Going with grain - role of cereals in Tas ag up for discussion
Author: Sharon Watt | Date: 22 Aug 2016
The importance of grain in Tasmania’s future agricultural and economic landscape will be at the core of discussions and debate at a key farm business forum in Launceston next month.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is hosting the State’s annual Farm Business Update on August 10, and headlining the event will be Australian Farm Institute executive director Mick Keogh.
Mr Keogh, who is also the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's first ever agricultural commissioner, will provide insight on Britain’s exit from the European Union and the implications for Tasmania, and in particular the local grains industry.
GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley, of Conara, says this year’s Farm Business Update at The Tramsheds will tackle some of the major issues facing Tasmanian grain growers.
“Tasmanian farmers have seen a lot of change during the past decade, with the poppy bubble bursting and a near doubling of input costs.
“Ten years ago the future for farmers in Tasmania looked completely different to what it does now – the reality has been a steady above-trend growth in land values, matched by the rise and subsequent decline in the poppy industry,” Mr Pengilley says.
“Now growers are again looking at cereal crops and the good returns they currently offer.”
Mr Pengilley says that while cereal crops are an appealing option, any decision to move into grain production comes with plenty of questions around harvest logistics, machinery options and for some growers, even deciding if continuing to farm at all is the right choice.
“The program and structure for this year’s Launceston Farm Business Update will allow farmers to benefit from the combined experience of fellow growers and professional advisers by engaging in open, facilitated discussion on these challenging subjects.”
This year’s event will involve an evolved engagement format, where four topics will be briefly covered before delegates choose which two topics they wish to “dig deeper” into during facilitated sessions of their peers and advisers.
The Farm Business Updates are an initiative of the GRDC Southern Regional Panel and since their inception they have played a successful role in enhancing growers’ knowledge and understanding of significant farm business issues.
Keith Pengilley, GRDC Southern Panel
Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
David Bone, ORM
0407 111 630