Why farmers love their working dogs



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Calls for grower-funded disaster assistance pool, amid criticism from cyclone-hit farmers


A North Queensland farmer is calling for a national approach to self-funded natural disaster assistance, after waiting two months for aid when his banana crop was wiped out.

Innisfail district grower Ned Di Salvo watched months of work destroyed in a few short hours on March 1, when a system that later became Cyclone Niran unleashed winds of more than 100 kph, smashing farms south of Cairns.

The grower estimates he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of fruit to the cyclonic winds. 

Controversially, there was no warning from the Bureau of Meteorology while the Townsville radar remained offline.

But after waiting until April 30 for Queensland and Australian government grants of $75,000 to be offered, Mr Di Salvo said a better option was needed.

“This is my fifth major wipe-out — I think the government was more forthcoming in all other major cyclones compared to this one,” he said.

With his entire crop wiped out, the Boogan farmer said the labour-intensive clean-up was only half complete, with irrigation repairs still required and no cash flow likely until October.

After experiencing such frustration in the wake of Niran, Mr Di Salvo is proposing a levy system for horticulture in Australia to insure against future disasters and bureaucratic delays.

“Whether it be here, Mareeba, down in Victoria, around Australia there could be a pool of money always available for growers to come back after natural disasters,” he said.

In the 1960s, Carnarvon in Western Australia was hit by natural disasters, leading the state government to establish a trust fund with the industry to provide compensation in the event of a 15 per cent or greater loss.

Sweeter Banana Co-Operative CEO Doriana Mangili said the voluntary system worked as a self-funded insurance program, and was premium-free for members.

“We calculate the production of the farm, measured twice annually, the hectares you have in, the tonnes per hectare times the amount of damage and there’s a payout based on that formula,” she said.

With a crop taking up to 18 months to recover in cooler Western Australia, the compensation was greatly appreciated by growers last year when ex-Tropical Cyclone Mangga caused 15 to 20 per cent losses in the region.

Ms Mangili said the model should be considered nationally with predictions of increased climate risks for farmers.

The widening geographical spread of the industry increased the potential sustainability of such a fund in the face of regional wipeouts, she said.

The federal government recently announced a reinsurance pool for northern Australia in the face of perceived market failure and sky-high insurance premiums for the tropics.

With advocates maintaining a similar issue exists for agricultural industries, governments are being urged to consider extending similar help.

“There probably is a role … when private insurance is impossible, for government to step in and help – and for growers to help themselves by agreeing to support it as well,” Ms Mangili said.

Thank you for dropping in to My Local Pages and checking this post regarding “News & What’s On in Brisbane” titled “Calls for grower-funded disaster assistance pool, amid criticism from cyclone-hit farmers”. This news update was brought to you by MyLocalPages as part of our Australian events & what’s on local stories services.

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Jan Powers Farmers Markets – Manly


Date & time

Sat 29 May 2021
6:00am to 12:00pm

Add to Calendar
2021-05-29 06:00
2021-05-29 12:00
Australia/Brisbane
Jan Powers Farmers Markets – Manly
The waterfront markets are held on the first and third Saturday of each month within the lush greenery of Little Bayside Park and against the beautiful backdrop of Manly Harbour.

Bask in the warm Queensland sunshine and enjoy the gentle bay breezes as you wander through a vibrant mini-village of fresh produce, delicious food and carefully crafted treats.

Mobile kitchens and food truck operators serve up snacks, meals, coffees and smoothies with a warm smile and friendly greeting to regular customers and first-time visitors alike.

Dogs are more than welcome to join their owners on a Saturday morning stroll through the bayside markets.
Little Bayside Park, 42 Fairlead Crescent, Manly

Similar events

Age

All ages

Cost

Free

Jan Powers Farmers Markets – Manly

The waterfront markets are held on the first and third Saturday of each month within the lush greenery of Little Bayside Park and against the beautiful backdrop of Manly Harbour.

Bask in the warm Queensland sunshine and enjoy the gentle bay breezes as you wander through a vibrant mini-village of fresh produce, delicious food and carefully crafted treats.

Mobile kitchens and food truck operators serve up snacks, meals, coffees and smoothies with a warm smile and friendly greeting to regular customers and first-time visitors alike.

Dogs are more than welcome to join their owners on a Saturday morning stroll through the bayside markets.

Bookings

No bookings required.

