Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hunt Blog Newsletter 11 December 2013

“From Little Acorns Mighty Oak Trees Grow”

Walking the Talk
And
The Coalition Government’s White Paper on Agricultural Competitiveness


Congratulations to Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and the National Party for continuing to walk the talk on rural industry issues.

The new government is only into its third month in office and already the National and Liberal Coalition Government has acted in the national interest and blocked the proposed takeover of the agriculture infrastructure company GrainCorp which is so vital to the economic interests of Australia’s grain growers and called for the overdue inquiry into the MLA levy structure.

Free trade negotiations with South Korea and China have also been given priority by the new Coalition Government and the free trade agreement with South Korea was signed four days ago. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

HuntBlog Newsletter 29 November 2013

The Federal Government Protects GrainCorp from Foreign Takeover

Congratulations to Treasurer Joe Hockey, the Coalition Government, the National Party and its leader Warren Truss, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Liberal Party Senator Bill Heffernan in particular, for rejecting the US giant Archer Daniels Midland proposed takeover of GrainCorp in the national interest.

The HuntBlog 8 October 2013 newsletter quoted Barnaby Joyce’s call for all those that supported restraint on overseas takeover of prime agricultural land and infrastructure to make a lot of “noise” and noted that Treasurer Joe Hockey’s decision on the ADM  GrainCorp takeover proposal would be a litmus test of the Coalitions resolve to tighten up Australia’s national interest review of foreign investment in Australia.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

HuntBlog Newsletter 8 October 2013

Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow


Background

A fortnight or so ago, that old warhorse John Carter travelled down to my farm at Robertson on the Southern Highlands of NSW to kindly give me two oak trees that he had carefully propagated from acorns produced from the 2000 odd oak trees that John has planted on his farm at Crookwell in the Southern tablelands of NSW.

Along with the two baby oak trees, John presented me with a photograph of the baby oak trees grandparent which had a 60 m spread.

The two baby oak trees were proudly planted, one (which we have named Anne after John’s wife) in the orchard next to the Pink Lady apple trees and the other down near the cattle yards (where else?) which we of course christened John.

John assures me that the oak trees are quick growers and will reach maturity in the rich Robertson basalt soil within 150 years!

HuntBlog Legal and Market Review

8 October 2013

Supermarket Duopoly and Foreign land Acquisition


          The National Party have put forward concerns about Australia' supermarket duopoly and the acquisition of Australian farming land and agri-businesses by overseas state-owned and state funded companies front and centre in their platform for resurrecting the fortunes of Australia's rural industries.

          This review sets out the background to the duopoly and foreign investment debate and explores some of the issues involved.

Friday, September 20, 2013

HuntBlog Newsletter 20 September 2013


THE CURRENT CATTLE INDUSTRY AND RURAL AND REGIONAL CRISIS
REPRESENTS A CHALLENGE
FOR THE NEW COALITION GOVERNMENT AND THE NATIONAL PARTY
 
Congratulations to the Coalition and the newly elected member for New England Barnaby Joyce on their election victory, and to Barnaby Joyce for his appointment as Minister for Agriculture and as Deputy Leader of the Federal National Party. Congratulations to Warren Truss the leader of the Federal National party for obtaining the important Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
 
The Challenge
 
The Cattle industry is in crisis  and rural and regional Australia has been in long term decline for a decade or two.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Today Tonight Meat Grading Story with Norman Hunt Interview

Norman Hunt recently gave an interview with Today Tonight regarding meat grading in Australia and the retail price of beef which was aired in a segment of their 28 August 2013 show.

You can view the Today Tonight segment and a synopsis of the story here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

BEEF INDUSTRY REFORM and the ROMA - BEEF THE FUTURE FORUM

HuntBlog Newsletter 23 July 2013


BEEF INDUSTRY REFORM
and the
ROMA—BEEF THE FUTURE FORUM

this is an important document that should be read and acted on by all cattle producers who are concerned about the future of their industry

Over 130 cattle producers attended the Roma Forum on 10 July 2013 regarding the debt and profitability crisis facing the Australian beef industry. Presentations were heard from the Australian Beef Association (ABA) and the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) regarding the cattle industry organisational structure reform, as well as a talk on the extent of the current farm debt crisis by Rowel Walton, Chairman of the Rural Debt Roundtable Working Group (RDRWG). 

