 percent of worms dropped on pasture now will turn into infected larvae being picked up by sheep next year in southern Victoria. That’s a high survival rate, so it is critical that it is stopped now.” Dr Lean says the conditions are reminiscent of the 2010 / 2011 season at this point in time, and it is imperative that producers drench their livestock as soon as possible if they haven’t recently done it already, so they are protected if the summer continues to be wet. “It’s a big risk this season, so I think it’s good to warn people. There is a potential to open yourself up for barber’s pole worm and small brown stomach worm and that certainly happened in 2011. It’s not a high risk, but it is certainly there,” Dr Lean said. “So, from a health and productivity perspective, it is very important not to delay that drench – the earlier, the better.” Dr Lean recommends producers use Cydectin Long Acting injection for sheep, which provides 91-day protection against barber’s pole worm and small brown stomach worm and up to 49-day persistent activity against black scour worm. “In a season like this, you will generally get worm pick-up after the first summer drench in November or December,” Dr Lean explained. “That is where Cydectin Long Acting injection for sheep is brilliant, because the alternative is to drench more frequently throughout the summer which increases the chance of worm resistance. So, you are better giving Cydectin Long Acting injection for sheep and having persistent control with less drenching.” Sheep Product Manager for Virbac Australia, Terrance Loughlin, agrees that an early long acting treatment is critical this year. “Because the season is late, some producers might delay their first summer drench, however this will mean that pastures stay contaminated for longer. Pasture contamination creates a significant risk of infection for vulnerable sheep such as weaners and hoggets. Obviously, the best way to minimise risk is to minimise contamination,” said Loughlin. Loughlin says a Cydectin Long Acting injection can negate the need for a second summer drench in the southern regions, which is particularly valuable following a wet winter. “Sheep producers in predominantly summer rainfall areas are quite familiar with the use of Cydectin Long Acting Injection for Sheep as a summer drench. Barber’s pole worm is of particular concern in northern NSW and southern Queensland sheep producers and they find that because Cydectin Long Acting is especially potent it is an important asset for combating barber’s pole worm,” said Loughlin. Dr Lean said drenching sheep for worms is a good investment. An MLA study looking at the costs of internal parasites showed that 80% of the costs of worms is in lost production most of which is not readily identifiable[1]. “Sheep aren’t worth $1.50 anymore – they are worth at least $150 a head and any reduction in productivity or increase in mortality risk is costly. So it is very profitable to keep sheep alive and healthy. Any delay of the first summer drench is really dicing with death,” Dr Lean said. “Clearly the game has changed a bit and it’s probably worth reminding people that livestock is worth a lot of money and they are grossing a lot of money. So the stakes are a lot bigger to do the job right.” Ends. For more information contact: Adam Arndell C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 / 0403 372 889 adam.arndell@c7even.com.au [1] https://www.mla.com.au/research-and-development/search-rd-reports/final-report-details/Animal-Health-and-Biosecurity/Priority-list-of-endemic-diseases-for-the-red-meat-industries/2895 NSW Wine welcomes WET rebate reform 2016-12-02T03:20:02Z nsw-wine-welcomes-wet-rebate-reform The Government, in consultation with a cross section of industry, has amended its decision in the May budget to reduce the WET rebate cap in two stages from $500,000 to $290,000. Today, it announces it will reposition the cap at $350,000 and couple this with a $100,000 grant scheme focusing on investment at the cellar door.  These changes will take effect from 1 July 2018.   President of the NSW Wine Industry Association Tom Ward said that the WET rebate is critical to rural and regional communities and jobs.    “The changes announced are a very positive outcome for small and medium winemakers and reflects industry calls for a re-focus of investment at the local level.” Mr Ward said.  “Critically, the deferral of the rebate reduction to 1 July 2018 will allow the industry more time to adjust.  The announcement of a grant scheme focusing on cellar doors is also seen as a positive step and we look forward to working with Government to ensure industry continues to benefit.”   Mr Ward also praised the role played by Senator Anne Ruston in driving the consultation process.    “This is a complex issue with the potential to harm the industry.” Mr Ward said.  “The announcement today is a good compromise and mitigates the overall impact of the changes on those wineries with investment in cellar Door.  Wineries can now go into the 2017 vintage with a higher degree of certainty and confidence.”   