Venue

Little Bayside Park, 42 Fairlead Crescent, Manly

Thanks for dropping by and checking this news article regarding “What’s On in the City of Brisbane” named “Jan Powers Farmers Markets – Manly”. This post was shared by My Local Pages as part of our QLD holiday news services.

#Jan #Powers #Farmers #Markets #Manly



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Duck hunting season should be longer to combat crop damage, say Victorian farmers


Farmers and hunters are calling for an extension to the Victorian duck hunting season, claiming certain species are detrimental to crops and waterways and need to be controlled.

This season runs from 8:00am today and will conclude in 20 days, down from the usual 12 weeks, with a bag limit of five listed game ducks per day.

Wayne Shields grows leafy greens on the Mornington Peninsula and he said the decision to reduce the duck hunting season this year was naive and would take a toll on farmers.

“Everyone likes ducks, I thought they were pretty and great but then I just started to see the numbers explode,” he said.

“The wood ducks are the ones causing all of the damage, the black ducks are quite benign and no problem around here. But the wood ducks move in by the hundreds and they’re really quite prolific.”

“To me, it’s a nightmare because the buggers come in at night and they just mow and clean me out completely and they’ve done it a number of times over a number of years.”

Mr Shields and his wife, Natasha, run Peninsula Fresh Organics and he said there was nothing he could do to stop the invasion.

Due to the damage caused by wood ducks, Mr Shields said there should be a year-round open season on the breed and farmers should be allowed to shoot birds if required to address infestations on productive land. 

“I don’t know why we can’t just get their numbers down across the board and let the other ducks come back a bit,” he said.

“[Wood ducks] highly pollute regional waterways too … on our dam banks it’s terrible, I’ve got to have reasonably clean water to grow my vegies and they’re an issue.

Wood ducks cause extra damage to crops during full moons, as they are known to graze in large numbers all night.

Gary Howard is with Field and Game Australia and he said farmers regularly asked him to help control wood duck numbers on their properties and the bag limit for the breed should be extended.

“In extreme cases, I’ve seen numbers close to 200. But on average a mob of wood ducks is in the order of 40 or 50, and if the food is there that they want to chase the mob gets bigger,” he said.

Mr Howard said the species were optimistic breeders.

“Even if two or three hunters go shooting 10 to 15 birds for the day you’re not reducing the numbers,” he said.

Wood ducks and teal ducks are identified in the Victorian Game Management Authority’s (GMA) 2020 Aerial Survey to have higher than average abundances on small farm dams compared with other game species.

Professor Richard Kingsford, Director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science at UNSW, said although wood ducks inhabited farm dams and ate crops, extending the duck season may not achieve what farmers wanted.

“There are so many farm dams spread over the landscape that wood ducks can move from one dam to another, and the actual duck hunting that occurs tends to happen on large wetlands and less so on farms,” he said.

“Wood ducks aren’t doing that well on the large wetlands and that’s because we’re having less flooding on those wetlands so there’s less habitat for them there.

Professor Kingsford is calling on the government to invest more in research to address the threat certain species of waterbirds caused for some farmers, so non-lethal alternatives to destroying the birds were easily accessible and effective.

A family of wood ducks

Thank you for visiting My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed checking out this article regarding “What’s On in Mornington” called “Duck hunting season should be longer to combat crop damage, say Victorian farmers”. This news update was brought to you by My Local Pages Australia as part of our Mornington local stories aggregator services.

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Celebrate bees at the Capital Region Farmers Market on Saturday




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Celebrate bees at the Capital Region Farmers Market on Saturday
“. This post was brought to you by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local events & news services.

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Scenic Rim farmers change tack towards tourism as ‘green drought’ sees dam levels plummet


Drought has gripped agricultural land west of Brisbane for years, but to the untrained eye, it can be hard to see.

Scenic Rim Lucerne co-owner Russell Jenner said there was “not good moisture under the ground”.

“It’s just green on top from people irrigating and the bit of rain we’ve had,” he said.

Moogerah Dam, near Boonah, is currently at 13.2 per cent, down from nearly 15 per cent in January.

The dam hasn’t been that low since just before the Millennium drought broke in 2008.

Once the water level reaches 7.5 per cent, no farmers will be allowed to draw water for irrigation.

‘A green drought’

Bunjurgen Vineyard owner David McMaugh said bore water would run out soon and could not be relied on.

His was already gone, and grapevines are thirsty plants.

“You must never get to a stage where the bore becomes dry, otherwise no water will flow into it,” he said.

