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TAS Country : September 16th 2010
14 Tasmanian Country Friday, September 17, 2010 TFGA Aussie dollar takes farmers on wild ride AUSTRALIA'S farmers are at the mercy of cur- rency speculators who are taking the Australian dollar and farm export returns for a wild ride, the National Farmers' Federation says. The dollar has surged during the past week to reach a five-month high this week of almost US93.6c. ''It's getting harder and harder to anticipate and account for exchange rate movements,'' NFF econ- omics manager Charlie McElhone said. ''Since the global finan- cial crisis, it's become clear speculators are hav- ing a significant impact on international markets, including the Australian dollar.'' Mr McElhone said there had been massive turbulence in currency markets during the past two years, with the dollar falling from US90c in August 2008 to US63c in March last year before rising above US90c again. Meat and Livestock Australia chief econom- ist Tim McRae said beef exporters were finding things difficult, with the high dollar ''significantly eroding'' export returns. The Weekly Times Farming future is in good hands LEADING THE WAY: Rural Youth Tasmania president Katie Crane, Young Farmer of the Year James McShane, and competition organiser Tim Dobson. TFGA matters with Jan Davis Their natural path should be into the ranks of the TFGA's commodity committees and councils, where their advocacy of their chosen life can be put to maximum benefit.' I WAS honoured to be involved last weekend in the selection process for the Young Farmer of the Year Award, run by Rural Youth. The Tasmanian Farmers and Graz- iers Association is a keen sponsor and supporter of this event. We believe it provides a benchmark for the future of farming in Tasmania, but it is much more than that. It is a spiritually uplifting experience to see that among the young generation there is still a zeal and enthusiasm to tackle the challenges and to reap the rewards of the ever-changing practices of farming. There is also an evident willingness by young farmers to get into the administration and political interfaces of the industry. The competition is exacting. Each July, the three regions -- north, north- west and south -- hold their run-off competitions. The top three competi- tors from each region are joined by the top six from the remaining field to compete in the state finals. There is a range of testing modules during the day, including spray cali- bration, finance, chemical handling and workshop practice, and a couple of agrisports, with the six highest scorers fronting up to the likes of me in the evening for a quiz and public speaking. The top six this year were a 50/50 split of new faces and previous competi- tors: Alan Perry (north-west), Martin McConnon (south) and James McShane (south); and newcomers Zac McCarthy (north-west), Derek Hollan- der (south) and Tori Percival (south). James, a sheep farmer from Lower Marshes, won for the second time. James leads by example. He is a former Rural Youth president, is a member of the TFGA wool council and was the inaugural winner of the TFGA's John Allwright Leadership Award last year. The award honours former TFGA president John Allwright, who also headed the National Farmers' Feder- ation and was on the board of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, which has also named a fellowship scheme after him. When James won the John All- wright award, my predecessor Chris Oldfield said: ''James McShane is a fitting recipient. Already he is a great achiever in Tasmania's rural industry. Ja- mes comes from the same mould as John Allwright. He is a contributor. He has the future of Tasmania in his head and his heart.'' Chris was right. Our future certainly seems in good hands when you come across people of James's calibre. Advocacy is a vital role for young farmers who aspire to leadership in the industry. Seldom do we achieve any gains for agriculture without having first argued our case before legislators. There is an art to communicat- ing your message effectively, particularly to those people who may not share your depth of knowledge. There is a strong argument that we have to work harder at communicat- ing. We have to engage the general public so they embrace our causes. That's why I believe Agfest is such an important tool for us. Once people feel an affinity with the farmer, they become allies to the cause of farming. I would like to say to Rural Youth and its members is that there is a natural progression from the fantastic preparation they give young farmers. Their natural path should be into the ranks of the TFGA's commodity com- mittees and councils, where their advocacy of their chosen life can be put to maximum benefit. I can promise them that. Incitec Pivot Fertilisers is a business of Incitec Pivot Limited, ABN 42 004 080 264. A recent experiment in ryegrass pasture in Western Victoria shows that the nitrogen losses through volatilisation when using Green UreaTM are up to 70% less than the losses when using urea. Volatilisation can't be seen, but it does rob the pasture of valuable nitrogen. It's the process where gaseous ammonia is lost from urea as it attracts moisture on the soil surface. There are a number of factors which contribute to this process -- high pH soils, warmer conditions (although losses have been reported at 00C), high urease activity, windy conditions, little vegetative cover and drying soils. Soils drying after overnight dews or light showers are the worst case scenario for volatilisation losses. Nitrogen loss generally starts within a day of application and continues for another couple of weeks. Peak losses occur around four to six days following application. Significant rainfall events (for light soils 8 mm, or for heavy soils 15mm) are required to move urea into the soil. The longer the delay between application and significant rainfall, the greater the losses may be. Old pasture paddocks high in organic matter also tend to have an increased potential for losses due to the higher levels of urease in the soil. Urease are naturally occurring enzymes that accelerate the reaction of urea with water making it unstable. While applying urea post-grazing is the most efficient time for nitrogen recovery, there is not a lot of vegetative cover, so losses due to air movement may be high. Losses of up to 30% of applied nitrogen from topdressed urea were recorded in Melbourne University research in Western Victoria in April 2010. These losses can be minimised by timing urea applications within a couple of days of expected significant rainfall or irrigation, or by using Green Urea. For further information about Green Urea, please speak to your local Incitec Pivot Fertilisers Area Sales Manager. Darryl Johnson Area Sales Manager Incitec Pivot Fertilisers Darryl Johnson Try Green Urea to reduce nitrogen losses TMGreen Urea is a trademark of Incitec Pivot Fertilisers. Authorised by Tim Morris MP, Shop 9 Covehill Rd, Bridgewater 7030 Tim Morris MP Member for Lyons Delivering a Commonsense Approach for Lyons o o e ill , ri ge ater (03) 6263 3801 greens arliament.tas.go .a .tas.greens.org.a 2061187-100917 Advertisement Opening Hours Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm Saturday 10am - 4pm 147 Liverpool Street, Hobart Ph: 6234 8882 2034090-100910
September 9th 2010
September 23rd 2010