Mr Tony Battaglene, CEO of the Winemakers Federation of Australia which has coordinated the national negotiations, said the wine industry throughout Australia has fought long and hard for reform of the WET rebate eligibility criteria.      “Today’s decision will put an end to uncertainty and put the industry in a stronger long-term position,” Tony Battaglene, WFA CEO said.  “The return of integrity to the WET rebate was the main consideration for WFA. The measures announced today deliver on that need.”   “An outcome of a cap at $350,000, combined with the acceptance of industry’s eligibility definitions, and the $100,000 grant scheme, is significantly better than the Budget 2016 outcomes and provides a platform for future growth. The revised eligibility criteria also strengthens the industry by recognising alternative business models including emerging winemakers who are making their start.”   The WET imposes a 29 per cent tax on wine products, separate to the GST, and the capped rebate is used by the industry to reinvest in their businesses to create growth and jobs in rural and regional Australia.  Best in Show: 2016-11-28T04:35:14Z best-in-show Media release                                                                                           Monday 28 November 2016 Tanunda, South Australia (for immediate release) The annual Adelaide Hills Wine Show hosted its awards ceremony at Mount Lofty House on Friday and the panel of judges, chaired by Nick Stock, awarded Best Wine in Show to Michael Hall Wines Adelaide Hills Syrah 2015. This is the most recent release in Michael Hall’s triptych of shirazes, each with a very distinct personality. In a region better known for its whites, this is the second time in consecutive years that the Best Wine in Show has gone to a Shiraz, speaking to the depth and diversity of this elevated GI that links McLaren Vale in the south to the Barossa in the north. It also acknowledges the changing cultural climate towards Shiraz that displays a nuanced palate of spice, flowers and red berries and away from the rich and heady dark-fruited concentration of more traditional South Australian styles. The Adelaide Hills wine is a first release and joins Michael’s duo of single vineyard Shiraz from Eden Valley and Barossa Valley. Michael explained, “I grew up in the UK and my first experiences of wine were the French classics that my dad put on the table for Sunday lunch. The northern Rhone Valley reds commonly displayed loads of nasal pepper, alongside herbal aromatics and drying tannin. Later, the imports from Australia provided a vivid contrast with their rich black, Christmas pudding generosity. As an amateur consumer, I loved the two contrasting styles and that I could shut my eyes and identify which came from France and which from Australia! “More recently, living in the Barossa Valley, I realised that much of this stylistic diversity could be achieved across the vineyards of the Mount Lofty Ranges. Working with Kym Teusner in 2006, he introduced me to Leon and Christa Deans’ Flaxman’s Valley vineyard high in Eden Valley and a wine showing pepper and lavender that transported me to St Joseph and Hermitage. I am ever grateful to Kym for introducing me the first pillar of my Shiraz trio. This wine, often brimming with violets and lavender alongside baker’s spice, achieved the top score of 98/100 in James Suckling and Nick Stock’s 2014 tasting of Barossa Shiraz. “I called the Eden Valley wine ‘Syrah’ and wanted to make a contrasting Barossa Valley Shiraz. While never a fan of the heroic, high-octane styles of Barossa Shiraz that our warm climate can produce, I had not forgotten the delicious, voluptuous black fruit and liquorice characters of my first impressions. So, I sought out John Shobbrook, growing Shiraz on the edge of Stone Well and Seppeltsfield, conscious of sustainability and knowing that he had recently converted to biodynamic management. I’d worked vintages with Vanya Cullen and Anne-Claude Leflaive and felt that their biodynamic approach leant itself to earlier picking and more vibrant fruit. This Shiraz from the Triangle Block in Stone Well became my second pillar and typically shows a palate of fresh blackberry, plum, peach and chalky liquorice.” This year, the 2014 Michael Hall Shiraz, Stone Well won the Shiraz trophy at Marananga and a gold medal at the Barossa Wine Show. Michael Hall’s Adelaide Hills Shiraz owes its conception to Tom Munro, who had been making a fantastic Shiraz under his Boovability label called ‘Lady at Dawn’. It came from a tiny Mount Torrens vineyard managed by Tom’s friend Mark Whisson. Tom recently relocated to Sydney to develop his import business The Other Bordeaux and felt he couldn’t give this vineyard the time it deserved. In 2013, Michael enthusiastically followed up on Tom’s introduction and worked with Mark to produce a first harvest was in 2014. But with just two acres and a topsoil that is little more than a dusting over the bedrock, the crop is vanishingly small. No single vineyard wine was produced in 2014 and just 90 cases in 2015. Despite the intensive efforts for such small returns the wine is a gem, delivering a tapestry of sweet red fruit, cinnamon and dried herbs. Best Wine in Show is a terrific endorsement of the quality of this vineyard and of Mark’s viticultural work, and