Friday, June 28, 2013

ABA Takes Lead on Cattle Industry Reform for the Future Whilst CCA Dithers in the Past

Cattle Council Meets with Minister on Restructure Article can be viewed here
ABA Looks to the Future Article can be viewed here
Beef - The Future Forum advertisement can be viewed here

ABA

The Australian Beef Association (ABA) has assumed leadership in the cattle industry reform debate by convening an all inclusive Beef-the Future Forum to discuss solutions to the current cattle industry crisis at the Roma Show Ground on 10 July 2013 whilst the Cattle Council (CCA) dithers on its back to the future restructure process that it launched over eighteen months ago.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

CCA, MLA Levy Grab is Dysfunctional and Divisive

Huntblog Newsletter 13 June 2013 [View Here]
CCA's Levy Grab Leaked [View Here]
CCA Structure Funding Proposal [View Here]
Cattle Council Pitches MLA Levy Funds Grab[View Here]
Cattle Council Restructure Plan Takes Shape [View Here]

Friday, May 31, 2013

Agriculture – Australia’s Next Boom



Journalist Andrew Cornell’s article in today’s Australian Financial Review Magazine "Our Next Boom" makes interesting but challenging reading and can be read here:




The Boom


The “Our Next Boom” article cites the must read October 2012 joint ANZ / Port Jackson Report Issue 3 called “Greener Pastures, The Global Soft Commodity Opportunity for Australia and New Zealand” which can be read at:



and which predicts that Australian agriculture should be the next sector to cash in on the Asia-led growth.  Greener Pastures estimated an additional $710B increase in Australian exports to 2050 with New Zealand also likely to double agricultural exports.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

AUSTRALIA’S 2013 BEEF CATTLE INDUSTRY CRISIS


THE NATURE OF THE CRISIS

It is common ground now that the Australian Beef Cattle Industry is in crisis with cattle producers burdened with an unsustainable level of debt and falling property values receiving record or near record low prices in real terms for their cattle, with many facing forced sale of their assets.

Historical Context of the Current Cattle Crisis

Many, including HuntBlog have compared current cattle prices with 1974 cattle prices, but unlike 1974, there is plenty of US beef quota available to Australian exporters at the moment.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Comments On The Richmond Rural Crisis Summit Resolutions


Congratulations

Congratulations to Bob Katter, the Rural Debt Roundtable Working Group (RDRWG) and the Northern Gulf Graziers’ Group for organising the Beef Crisis Summit held at Richmond 7 May 2013.

A number of resolutions were passed at that meeting calling for a change in direction to ensure the sustainability of Australia’s rural export industries generally and the beef industry in particular.

'AMPG Submission' to Senate Standing Committee on Rural Affairs and Transport (August 2011)

AMPG Submission to the Inquiry into the Role and Effectiveness of Government, MLA, LiveCorp and Relevant Industry Bodies in Improving Animal Welfare Standards in Australia's Live Export Markets (19.8.2011) - view on Hunt Partners' website here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Current Australian Cattle Price Crash is of 1974 Proportions

The Problem

Southern Highlands activist beef producer John Carter describes the current state of the Australian Beef Industry as the worst he has seen in his fifty-seven years in the industry.

The Australian newspaper covers the current drought and its impact on the cattle industry

View The Australian article 'Drought stalks the land again' (4 May 2013) on The Australian's website here (subscritption required) or at Hunt Partners here (under Rural Debt Crisis - Further Rural Debt Reports).

Yet Another Egyptian Live Export Slaughterhouse Debacle

The repetition of savagery in the slaughter of what are alleged to be Australian cattle in Egypt which is to be shown on the 7.30 Report on Monday 6 May 2013 supports animal welfare groups’ skepticism about the live export industry claims that exporting live animals overseas lifts animal welfare in those destinations.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

AFR articles following-up on Farm Finance package announcement

View the AFR article 'Farmers nationwide in serious trouble' here.

