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TAS Country : March 17th 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011 Tasmanian Country 11 News McCain offer chipped BALLARAT potato growers are refusing to accept McCain's price offer despite being only a fortnight from harvest. Ballarat McCain Growers Group re- jected an offer $27 a tonne lower than last season. ''There is no such thing as negotiation (with McCain) ...w ewon't accept that offer and we will now decide on a course of action,'' growers group chairman Do- minic Prendergast said. With the harvest set to start on March 28, he was unsure if the group could hold out against the processor because many growers had lost part of their crops to flood. A McCain spokesman said the company increased its offer by $1.50 a tonne in December. He said Australia's potato prices were among the highest priced in the world. --- The WeeklyTimes HOP TO IT: Dick Norris can smell when the hops are ready to harvest. Picture: JENNIFER CRAWLEY Stout stoic hops into harvest READY: Ripe hops. JENNIFER CRAWLEY DICK Norris knows a thing or two about hops. The production manager for Hop Products Australia has worked in the hop industry for 25 years. He first worked in the hop fields of Gunns Plains and now is the manager of Bushy Park estate in the Derwent Valley. ''When you go into a hopfield you know it's ready. You can smell them,'' Mr Norris said. The first hops harvested this week go to Cascade brewery where they will be brewed into First Harvest -- the first beer in Australia brewed using fresh green hops. The three experimental hop varieties in this year's First Harvest have been named after traditional Derwent Valley oasthouses -- Valleyfield, Lanoma and Tynwald. The hop vines are gently swaying in the breeze as Mr Norris does his rounds on the 230ha estate. A strong aroma from the vines can be smelt from inside his ute. ''Hop farming is like modern farming these days, a lot more intensive, with new varieties producing three to four times more hops on the vine,'' he said. Breeding gardens of experimental hops are assessed over three years. Traditional hops are used in open and controlled pollination methods to breed the new aroma varieties. Different varieties release distinct aromas, which come from resins and aromatic oils in the hop flowers of the female plants. ''The beer comes from the female plant and the oil provides the taste,'' Mr Norris said. Bushy Park Estates was established as a hop farm in 1867, the same age as the renowned hop growing region of Tettnang in Germany, Mr Norris said. As for Mr Norris's favourite brew -- Cascade stout. ''I've been drinking it all my life,'' he said. ATV safety suggestion FARM leaders are pushing for roll bars on ATVs to be mandatory. Momentum for making roll bars compulsory is growing, with a leading farm lobby group calling for changes. But the industry is hold- ing its position that train- ing and helmets are the answer to preventing ATV deaths. The NSW Farmers As- sociation's Graham Morphett said a roll bar was simple and cost- effective and should be mandatory. The Weekly Times EcoGypsum produces and distributes h quality gypsum in fine and ranulated form, allowing for light or heavy spread rates. Now available in Tasmania thru Agri Fert. ontact us on info ecogypsum.com.au high g remium Agricultural gypsum sustaining Tasmanian soils © 2011 National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 AFSL 230686 1467_ 2 Does your business bank have 153 years of local knowledge? Ready to make the break? Visit nab.com.au/makethebreak or call: David Martin, Agribusiness Senior Partner Launceston -- 0429 313 718 Adrian Hardie, Agribusiness Manager Launceston -- 0429 421 335 Donna Avery, Agribusiness Manager Burnie -- 0419 594 076 Graeme Rooney, Agribusiness Manager Hobart -- 0428 579 852 Our extensive experience gives us the insights and understanding required to help you efficiently run your agribusiness. With more than 620 empowered bankers in 110 locations, we're right there to help you keep things moving on a day-to-day basis. If you're looking for a bank that's serious about your agribusiness, talk to your local NAB Agribusiness Banker.
March 10th 2011
March 24th 2011