the wine adds a third dimension to Michael’s showcase of South Australian Shiraz terroir. Michael Hall ‘Mount Torrens’ Syrah, Adelaide Hills 2015 (14% Alc./Vol., 1170 bottles, RRP $50, Trade release, January 2017) Michael Hall ‘Triangle Block’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2014, Stone Well (14.4% Alc./Vol., 3770 bottles, RRP $47) Michael Hall ‘Flaxman’s Valley’ Syrah, Eden Valley 2014 (13.9% Alc./Vol., 1920 bottles, RRP $50) For detailed winemaker’s notes, bottle shots and tasting samples of any of these three wines, please contact Kimberley Pearce at Wine Brain, kp@winebrain.com.au, 0413 120 385. Michael Hall looks forward to sharing his latest shirazes with the wine interested public. The wines are available online (http://www.michaelhallwines.com/pages/buy-wine.php), (Michael Hall Adelaide Hills Syrah 2015 will go on trade release in January 2017) and at a collection discerning of restaurants and retailers.   Michael Hall Wines retail stockists include: Annandale Cellars, Australian Wine Centre, Bests Cellars, Blackhearts & Sparrows, City Wine Shop, Cloud Wine, Cru Bar, East End Cellars, Edinburgh Cellars, Harry and Frankie, Malt Cellars, Prince Wine Store, Rathdowne Cellars, Spiro’s, Vintage Blue, Wine Emporium and Wine Experience. MICHAEL HALL | Adelaide Hills Eden Valley Barossa Valley | A 10 George Street, Tanunda, South Australia 5352 Australia | M +61 (0) 419 126 290 | E info@michaelhallwines.com | W michaelhallwines.com | T @michaelhallwine Ends--- Smart new look for farming community 2016-11-21T01:54:52Z smart-new-look-for-farming-community The new website can be found at the same address www.farmingahead.com.au only with a bright new look and clearer organisation to make searching for your favourite topics quicker and easier. The website is now organised into new categories that can be found across the top of the website on a blue bar, including Machinery, Livestock, Cropping, Business, Workshop and Technology to showcase the latest news and information from the Australian agricultural industry. The Kondinin Group Research Reports give an in-depth look at a range of topics, including farming technology, business, cropping, tractors, farm equipment and livestock. Our experienced and educated researchers independently test equipment and processes giving you valuable and instructive information. Much like Choice magazine, only for farmers. Our new Machinery section covers the latest news and real road tests from our on-farm researchers on tractors and motoring as well as tillage, seeding, spraying and harvesting equipment. Look out for our Insight section to get the latest opinion from Bushwhacker, see our On Farm section for the latest developments in politics and visit our Ideas & Innovations sections to see the latest farm inventions straight from Kondinin Group members. Be sure to visit our Weather section that, in partnership with Weatherzone, allows you to customise the results for your area and view real-time satellite and synoptic weather charts. The new website also allows you buy print and digital books from our Bookstore.  With titles such as the Field Crop Herbicide Guide and the Workshop and Workboot series, there is something for every aspect of learning about agriculture and farming processes. See our Awards section to view past and present winners of the national Farmer of the Year Awards and when nominations open, nominate deserving farmers for the awards next year online. Farming Ahead editor and head of research Ben White said he hoped new and existing members enjoy the new site. “Our new site represents the kind of value we want to add to being a Kondinin Group member. It’s an exciting time for agriculture in Australia and we want to be on the forefront of providing the farming community the most up to date information relating to every aspect of the industry,” Mr White said. Sign up for a 30 day trial to the new FarmingAhead.com.au and send all feedback to contact@kondinin.com.au. For membership opportunities, click here to find out more. Product Launch – Petface Parlour Shampoos and Spritzers 2016-11-18T12:59:20Z product-launch-petface-parlour-shampoos-and-spritzers More than just the best dog toys in Australia... We are please to launch a great new range of dog shampoos and spritzers from the Petface Parlour range. Washing and grooming your dog should always be an exciting time to engage with your pet. This luxurious range ensures that the experience is fun and will leave your pet with a long lasting beautiful scent.   So what makes this range so good and why are we so excited? Using a unique formula, pet odours are targeted and the skin is cleansed with all natural extracts including silk, pro vitamin B5 and oatmeal. We believe this combination of ingredients makes this the best dog shampoo on the market in Australia, whether you are in the hot climate of Queensland or the cool of Melbourne and Sydney.   Formulated in collaboration with leading British perfume developers and manufactured by Byotrol in the United Kingdom, this range will keep your pets feeling fresh and smelling great. Their coats will be shining and they’ll have the ‘just washed’ scent for longer. Byotrol is a leading antimicrobial technology company based in England. They have a reputation for formulating and supplying many leading retailers around the world. This range, 100% made in the UK, is no exception.    