View the AFR article 'A hard line on loans' on Hunt Partners'website here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Congratulations to the Federal Government, Bob Katter and Members of the Rural Debt Roundtable

The Federal Government, Bob Katter and the Members of the Rural Debt Roundtable Working Group and its Chairman Rowell Walton should all be congratulated for the Farm Finance package that was announced over the last weekend in response to the current Rural Debt Crisis.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FARMERS ON THE MARCH OVER RURAL DEBT CRISIS

In the last year there have been a series of Rural meetings called to deal with the potentially calamitous Rural Debt Crisis starting with the meeting organised by the Richmond Mayor John Wharton as a consequence of the forced sale of his Queensland North Western property Runnymede at the middle of last year. This in turn led the convening of a Rural Debt Roundtable meeting by Bob Katter, Treasurer Wayne Swan, Federal Agricultural Minister Joe Ludwig and prominent Queensland pastoralists, in Brisbane in October last year. Reports on the Rural Debt Roundtable meeting can be read here.

The Global Food Forum

The Global Food Forum meeting convened by VISY’s Chairman Anthony Pratt in conjunction with the Australian Newspaper and the Wall Street Journal held in Melbourne on Thursday 18 April 2013 called for a change in approach and policy for Australian Agriculture to take advantage of opportunities arising in Asian food bowl emphasising the need for innovation and a “massive mind set change” so that Australia can see itself in the middle of an Asian region where 6 billion people are making their aspirations come true.

Friday, April 12, 2013

INEPT POLICIES THREATEN FARMING FUTURE: BUSINESS ACADEMIC

A Queensland business academic has pointed the finger at mounting rural debt and ineffective policy decisions as reasons for the failure of the Australian agricultural industry [View Here]

RMAC COMMISSIONS AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF RED MEAT INDUSTRY SERVICE PERFORMANCE

The Red Meat Advisory Council has commissioned agriculture and natural resources consultancy GHD to conduct a sweeping independent review of the performance of the red meat & livestock industry [View Here]

NAPCo reports loss of $5.68m for year, as dry bites

Mandatory financial reporting provided to the market by one of the North Australian Pastoral Company's largest shareholders reveals a tougher 12 months for one of the nation's larger corporate-scale beef producers.

Read the Beef Central article here.

INDUSTRY FAILURE: INCREASING CATTLE PROPERTY DEBT AND FALLING VALUES

The Land newspaper has reported a major recapitalisation of the agricultural industry as two properties in the Northern Territory and Queensland, representing a $50 milllion debt, have been placed into receivership [View Here]

Thursday, April 11, 2013

$5/kg liveweight for cattle observed in Chinese market visit

Liveweight cattle prices of $5/kg and carcass prices of $9.50/kg were just some of the startling observations seen during a recent agricultural study tour to China.

Read the Beef Central article here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

COLLAPSE OF AUSTRALIAN CATTLE PRICES

Australian real cattle prices have crashed to unsustainable levels while overseas producers are enjoying record highs.

BEEF 2015 & BEYOND - CATTLE COUNCIL STRUCTURAL REFORM


For the last 18 months the Cattle Council of Australia has been struggling to find a solution for its funding needs and the need to develop a reformed structural model to deliver  long term sustainable national representation for Australian grass fed producers.

DRAMATIC DROP IN U.S. BEEF PRODUCTION FORECAST

An article by Jon Condon reveals a decrease of 0.9% (505,000 tonnes) in the projected US domestic beef production for the remainder of 2013 [View Here]

CATTLE CATCHMENT AREA FOR MSA GRADE BEEF VASTLY EXPANDED

Jon Condon reports that beef transported for 48 hours from property of origin to slaughter will now be able to achieve MSA grading, instead of the previous 24 hour limit [View Here]

PUBLIC CONSULTATION OPENS ON NEW CATTLE AND SHEEP WELFARE STANDARDS


The Australian Animal Welfare Strategy has opened public consultation [View Here] on the drafts of the proposed Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for cattle and sheep.