“So you have to scale back the amount of water that you draw out and we’ve got to the stage that that’s been reached so we’re dependent on what falls out of the sky.

“If you were to scan around this country and people might say, ‘Oh well, it looks pretty green, everything’s OK,’ — it’s not really.

Lake Moogerah water levels in 2020.(

Wikimedia Commons

)

Scenic Rim Lucerne co-owner Jenny Jenner said La Niña, a Pacific Ocean weather event that brings wetter weather, had not done enough to replenish bore water or refill dams around the region.

“The La Niña’s failed us in the Fassifern and Lockyer valleys,” she said.

“We just haven’t had any decent rain this summer to put in Moogerah Dam — a lot of people’s dams are empty.

“There’s a good percentage of farmers who will not be able to produce what they normally do and that goes for vegetables, fodder crops, cattle, anything like that.

“Once the water runs out of the area, which happened about 15 years ago, the town sort of tends to die a little bit because the farmers can’t produce as much produce.”

The Jenners will struggle to grow their main crop of lucerne hay and Mr Jenner said it would dramatically lower their production.

“Only limited amount with the bore water — not the whole farm — a lot of the farm won’t have a thing on it at all,” he said.

Two farmers smile in a paddock.
Lucerne farmers Jenny and Russell Jenner at their Scenic Rim property.(

ABC News: Jim Malo

)

The Jenners and the rest of the farmers in the region are facing a year with no water at all.

Ms Jenner said he was hoping the state government had learnt from the last drought and built more water storage.

“I wish the government had more foresight to put in more water storage,” she said.

“What we really need in the produce producing areas is more water security and we need the governments to do that.”

A field of purple flowers.
A field on the Jenner’s property in Queensland’s Scenic Rim.(

ABC News: Jim Malo

)

Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) water policy adviser Sharon McIntosh said the state government should have spent the drought-free years preparing more water storage, be it a new dam or allowing farmers to store water more easily on their farms.

She said climate change meant droughts would become worse and more frequent — so the time to act was yesterday.

“There is some slow traction happening in government in regard to climate change, however I think there still is a lot of headway that needs to be done in incorporating climate change into policy, especially water,” Ms McIntosh said.

Ms McIntosh said the rebates and concessions on utilities offered to farmers in drought affected regions must continue.

Farmers pivot to diversify farms, tourism bid

A spokesman for Queensland Water Minister Glenn Butcher said water providers were consulting with farmers about how to improve water security and were providing support by increasing usable water allocations and giving utilities concessions to drought declared areas.

The farmers were being tided over by the support of tourists and shoppers, encouraged by state government programs, and diversification of their farms.

Since lucerne would not do well without irrigation, the Jenners had decided to pivot to something less water intensive.

“Basically you can grow dry-land sunflowers — we haven’t irrigated them at all. We have been lucky because we’ve had a bit of rain,” Ms Jenner said.

“When they flower, everybody who drives through town will be able to see them and they’ll make everybody happy as sunflowers do, but also create and event for the town so the businesses can enjoy some tourism coming in.”

A watering system over a farm.
Irrigation infrastructure over the Jenner’s sunflower farm.(

ABC News: Jim Malo

)

The flowers would not be for eating, but for a festival.

Ms Jenner said she hoped to sell dinners among the flowers, yoga classes, helicopter rides, and more at the Kalbar Sunshine and Sunflowers Day to help them through an otherwise tight year.

Mr McMaugh was complimentary of the state government’s ‘Go Local, Grow Local’ campaign and the relaxing of regulations that allowed him to sell his wine in the Scenic Rim Farm Box.

But he said the best help when the future was so uncertain was a visit and a smile.

“That activity has a big morale boost on people out here when they come out here, and they’re positive and they want to buy something, and there’s an opportunity for some social value there, which is difficult to quantify,” Mr McMaugh said.

Dry Lake Moogerah at 13.3 per cent capacity near Boonah in south-west Queensland.
Farmers in the region are facing a year with no water at all.(

Supplied: Seqwater

)

Thank you for reading this post involving current Queensland News titled “Scenic Rim farmers change tack towards tourism as ‘green drought’ sees dam levels plummet”. This post was posted by My Local Pages as part of our national news services.

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Jan Powers Farmers Markets – Manly


Date & time

Sat 15 May 2021
6:00am to 12:00pm

Add to Calendar
2021-05-15 06:00
2021-05-15 12:00
Australia/Brisbane
Jan Powers Farmers Markets – Manly
The waterfront markets are held on the first and third Saturday of each month within the lush greenery of Little Bayside Park and against the beautiful backdrop of Manly Harbour.