Each shampoo and spritzer is available in four amazingly fresh scents starting at $9.99: -          Grapefruit & Elderflower -          Gardenia & Mint -          Wild Fig & Nectarine Blossom -          Raspberry & Almond   Order your shampoo and spritzer now from PetsDepartment Australia, curators of the world’s best pet products. All orders over $50 will be shipped free, so be sure to stock up on your favourite pet supplies.   http://www.petsdepartment.com.au   Water has never been easier to buy 2016-11-10T03:08:24Z water-has-never-been-easier-to-buy For generations of Australia’s farmers, the greatest challenge facing livelihood has always been the unpredictability of the future. For many irrigators and farmers, income is highly seasonal. There are key planting and harvesting milestones throughout a season that require significant investment which has a direct impact on cashflow. Water is central to a successful future but until now, managing the inflexible purchase process has been challenging. Irrigators have longed for a product that frees up cash flow but secures their water resources for the current season. Waterfind have been working with their customers to develop a product that does exactly that – Deferred Delivery. Available exclusively through Waterfind, Deferred Delivery, enables irrigators to secure temporary water parcels with a deposit rather than funding the full amount upfront. Full payment is due upon delivery of the parcel, which is set at an agreed future date in the current water season. CEO Alister Walsh remarked that this marked another step forward for Australia’s water markets, “Today we are excited to announce a further innovation, bringing greater flexibility to irrigators and water users alike across the Murray Darling Basin and Southern Connected Systems.” The tool has been well received by those who have been trialling the product. “Through discussions and experience with our customers, many irrigators plan ahead and purchase some or all of their water requirements early, to avoid peak season pricing. Deferred Delivery provides low cost access to secure the supply they need throughout the season at a price that they’re comfortable with. The feedback we have had suggests that this will become a key resource for irrigators in future seasons,” Alister said. Recognised as a leader in the Australian water market, Waterfind has been at the forefront of new technology, products and services since its inception in 2003. Currently facilitating the largest water market in Australia, servicing over 14,000 customers across all water markets, tools and services developed and released by Waterfind have helped grow, mature and educate the Australian water market. All these elements and first-to-market products that have advanced the Australian water market to lay the foundations for the Deferred Delivery tool, another essential product in an already extensive kit available to market participants. Deferred Delivery will be rolled-out through a staged process. Entitlement holders in the Southern Connected System, which encompasses the River Murray in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales as well as Murrumbidgee, and northern Victorian rivers of Goulburn, Loddon and Campaspe will be the first to access the new product. Waterfind hope to offer Deferred Delivery to all water markets in the near future. Land Management and Rehabilitation ebook out now 2016-11-07T03:05:53Z land-management-and-rehabilitation-ebook-out-now The Land Management and Rehabilitation ebook has just been released by ACS Distance Education. This ebook has been written by John Mason and the staff of ACS Distance Education. Recent impact of human activity on land has increased immensely. Activities such as land clearing for agriculture, forestry and urban development, as well as mining activity and pollution has resulted in more infertile soil and land degradation. The world we live in has never been in greater need of better land management decisions and rehabilitation. Degraded land can always be rehabilitated and this book shows you how to improve land that is in serious decline.  If vulnerability is identified early, it is always better to avoid decline in land quality ever getting to the point where rehabilitation is ever needed. The Land Management and Rehabilitation ebook is a great way to discover ways in which you can manage land and avoid land degradation. This ebook works through various chapters that will help you acquire the skills that you will need to manage your land responsibly as well as understand how to rehabilitate land that has already suffered damage. This ebook covers the following chapters: Chapter 1- Scope and Nature of Land Management Chapter 2- Land Degradation & Rehabilitation Chapter 3- Managing Soils Chapter 4- Managing Water Chapter 5- Managing Plants Chapter 6- Managing Animal Populations This ebook is now available for purchase for $34.95 including GST from our online bookshop and there is also a free sample available to have a look at: http://www.acsbookshop.com/product-land-management-and-rehabilitation-pdf-ebook-6014.aspx   If you would like a review copy of this ebook, please contact sarah@acs.edu.au John Evans appointed Managing Director BOC South Pacific 2016-11-01T23:50:42Z john-evans-appointed-managing-director-boc-south-pacific Sydney, 2 November 2016: Leading gases and engineering company BOC today announced the appointment of John Evans as Managing Director, BOC South Pacific.   