Cropping overtook beef and cattle as the most valuable agricultural export sector in 2016/17, thanks to a 49 per cent increase in production offsetting low export prices for wheat and coarse grains.
According to Rural Bank’s 2016/17 Australian Agriculture Trade Performance report, the total value of Australia’s agri-food exports has increased for the seventh consecutive year, up by $3.9 billion to almost $50 billion.
The Federal Government has announced the start of the review of the Wheat Port Code (Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct). The current review will consider the use and access to port terminal services in the past three years and if the regulation should be retained, repealed or amended, and the timing of these actions.
Australia exported 22.06 million tonnes of wheat valued at $6.09 billion in 2016/17. To remain internationally competitive it is critical that ports around Australia operate efficiently and don’t add unnecessary costs to the freight of grain.
3. Grain farm productivity stalled by poor internet and mobile connectivity
GrainGrowers has released the full results of a telecommunications survey of more than 600 growers which has reinforced the view in regional Australia that there is room for much improvement in connectivity and accessibility of mobile and internet services.
David McKeon, CEO, said the survey showed that poor telecommunications services remained a major impediment to farm operations in grain growing regions.
“The implications of poor connectivity and mobile service revealed by our survey are significant and directly impact on business productivity and performance as well as the safety of workers in remote areas in emergency situations.”
4. Grains Innovation Tour connects policy-makers and industry
GrainGrowers last month hosted 25 policy professionals from the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the National Farmers’ Federation on the annual Grains Innovation Tour in southern New South Wales.
The tour focussed on connecting government decision-makers with the farmers, bulk handlers, processors, and agricultural researchers who are in the forefront of grains sector innovation.
The visit sparked plenty of subsequent discussion within the group about the Australian vegetable oil industry, including the “type” of oil that Australia consumes, and the “origin” of that oil.
GrainGrowers’ Trade and Economics Manager, Luke Mathews, has put together a report on the Australian vegetable oil industry which highlights this dynamic sector with its multitude of oil types, oil origins, oil customers and end-users.