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TAS Country : July 2010
6 Tasmanian Country Friday, July 30, 2010 News Agfest expansion on the cards PLANS: Anthony Coad ANTHONY Coad has been elected chairman of Agfest for a second term. Anthony was appointed to the 2010-2011 Agfest executive this week. ''I started a few things this year that I want to improve on,'' Anthony said. Anthony said he has plenty of goals and am- bitions for next Agfest. ''I'd like to change some things on the physical side of the site to make Agfest better for our exhibitors and our patrons,'' he said. ''We're hoping to create more sites.'' There are 200 exhibitors on the Agfest waiting list, something the executive would like to narrow down. ''We're very happy with that but in one sense we're not happy because we would like to try and ac- commodate everyone,'' An- thony said. There are about 700 sites on the 80ha Carrick Agfest site criss-crossed by nine kilometres of road. The money made by Ru- ral Youth from Agfest goes into organising the next year's event as well as supporting Rural Financi- al Services and rewarding Rural Youth members with training courses. ''We put some of our guys through their fork lift licenses so it makes it easier when the exhibitors turn up with their truck- loads of stuff we can un- load it for them,'' Anthony said. Patrons need more than one day to fully appreciate the magnitude of Agfest, Anthony said. ''If you do Agfest in a day you miss a lot, there's a lot of things you'll miss if you don't walk each street and visit each marquee and each stall,'' he said. Anthony suggested pa- trons start booking accom- modation now. ''I know people who go up each year, when they leave on the Sunday morn- ing they book accommo- dation for the following year,'' he said. Pollution solution in the balance NEED TO KNOW: Federal Climate Change Minister Senator Penny Wong. TFGA matters with Jan Davis Much of the commentary is urban myth --- literally --- and the rest is pretty much wrong.' AS farmers, we always have an eye to the future and a mind on our grand- kids. In thinking globally and acting locally, we all like to think that we will play our part in ensuring we leave the world a better place than what we found it. There's been a lot of hoo-ha about the impact agriculture has on climate change, and specifically though carbon emissions. Much of the commen- tary is urban myth --- literally --- and the rest is pretty much wrong. The carbon accounting rules in the Kyoto proto- col are a case in point --- these include all the emis- sions from agriculture but don't make allowance for any on-farm carbon cap- ture or storage. That's insane --- it is like running your com- pany accounts by only looking at the expenditure and not the income --- of course the picture will look grim! Now that people are bothering to do the re- search there is mounting scientific evidence that farmers are not negatively contributing to climate change when one assesses carbon emissions and the amount of carbon we store, primarily in the ground. Farmers will definitely play our part in making Tasmania carbon neutral at worst, and carbon posi- tive at best. Greater minds than mine are at work to deter- mine exactly where the balance of carbon is at the moment and where it might be in the future. We may already be car- bon positive. That is, we store more carbon than we release. This month Tamar Natural Resource Man- agement (Tamar NRM) re- leased a report indicating that farmers in the Tamar Valley may already be locking up more greenhouse gases than they emit. Of the 17 farms in the study, each had average annual emissions of 1526 tonnes of carbon dioxide but sequestration of 2630 tonnes. The Tamar NRM says the picture may be even better than that because the sequestration sum in- cludes only trees planted after 1990 but does not account for the conser- vation measures that far- mers take in terms of minimum tillage and re- habilitated vegetation. Reafforestation tips the balance even more. Vegetation actively managed for conservation purposes by farmers must be included in the carbon accounting process. In a national carbon market sequestration ac- tivities would be worth dollars and cents to far- mers as an additional in- come stream just for doing what they would have done anyway. It is therefore impera- tive in this election cam- paign that we know the parties' intentions regard- ing carbon accounting and auditing and trading. We have to know the rules --- and we also need to understand that the rules will become the sub- ject of negotiation with the Greens, should they gain the balance of power in the Senate, as is ex- pected. I am far from convinced that a citizens' assembly will add any value to the development of an accept- able carbon regime. I thought the people of Australia made it clear at the last election that they wanted to see some action on this important issue, not just more talk. If you watched Q and A on the ABC on Monday night, I think you would have come away with the view that Penny Wong, Malcolm Turnbull and Christine Milne have most of the bases covered with considerable intellec- tual firepower. A plebiscite of well in- tentioned lay people is hardly going to further elucidate the way for- ward. However, if a citizens' assembly is seen to be part of the solution, we have to be there. The TFGA's position is that as people who work with the climate and the land every day of our lives we have to be involved in this process. We are part of the sol- ution, not part of the problem. We believe there is a future for a revamped Carbon Pollution Re- duction Scheme that re- wards farmers for their carbon emission miti- gation measures and that contains no provisions that would disadvantage them on international markets, particularly as far as their costs of pro- duction are concerned. The issue of carbon res- ponsibility is one of the key political priorities of the 21st century. The TFGA will play its part in putting the pres- sure on the three major political parties to explain Farming misses muster AGRICULTURE has been ignored in Australia's draft national curriculum, anger- ing farmers and educators. The new national cur- riculum for kindergarten to Year 10 excludes agricul- ture as a mandated study. The role of farmers in Australia's settlement gets little mention in the draft history curriculum, yet students are asked to look at farming in medieval Europe and Asia. The senior years' draft curriculum emphasises conflicts over land and water rather than agricul- ture's benefits. Primary Industries Edu- cation Foundation chief executive Ben Stockwin said there was ''bugger all'' mention of agriculture in the curriculum. University deans and agricultural teachers lodged submissions with the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, arguing for more balance and empha- sis on agriculture. The Weekly Times Reaching more country readers THE launch of a new-look Tasmanian Country has been well received by readers and advertisers around the state. And many more Tas- manians will get the new paper in the coming weeks. Davies Brothers Lim- ited, publisher of Tasman- ian Country, in partner- ship with distributor Australia Post, will in- crease the paper's footprint by 5000 copies to 22,000 between now and the end of the year. Circulation manager Bill Roe says the aim is to get the paper to every primary producer in the state. Editor Garry Bailey said the decision to drop the TV guide was more than com- pensated for by a big in- crease in editorial content, particularly the focus on primary industry inno- vators who are putting Tasmania on the world stage. ''Our main purpose is to bring news and features of importance and interest to farmers,'' he said. ''The Mercury has com- prehensive TV listings every day and the E Guide in the Sunday Tasmanian has complete listings for the week.'' Spring Wheat ASW -- July to August sowing Long coleoptile, good vigour, good weed competitor Stem, stripe and leaf rust resistant Good resistance to septoria, blackpoint, yellow spot and powdery mildew High test weight and low screenings o sc ee gs Available through your rural distributor or contact David Rann from Seedmark -- Tasmania on 0437 120 937. RGM/SEE34781 Ruby Spring White Wheat
August 5th 2010