The 30-year industry veteran has a deep understanding of the BOC business after leading its subsidiary Elgas, Australia’s largest LPG marketer and importer.   John’s key priorities will be safety, customer experience and driving the diverse BOC business across its key markets in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.   “BOC has a huge range of products and services, an extensive supply network and some of the best technical experts and engineers in the world,” said John. “We need to refine our organisation to support constantly changing markets. We are also innovating service models – from digital and online solutions, to a more agile retail network.   “I look forward to working with our customers, industry and governments to ensure critical energy supplies and to foster a more research and scientific based economy.”   John Evans is the Vice Chairman of the Gas Energy Association and Head of the BOC Regional Executive Board. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry from the University of New South Wales.   -ENDS-  About BOC:  BOC is a member of The Linde Group which supplies compressed and bulk gases, chemicals and equipment around the globe. The company develops safe, sustainable and innovative solutions for customers in many specialty sectors, heavy industry and medical environments. For more than a century the company's gases and expertise have contributed to advances in industry and everyday life, including steelmaking, refining, chemical processing, environmental protection, wastewater treatment, welding and cutting, food processing and distribution, glass production, electronics and health care. For further information, see www.boc-limited.com.au.  About Linde: In the 2015 financial year, The Linde Group generated revenue of EUR 17.944 bn, making it one of the leading gases and engineering companies in the world, with approximately 65,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development. For more information, see The Linde Group online at www.linde.co Foresters lead China/Australia relationship 2016-10-26T04:21:54Z foresters-lead-china-australia-relationship Cooperation between Australia and China countries in the field of forestry has been germinating for some time, but last night the first signs of real strength and maturity in the relationship took hold. Institute of Foresters Australia National President Rob de Fegely signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding last night with the President of the Chinese Society of Forestry Zhao Shucong. Rob de Fégely said, ‘This MOU builds on the significant interaction between our members and provides an important vehicle for building the relationship as our economic ties grow. ‘China is now our major forest products trading partner and so it makes sense for us to trade ideas and skills as well as products. ‘This MOU is a culmination of a number of years building relationships between our two organisations and the recent China Australia Forestry Exchange Program has been the catalyst to develop a more formal and higher level relationship. ‘A forestry investment forum was held in Sydney earlier this month specifically aimed at Chinese investors. ‘It was fitting that the Chinese Forestry Society also signed MOUs with the Japan Forestry Society, the Korean Forestry Society and the Canadian Institute of Foresters at the same time.  All countries are important trading partners of Australia and similarly have a long history in forest management and development, said Mr de Fégely. The Chinese Society of Forestry was founded in 1917 and is one of the oldest academic societies in China while the Australian Institute of Foresters is not a lot younger, celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Forestry committee awards National Tree Farmer of the Year for 2016 2016-10-25T22:52:10Z forestry-committee-awards-national-tree-farmer-of-the-year-for-2016 Roger and Outhay Poltock have been named as the 2016 National Tree Farmers of the Year at the Australian Forest Growers National Conference in Launceston. The award including a $5000 cash prize is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and is widely contested. Dr Kevin Harding, President of Australian Forest Growers said, ‘The independent panel which assessed entries this year was very impressed with the quality of applicants.  