Home' TAS Country : March 27th 2015 Contents 04 TASMANIAN COUNTRY, Friday, March 27, 2015
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A MAP showing potential new areas
for leatherwood honey production
could lead to pure liquid gold for
Tasmania’s commercial apiarists.
Produced by Forestry Tasmania, the
map shows beekeepers are using just
over half of the state’s potential
leatherwood production areas.
Tasmanian Beekeepers Association
president Lindsay Bourke said if it was
correct, the map could be a major boost
for the state’s leatherwood industry.
“ It would be absolutely wonderful if
it is true,” he said. “We were at
saturation point with the areas we use,
so if there are new areas we can access,
it would be very significant.”
The map includes areas on private
properties, Forestry land and in areas
managed by Parks and Wildlife.
Mr Bourke praised Forestry for
producing the map and said the main
issue now would be if and how the new
areas would be accessible to beekeepers
Beekeepers operating in the
leatherwood areas of the West Coast
must have a minimum 3km buffer
between existing and new hive sites.
Mr Bourke said most of the state’s
commercial honey producers would
struggle to fill their orders this season,
so any increases in production were
welcome. Demand for leatherwood
honey is particularly strong.
new high in
A TASMANIAN beef and
sheep producer says he is more
positive than ever about the
future, and his comment ech-
oes a national farmer survey.
The upswing in sentiment is
a response to factors including
a lower dollar, the global mar-
ket outlook and stronger com-
modity prices, which have
lifted Tasmanians’ confidence
to its highest level in 14 years.
Forcett farmer Brad Grat-
tidge said the outlook for beef
and lamb was exceptionally
promising: “It’s the most confi-
dent I have ever been. Demand
has also been helped by the
situation in the US, which is
struggling to rebuild its herd.”
He said agricultural tourism
was also showing promise with
consumers wanting to know
where their food comes from.
Agribusiness bank Rabob-
ank’s state manager Greg Bott
said he knew confidence levels
were rising but he was a little
surprised that his company’s
recent national survey had
found confidence so high.
Tasmanian Farmers and
Graziers Association president
Wayne Johnston said agricul-
ture was proving to be an econ-
omic pillar for Tasmanians to
“Farmers are making the
most of their opportunities,
with irrigation proving a game
changer,” Mr Johnston said.
“Foreign investment is
encouraged with people look-
ing to expand and diversify.”
Confidence rose strongly in
every state, with sentiment in
Tasmania leading the pack and
NSW at a seven-year high.
Fruit Growers Tasmania
business development man-
ager Phil Pyke said irrigation
investment, benefits of the
Korea and China free trade
agreements and strong seasons
for apple, cherry and berry
growers had contributed.
“We believe the confidence
is underpinned by a more col-
laborative approach between
the State Government, indus-
try bodies and growers [but]
this needs to be much stronger
at the federal level around
regional differentiation and
improved market access,” Mr
Mr Bott said many factors
were working in favour of
farmers and there was a feeling
the future was bright.
“This is reflected in strong
investment interest from over-
seas and public and private
investment in new irrigation
schemes. The State Govern-
ment also has an increased
focus on agriculture,” he said.
While global dairy prices
have been fairly lacklustre,
farmgate prices have remained
Beef prices have been trad-
ing around record levels, while
lamb prices remain strong.
Conditions were also reason-
able in the vegetable sector.
& GPA TRAY
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