by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
TAS Country : October 14th 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010 Tasmanian Country 3 News Crunch time for spuds ANGER: Weather will be crucial, says Trevor Hall. Price deal a blow to growers KAROLIN MacGREGOR A DARK cloud hangs over the future of Tasmania's processing potato industry as farmers come to grips with the latest price cuts this season. On Monday night about 60 growers attended a meeting at Deloraine, where they were told that Simplot would cut this season's price by $25 a tonne. Grower representative Trevor Hall said growers had reluctantly agreed to accept the price cut, but it was not sustain- able in the long term. However, growers have de- cided to stop paying the com- pany the a research and devel- opment levy. ''I think most growers were angry and disappointed,'' Mr Hall said. ''It's really bringing the industry to its knees.'' This week's announcement follows a similar cut by rival processor McCain, which sla- shed prices by $26.50 a tonne last month. Mr Hall said while some growers would decide not to grow potatoes this year, many had already bought seed and planting was under way. ''I think a lot of people will grow them this year because they were planning to, but it will only be for one year unless the prices pick up again,'' he said. ''Some have said we'll know more when we start harvesting in April.'' Potatoes are one of the most expensive crops to sow, harvest and grow and require signifi- cant amounts of fertiliser and water to produce a high yield. Mr Hall said the weather over the next few months could be the crucial factor. ''If we get a bad season weather-wise, it could break people,'' he said. Mr Hall said downward pres- sure from imported products and the strong Australian dollar was also having an impact. ''Basically, the Government have just made it too easy to bring in imported products and it's making it impossible for us to compete,'' he said. Mr Hall said the future of the state's processing potato indus- try was on the line. ''I don't think anyone could afford to grow them at these sort of prices for more than one year --- there just not enough of a margin in it,'' he said. ''I think everyone's pretty gutted with how things have gone, because it is such a fantastic industry.'' With planting now under way in many areas, Mr Halls said it was up to individual growers to decide if they could afford to grow crops for the prices being offered. Though prices have been sla- shed, Simplot has not reduced its tonnage requirements. It still plans to contract about 250,000 tonnes of potatoes in Tasmania this season. Mr Hall said a lot would depend on the weather over the next few months. ''We don't want it to be too wet and we don't want a really hot summer, or we'll be in trouble,'' he said. DIGGING FOR GOLD: A bee takes a liking to these canola flowers. Picture: KAROLIN MacGREGOR Tassie taps into natural gold mine KAROLIN MacGREGOR PADDOCKS of bright yellow flowers are providing plenty of photo opportunities across Tasmania as the state's canola industry blooms. Canola has become a regular crop in many cropping operations, and demand for canola oil and meal has increased in recent months. Rob Henry, from Macquarie Oil Co, contracts about 1000 tonnes of canola a year. The company produces cold-pressed canola oil and canola meal, which is used for high-quality stock feed. Mr Henry said that after reasonable rains through winter in most growing areas, this year's crops were looking good. ''It's been a fairly good season so far and the crops are going quite well,'' he said. ''Hopefully that will continue.'' Mr Henry said canola was now considered an important part of many farmers' cropping rotations because of its natural bio-fumigation qualities. The canola roots produce specific chemicals that can help get rid of unwanted nematodes and some pest insects, including eel worms, from the soil. Mr Henry said some producers had recorded yield increases of between 25-30 per cent in cereal crops following canola. ''It is a very good clean-up crop, so it's quite useful in that regard,'' he said. On average canola produces about two tonnes of grain a hectare. Most crops are grown without irrigation. Mr Henry said harvesting would normally get under way at the end of December. ''The crops will be windrowed at about Christmas time and then we start harvesting in early January,'' he said. Mr Henry said while demand for canola oil and meal was softer during the early part of the year, the market had now picked up. The dairy industry is one of the state's biggest users of canola products and Mr Henry said higher milk prices in recent months had helped push up demand. 1300 654 142 www.polarisindustries.com.au BUY ONE GET ONE FREE# Conditions apply. See www.polarisindustries.com.au for details. Offer ends 31/12/10 or while stocks last at participating Australian Polaris dealers. Excludes Fleet Buyers. Not valid with any other offer except 2010 Ranger 500). For a limited time only, when you purchase a new Polaris ATV 549cc & above or Ranger 498cc & above at a participating dealer, you ll get an Outlaw 50 (value $2,395) for the kids FREE! If you don t want the Outlaw 50, take $2,395 off the price of any additional new Polaris vehicle.# # OP(e FaRd$w p
October 7th 2010
October 21st 2010