'In the end, the result was very close - but we are excited by the great work done on Roger and Outhay's property and they are worthy winners. Mr Poltock runs a mixed farming enterprise of livestock/grazing and forestry at Wilmot in Tasmania. The property comprises 170ha of which 50ha is plantation / forest and 120ha for grazing about 200 beef cattle. Kevin Harding said, ‘The property is a wonderful example of how returns can be maximised by sustainably using different qualities of the land, in a single holding, for different purposes - in this case cattle grazing and forestry’. The award was presented at the AFG Conference Dinner by Mr Ian Ruscoe, Director of the RFA Review team in the Forestry Branch of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in front of an audience of well over 200 delegates. This included the most recent 2014 winners Connie and Marty Winch-Buist from Western Australia who participated in the independent panel to select this year’s winner. The National Tree Farmer of the Year Award is awarded every two years and honours landowners or private forest managers who have established or maintained areas of forest on their property for the purposes of commerce, protection of water catchments and/or crops, or for reasons of preservation of biodiversity or a particular forest ecosystem. The national competition is based on State nominations that are submitted and judged each year. States are then asked to nominate their selected candidate to compete in the biennial National Competition with the winner announced at the AFG conference. -Ends- Media Contact: Dr Kevin Harding, President Australian Forest Growers Tel: 0410 471 957 Picture available on request. Forestry and water catchments 2016-10-18T23:33:56Z forestry-and-water-catchments More than 80 people attended a workshop about forestry and water catchments in WA last month which covered important issues such as bushfire management, rehabilitation after bauxite mining and enhancing ecosystem health. Hon Rick Mazza, Hon Mick Murray and Hon Nigel Hallet along with former-MPs Dr Chrissy Sharp and Bernie Masters attended the forum titled Managing forested catchments- threats and opportunities, which was organised by the Institute of Foresters in WA. Other attendees included people with interests in conservation and ecosystem health, staff from a range of Government departments, representatives of industry, academia, biologists and foresters. IFA spokesman Frank Batini said, ‘It was a pity that no Government Ministers attended, though several were invited, but I think the importance of effectively managing water catchments was well understood by the Shadow Minister for Forestry and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party representatives who came along’. ‘Water catchments for domestic and irrigation use cover a million hectares of jarrah forest between Mundaring and Collie. Water catchments integrate a range of land uses- water supply, biodiversity, ecosystem health, bauxite mining, recreation and silviculture; and require protection from wildfire, disease, pollution and reduced stream-flows’, said Frank. Speakers addressed changes in ecosystem health due to lower rainfall and the need to protect catchments from wildfire - noting that unless you can manage wildfire, you cannot effectively manage for any other value. The need to thin-out rehabilitation after bauxite mining was emphasised along with the need for appropriate silviculture to enhance ecosystem health and stream-flow, the value of lower-slopes and stream-zones for protecting biodiversity of flora and fauna and the much higher costs faced by irrigators when their water-supply is reduced. Frank said, ‘Beneficial changes to catchment management, such as thinning vegetation to improve stream-flows and effective fire management, could be implemented at no nett cost which would greatly reduce the current costs to Treasury of desalination and wildfire suppression’. The workshop concluded with a half-hour discussion from the participants that produced useful advice on the next steps. There was support for continued involvement by establishing a broader advocacy group, to develop proposals and to lobby Government.   Media contact: Frank Batini (IFA - WA): 08 9457 1952 Growing and Using Mushrooms 2016-10-14T03:32:08Z growing-and-using-mushrooms The much anticipated Growing and Using Mushrooms ebook is out now and available and for download from the ACS online Bookshop. This ebook has been written by John Mason and the staff of ACS Distance Education. The Growing and Using Mushrooms ebook is aimed at readers who would like to be either home or professional mushroom growers. Mushrooms are highly prized for cooking and eating are not plants, but a fungus. This book touches on other genera and species, but is mostly about “Agaricus bisporus”. Despite this focus though, learning to grow and use one species of mushroom is an excellent foundation for growing and using other genera and species.   