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TAS Country : August 26th 2010
20 Tasmanian Country Friday, August 27, 2010 News Wiltshire Horn theft fleeces breeder FURIOUS: Oldina sheep farmer Dave Reid. Picture: CHRIS KIDD You never know, it could be your stock next, so it's good to keep an eye on what's happening around you.' KAROLIN MacGREGOR THE theft of 27 sheep from an Oldina property in the North-West has an- gered Wiltshire Horn breeder Dave Read. Mr Reid, who has been breeding Wiltshires for about four years, came home from an interstate holiday last month to find the sheep gone. The sheep had been seen on a neighbouring property a few days before he left, but disappeared be- tween June 30 and mid-July. He said he became suspicious that the sheep may have been stolen after his neighbours, who had rounded up their own flock of wool sheep for shearing during that period, had been unable to find any trace of the Wiltshires on their property. ''I'm just so angry and really sad about it because it's taken me four years to breed these sheep and now a third of my flock is gone,'' Mr Reid said. He said he suspected it may be local people involved with the theft after the disappearance of sheep from around the area on two other occasions. ''They must have known that I was away on holidays, which is terrible to think it may be someone in this area that is behind it,'' Mr Reid said. Wiltshire Horns are a shedding meat breed of sheep and are not all that common in Tasmania. Mr Reid suspects his sheep may be kept or sold for breeding purposes. The missing sheep, which were ear- tagged, include a fully mature horned ram, a couple of wethers and the rest were in-lamb ewes that also have horns. ''It's not only the loss of those breeding stock and their genetics, but with lambs worth between $100 and $150 at the moment it's also a signifi- cant loss of cash flow out of my business,'' Mr Reid said. ''If this was a shop or something and they'd had a third of their business stolen, people would be jumping up and down about.'' He is encouraging farmers around the state to keep an eye out for the sheep. ''There aren't that many Wiltshire breeders in the state, so I'm hoping if someone sees a mob of them that look like they could be similar to mine arrive on their neighbour's place or something, they might be able to help,'' Mr Reid said. He said he would be prepared to cover the cost of DNA testing to determine if any sheep found are his. The theft has been reported to the police, and Sergeant Tony Stewart from the Wynyard Police Station said there had also been a theft of a smaller number of sheep in the Oldina area. This prompted police to ask locals about possible suspicious vehicles or activities in the region. Sgt Stewart said it was important that landowners kept an eye out for any suspicious activity and contacted police. ''In a rural area most people know who would normally be picking up stock from their neighbours, so if they do see something out of the ordinary it would be good if they could make some inquiries, or write down a registration number if they don't want to get involved,'' he said. ''You never know, it could be your stock next, so it's good to keep an eye on what's happening around you.'' Sgt Stewart said the fact that Mr Reid's were an unusual breed of sheep may help in their recovery. Livestock agents in the area have also been notified of the theft, in case the sheep are sold through a saleyard. Anyone who may have information about either theft is encouraged to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Wynyard Police Station. $1.2b deal set to give AWB Canadian flavour REGRETS: Mark Hoskinson is saddened by sale. AWB Limited is expected to fall into Canadian hands for $1.237 billion, unless a new counter-bid comes from left field. It is understood GrainCorp will not increase its bid for AWB, paving the way for the former monopoly wheat marketer to recommend to its shareholders to accept the offer from Canadian fertiliser company Agrium Inc. Agrium submitted a formal bid for AWB last Friday after completing its due diligence on the Australian marketer's finances in less than a week. The fertiliser retail giant is offering $1.50 in cash for each AWB share --- about 50 per cent higher than GrainCorp's bid. Agrium president and chief executive Mike Wilson said last week the takeover provided ''significant strategic and financial benefits to a wide array of stakeholders''. ''We are particularly excited about the future of working with AWB employees to reinvest in the business and bring a greater choice of products and services to AWB's grower customer base,'' he said. The AWB board refrained from making a rec- ommendation to its shareholders on Agrium's formal bid last week because it had to give GrainCorp three days' notice of any change to the previous recommendation in favour of the deal struck on July 30 with the bulk handler. The board was to meet this week to discuss both the Agrium and GrainCorp offers and was expected to recom- mend that shareholders accept the Canadian bid. NSW Farmers Association grains committee chair- man Mark Hoskinson said it was ''pretty regretful'' that the AWB business, which was set up for wheat growers, would be sold to Canadian interests. ''AWB has now been sold to a Canadian company operating in a country which still has a single desk [for wheat] and we let ours go,'' he said. But he said the controversial restructure of AWB two years ago had made it ''ripe for a takeover''. Agrium has made it clear it is mostly interested in the Landmark service business, which would fit into its global business of selling fertiliser and crop protection products. There was speculation that GrainCorp was trying to cut its way into the Canadian takeover play by offering to buy any discarded assets not wanted by Agrium. The Weekly Times RGM/GRT34910 www.greenham.com.au On behalf of Greenham Tasmania Register now for a free MSA workshop 10am Thursday, September 16 2010 at Winnaleah Football Club. • Analysis of Greeenham Tasmania's compliance to MSA • Understand MSA feedback • Identify compliance issues • Identify performance indicators • Benchmark your results To register your interest please contact Graeme Pretty 0418 505 347 or the plant 03 6452 2704. MSA feedback: The next step Dairy group condemns price cuts A GROUP of Murray Goulburn dairy farmer suppliers claims it will be paid up to 6 cents a litre less for their milk than other suppliers under the co- operative's new payment system. Murray Goulburn has agreed to pay farmers a price premium to deliver a flat supply of milk across the year, rather than the traditional seasonal milk supply spike. Earlier this month, a group of 15 South Gippsland dairy farmers con- demned the payment system. The group said it would take at least three years to move from seasonal to flat production. But since then the group has grown and News Limited understands an- other 25 suppliers have left MG since the start of last month. One supplier said it was ''a sad day for the Victorian dairy industry when management of a major co-operative has to resort to underpaying 70 per cent of its suppliers by 1-1.5c/litre, just so they can award 30 per cent of suppliers 2-3c/litre more''. Cashflow estimates generated by the co-operative show a 200-cow farm calving from July 1 on the traditional system would receive 36.4c/litre with four step-ups. In contrast, a 300-cow farm under the domestic payment system calving from February 1 with four step-ups would receive 45.5c/litre. That is a difference of 9.1c/litre. Suppliers said the difference be- tween these two dairy farms under the previous payment system was only 3c/litre. The Gippsland farmers said they would stick with MG but they called on management to ''make change or be changed''. The Weekly Times
August 19th 2010
September 2nd 2010