Bask in the warm Queensland sunshine and enjoy the gentle bay breezes as you wander through a vibrant mini-village of fresh produce, delicious food and carefully crafted treats.

Mobile kitchens and food truck operators serve up snacks, meals, coffees and smoothies with a warm smile and friendly greeting to regular customers and first-time visitors alike.

Dogs are more than welcome to join their owners on a Saturday morning stroll through the bayside markets.
Little Bayside Park, 42 Fairlead Crescent, Manly

Similar events

Age

All ages

Cost

Free

Jan Powers Farmers Markets – Manly

The waterfront markets are held on the first and third Saturday of each month within the lush greenery of Little Bayside Park and against the beautiful backdrop of Manly Harbour.

Bask in the warm Queensland sunshine and enjoy the gentle bay breezes as you wander through a vibrant mini-village of fresh produce, delicious food and carefully crafted treats.

Mobile kitchens and food truck operators serve up snacks, meals, coffees and smoothies with a warm smile and friendly greeting to regular customers and first-time visitors alike.

Dogs are more than welcome to join their owners on a Saturday morning stroll through the bayside markets.

Bookings

No bookings required.

Venue

Little Bayside Park, 42 Fairlead Crescent, Manly

Thank you for visiting My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed checking out this story regarding “What’s On in the City of Brisbane” titled “Jan Powers Farmers Markets – Manly”. This news article was brought to you by My Local Pages as part of our holiday events and news aggregator services.

#Jan #Powers #Farmers #Markets #Manly



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Budget 2021 backs jobs, mental health and farmers in Queensland but misses support for social housing and tourism


But like so many others facing the regional rental crisis, the budget has provided no new hope for the central Queensland family-of-seven’s need for long-term accommodation.

“When you’ve got children and looking at remnants of a house packed up in containers and boxes, it’s sad for us,” Ms Bath said. 

The family has been forced to live with relatives while they wait for an affordable rental or social housing.

Ms Bath said she had been approved for social housing about three months ago but has been told there was a nine-year waitlist.  

“I was willing to put seven people in a two-bedroom flat, that’s how bad it is,” she said. 

“Like who has got $650 a week to rent a home?” 

Thank you for visiting My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed checking this news update involving “What’s On in the City of Brisbane” named “Budget 2021 backs jobs, mental health and farmers in Queensland but misses support for social housing and tourism “. This post was shared by My Local Pages Australia as part of our QLD events and what’s on news services.

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Farmers pin hopes on double strength bait to overcome devastating mouse plague


Mouse bait manufacturers have been given permission to double the lethality of their products in a big win for grain producers.

Mouse plagues can have a devastating impact on farmers, affecting crops and feed grain stocks.

That has been the case this season in parts of New South Wales, where shocking vision has emerged of mice in plague proportions.

Zinc phosphide-coated wheat bait is commonly used on farms, but research shows it is only lethal in 50 per cent of mice.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority has issued a permit allowing the concentration of zinc phosphide in bait to be increased from 25 to 50 milligrams per kilogram.

Grain Producers Australia applied for the increase after research by the CSIRO showed the benefits of a higher concentration.

Group chairman and Wimmera farmer Andrew Weidemann said it was commonsense and welcome news for all farmers.

“We want to eradicate them as quickly as we can because socially they’re a problem as well, for households, sporting clubs, townships — wherever there are mice, there are problems.”

Mr Weidemann said the research on increasing zinc phosphide concentration began after feedback from farmers.

“During the mouse plague about three years ago, there were farmers suggesting the bait wasn’t working and they were having to bait paddocks two, three times, sometimes up to five times.”

CSIRO researcher Steve Henry led the bait efficacy study, which highlighted the issue of anti-feeding behaviour.

He said bait prepared at the new mixing rate would be critical to all mice, while the previous mixing rate was only lethal in 50 per cent of mice.

“It’s critical that every grain of bait represents a lethal dose,” he said.

“Our lab research has shown that mice rapidly develop an aversion to the bait, meaning that if they do not consume a lethal dose from one grain of bait, they will not consume any more toxic grain.”

Mr Henry told the ABC Landline program last month that “One of my colleagues calls it ‘the dodgy-curry effect’.