In the style of many of our ebooks, this ebook is a comprehensive guide to knowing about, growing and using or commercially selling mushrooms. If you have ever considered growing mushrooms, reading this ebook is great place to start. Some topics covered in this ebook include: The Nature and Scope of Mushroom Production Spawn Production Compost Production Structures and Environmental Control Growing Methods Mushroom Health- Pest and Disease control Harvest, Processing and Storage Using Mushrooms   This ebook is now available for purchase for $34.95 including GST from our online bookshop: http://www.acsbookshop.com/product-growing-using-mushrooms-pdf-ebook-6011.aspx   If you would like a review copy of this ebook, please contact sarah@acs.edu.au . Sharon Betts appointment takes OBE to 50% female directors 2016-10-12T22:16:52Z sharon-betts-appointment-takes-obe-to-50-female-directors Australia’s oldest organic beef marketing company, OBE Organic, has underlined its commitment to organic cattle producers with the appointment of Lake Eyre Basin organic cattle producer Sharon Betts to its Board. Sharon Betts, who runs approximately 10,000 head of organic cattle at her family properties at “Epsilon” Queensland and “Mungerannie” SA, joins founding organic producer Directors David Brook from Birdsville and Peter Schmidt from Charleville, together with Hong Kong-based Deirdre Lander. The appointment also takes OBE Organic’s Board to a 50% female representation, compared to the average 23.6% of Directors on ASX 200 companies1.         “OBE Organic was established 20 years ago to maximise value for organic cattle producers and I’m proud to join the Board of a company so serious about doing the best for producers,” Sharon Betts said. “Our properties are so large they have always been virtually organic, but before OBE was founded there was no opportunity to capture this premium.  “OBE pioneered the organic opportunity for cattle producers, and my experience through the ups and downs of the past 20 years is their number one focus has always been to look after producers like us as best as they can.” OBE Organic Chair David Brook said Sharon Betts brings a wealth of experience to the Board. “Sharon is well known for being among the top graziers in the region, she brings 40 years of expertise across a range of business and community interests, and she will do a wonderful job representing the interests of cattle producers,” he said. “Sharon has been to international markets with our sales team and she has a keen interest in marketing the provenance and origins of our product to the world. “I’m also very proud to have a board that has gone from 0% female three years ago to 50% today.  Men and women run cattle stations equally so it makes sense to have equal representation on our Board.   "More importantly, to me diversity is just good business because being open to insights from different perspectives helps us innovate and be more likely to identify opportunities and risks." OBE Organic celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and has continued its tradition of innovation in recent years with programs to boost the productivity of its producers, including: ·              Becoming the first corporate partner of Grazing BMP and attracting 83 attendees to OBE Organic Grazing BMP Forums in Roma, Charleville and Birdsville ·              Partnering with Livestock Biosecurity Network to develop an organic biosecurity workbook ·              Partnering with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and WorkCover to deliver monthly farm safety webinars and templates tailored for the beef industry ·              Developing one of the Australian beef industry’s first formal sustainability programs, FLOURISH.   For more information, please contact: Dalene Wray                            0439 224 968                           dwray@obeorganic.com About OBE Organic.  OBE Organic is Australia’s oldest organic beef marketing company, established by a group of family farmers.  It sources certified organic cattle from Queensland, NSW, and South Australia and works to maximise the profitability of producers.  OBE Organic’s safe and nutritious organic grassfed beef is sold to rapidly growing markets in Australia, Asia, North America and the Middle East.Web www.obeorganic.com - Twitter @obeorganic - Instagram @obeorganic - Facebook facebook.com/obeorganic 1 AICD June 2016. http://www.companydirectors.com.au/director-resource-centre/governance-and-director-issues/board-diversity/statistics KIDMAN STATION / AUSTRALIAN OR NOT ? 2016-10-11T05:24:35Z kidman-station-australian-or-not At what stage does such a large parcel of Australian Land not become a fair and open playing field for Australians to purchase, or at least enter a bid on?  The Australian iconic “Kidman Station” with its historic parcel of strategic land and industry looks like it will be one third sold to Chinese investors. In reality that’s over 3.3 million hectares of Australia sold yet again to overseas investors.   Kidman Station spanning over four states of Australia and massing some 10.1 million hectares including the political parcel’s of land at Anna Creek and The Peake Stations in South Australia which have been earmarked to be separated from the entire Kidman Station package because of political home land security sensitivity with a Chinese buyer being involved within the Gina Rhinehart Bid.   Our company “Still Call Australia Home Pty Ltd.” Is made up of five Australians Directors with Farming and Primary Industry holdings and experience, we are all very passionate for our great land and are trying to enter the purchasing arena for Kidman Station.   So far there has been sincere interest from leading cattle stakeholders from within Australia, yet like the other Australian companies we have found ourselves not being able to gain financials and / or inspections and being locked out of the due diligence process in order to place a bid. Transparency is not forthcoming, why?   Our concerns are that if our Politicians allow even one third of Chinese ownership of Kidman Station what then stops intercompany share transfers  and/or side agreements to the Chinese investor for a larger stake of ownership in the future. Not just in the Kidman Station deal but all companies with overseas investor interest operating in Australia.   When a broader view of Chinese agricultural acquisitions are looked at throughout New Zealand and Australia surely a pattern is emerging that should indeed set some alarm bells ringing. Do we really want to purchase produce from China, which is home grown in Australia? Look at our Port of Darwin now owned by Chinese interests, our prime agricultural land and so the list keeps growing.   We keep hearing the hype from Government in limiting or eliminating the sale of Australian assets, though it seems very little action is forthcoming, so lets see if the Kidman Station $365 million sale to Ms. Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and Shanghai CRED passes through our FIRB regulations.   Despite emails and phone calls to our Treasurer Scott Morrison with no response to date, also to other politicians it seems apparent that the deal has been made despite the pleas for communication and information.   Fellow Australians, don’t give up the fight to secure our country’s assets for now and our duty to our future generations to enjoy and prosper with nothing more than the blood, sweat, tears and integrity that have bought us all this far, and need to continue to build this great nation we all call home.    Let us forever hold our Australian head’s very proud and tall indeed. Look at the Data: Family Farms Have a Problem. 2016-10-07T00:50:23Z look-at-the-data-family-farms-have-a-problem Australia’s family farm owners are five times more likely than the average person to still be working over the age of 65, and that could be a problem. Too many family farms are ignoring succession planning and appear unprepared to pass on their business to the next generation.   Without a stronger, more robust, and more human approach to succession planning, we could witness a crisis in the stability of family farms over the next few decades.   So, how big is the problem facing Australian family farms? Consider the following: 99 per cent of Australian farm businesses are family owned and operated, per the National Farmers’ Federation The average working farmer is 52 years of age, 12 years older than the national average for all other workers Up to 42 per cent of existing leaders of Australian family farms have not discussed succession with their spouse, and up to 63 per cent have not discussed succession with their children.   The conclusion you should draw is clear– family farms are getting older yet appear ill-equipped to pass the baton to the next generation. They seem unwilling to start this potentially difficult conversation.   When succession does take place, it is often sloppy, haphazard or sometimes stuck on old stereotypes based on gender; poor succession planning often harms the farming business itself. The Grains Research & Development Corporation reports that “modern estate planning is leading to smaller farms, or farms with heavy debt burdens.” Succession Planning with Education and Compassion Juggling what is equal versus what is fair when thinking about future plans can be a huge obstacle for rural families. In a family business setting, however, equal family treatment can lead to unrealistic expectations among children about income, ownership, distributions, and other perks from the business.   A brilliant article by the Grains Research and Development Corp prompts some excellent starting points for Australian rural families and we could not agree more. In a nutshell: Succession is a journey, there is unlikely to be a distinct line in the sand. Be educated. Don’t rush in blindly, get everyone involved to do some reading or other learning in preparation. Have flexibility, incorporate some what-ifs, some of which will inevitably occur. In addition and probably a surprise to most people, separate the succession process from estate planning.   However the most important item that all family business anecdotes and research agree upon is that it is the people that matter most. Try to discuss wants and needs with guidelines and a framework. Let everyone have a voice. If you need to, get an independent facilitator to help.   “Family is first. You could build a business anytime you want, but to repair the damage of the family takes a lot of time” Rafael Tejeda, CEO and 2nd Gen Grupo Empressarial. Global family business based in Mexico   The best and most compassionate approach is start planning as early as possible to ensure future disagreements do not derail a business that may have been in existence for generations. It is critical that family businesses, especially farming families who seem to want to avoid this, begin talking, educating and preparing all parties for succession planning while well thought-out and fair plans can be made, not after.