Research shows there is no improved mouse control from increasing the bait rate per hectare, because of anti-feeding behaviour.

Therefore, Mr Henry said the only way to increase control was to increase the zinc phosphide concentration per kilogram of bait.

Mr Weidemann said doubling the potency of zinc phosphide bait was particularly important because there are no alternatives for eradicating mice.

“There’s nothing on the radar in terms of any other control measure, so we have to maximise the current tools we’ve got, and by going this pathway, I feel this will service the industry very well for at least the next 10 or 15 years,” he said.

The double-strength bait is expected to be available to farmers within a fortnight.

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Farmers spending up big on back of budget tax incentives


Good seasonal conditions and strong commodity prices had already loaded the gun in a farm spending frenzy, but the federal government’s investment incentives pulled the trigger.

The shopping spree has left the yards and showrooms of machinery dealerships bare, while silo manufactures can’t find enough staff to meet demand and shed builders are flat out keeping up with orders.

Between 2019 and 2020, NAB’s financing for agricultural equipment grew by 130 per cent, and data from the bank’s entire business customer base shows tractors and irrigation equipment topped the list, beating out forklifts and coffee machines.

“But there are a lot of unknowns. The difficulties and challenges of COVID-19 mean stock can wait on docks much longer and we’re still feeling the impact of the Suez Canal blockage.

“Farmers generally have two lists — a shopping list and a wish list. And because of these government incentives they’ve bought their shopping list purchases forward and they’ve been able to dig into the wish list.

“Factory orders for tractors manufactured in Australia and overseas have blown out from six months to 12 months and the demand is coming from farmers who’ve seen the financial advantage from these tax incentives.”

Last year, the government expanded the instant asset write off by lifting the value of eligible assets from $30,000 to $150,000 and the businesses that could use it from those with an annual turnover of less than $50 million, up to $500 million.

It meant businesses could claim an immediate deduction for an asset purchased between March 12 and December 31, 2020, with an additional six months to first use or install that asset.

In its economic-support package for COVID-19, the government also introduced Backing Business Investment  which gave businesses more options for deprecating assets faster than usual.

Then, in last year’s federal budget the government introduced temporary full expensing, which allowed businesses to fully depreciate an eligible asset in a single tax year from October 2020 to June 2022.

“”A trucking company will be able to upgrade its fleet, a farmer will be able to purchase a new harvester, and a food manufacturing business will be able to expand its production line,” Treasurer Josh Frydenburg said in his budget speech last year.

Western Victorian lamb producer Tim Leeming installed an undercover sheep yard at one of his properties in 2018.

The roof meant working with his livestock could carry on rain, hail, or shine, in much better conditions than would otherwise be the case in heavy rain or intense sun.

Plans to build more were brought forward last year.

“Having those tax incentives allowed us to accelerate some of the projects we had in our plans for our farming business,” Mr Leeming said.

“And that stimulated a lot of our local economy with builders, shed builders, and concreters. It was a real boost to our local and regional economy.”

Mr Leeming plans to use the temporary full expensing measure on the new sheds, which would previously have been depreciated over many years.

But RSM Australia associate director Tracey Dunn has been concerned with the amount of advertising pushing farm business to “take advantage” of these incentives.

“The concern comes from the lack of tax expertise that these businesses [possess while] promoting ‘buy now’ and ‘make the most of this measure’,” Ms Dunn said.

“Unless you know exactly the circumstances of that client or that taxpayer, you don’t know what the outcome is going to be.”

Ms Dunn “reads tax legislation for fun” and does not find any joy in the complexity of the legislation behind the federal government’s investment incentives.

“We not only have the instant asset write off, the Backing Business Investment measure, and temporary full expensing, but they come in at different timelines.”

Ms Dunn said farm businesses structured as a trust may also run into issues.

“If [a trust] uses the full deprecation of an asset, or the instant asset write off, it might end up declaring a loss,” she said.

“If there is a loss in the trust, and the trust has investment assets that are generating franked income, the franking credits will be lost and the beneficiaries will miss out.”

In addition, when the depreciated assets are sold later on, the entire proceeds of the sale will count as income, and businesses could face hefty tax bills.

“If the business is having a difficult year, that could cause issues,” Ms Dunn said.

Thank you for dropping in to My Local Pages and checking out this story regarding “What’s On in the Ballarat Region called “Farmers spending up big on back of budget tax incentives”. This news update was brought to you by My Local Pages as part of our local stories aggregator services.

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