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TAS Country : March 31st 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011 Tasmanian Country 3 News Horizon looks brighter Confidence follows rain, price rises KAROLIN MacGREGOR Continued Page 12 FARMER confidence across the country has soared to a three-year high, boosted by strong commodity prices and summer rain. The latest Rabobank rural confi- dence survey shows that despite the impact of flooding in several regions, farmers are feeling much more confi- dent. About 1200 farmers were inter- viewed for last month's quarterly survey and Tasmanian farmers were among the most confident. The survey results released this week, show 48 per cent of farmers expect conditions to improve in the coming year, up from 42 per cent last quarter. Only 14 per cent of farmers expect conditions in the next year to worsen, down from 19 per cent last quarter. Despite the jump in confidence, Rabobank general manager for Aust- ralia Peter Knoblanche said several areas of the country were still recover- ing from flood and cyclone damage and this would take some time. ''As well as being devastating for the communities worst hit, the floods and extreme weather events in Queens- land, Victoria, Western Australia and parts of New South Wales have been a set back for some producers due to the impact on yields, crop losses and harvest delays,'' he said. ''However the majority of the farm- ing sector in eastern and southern Australia is in a good position due to the additional rainfall and positive seasonal conditions.'' High summer rainfall has been one of the biggest contributors to a lift in farmer confidence. Rising commodity prices were listed as a crucial factor by 40 per cent of producers. MAGPIE MAGIC: Farmer Mark Kerr will play his 400th game with his local Winnaleah Football Club tomorrow. Picture: ROSS MARSDEN JENNIFER CRAWLEY Continued Page 11 High Mark in black and white MARK Kerr will pull on the black and white guernsey of the Winnaleah Magpies for the 400th time tomorrow. It is a major milestone with the North-Eastern Football Union club for Mark, who helps run the family's 566ha property at Winnaleah. Mark, 43, is the fourth generation of Kerrs to have farmed the property, and his two young sons could some day make it five generations. The Kerrs grow potatoes and run 430 Friesian cows and 200 Angus cattle. They recently received a price rise for the milk they sell to Fonterra, and vealer calves they sold at Powranna last week fetched a very good price. ''Things have been good,'' Mark said. ''[It's] not such an ideal year for spuds, but my spuds are not on flat ground, they're in a well-drained paddock.'' He said he would probably lose only 0.5ha of his 10.5ha of potatoes. Mark said processing company Simplot had been good about the losses. ''They've offered $50 a tonne for whatever tonnage you can't supply from your contract -- that's good of them,'' he said. ''I'll only lose 25 to 30 tonnes of spuds, but a lot of neighbours are going to lose thousands of tonnes.'' Mark said Winnaleah was a hard- working community. ''Most of them are like myself, on family farms, pretty close-knit, everyone pitches in to do their bit,'' he said. ''All the women are mixed up in the netball club and our own little local swimming pool, and the men keep their cricket and footy club going.'' The Winnaleah Football Club has been going for 104 years. Mark plays in the forward line, but was a ruckman for most of his career. ''I was hoping my 400th game was *Offer ends 30/6/11 or earlier if stocks run out at participating Polaris dealers. Excludes fleet clients. Rear brush guard and towbar shown are optional extras. $5995* RIDEAWAY BEST RIDE, BEST VALUE » 300cc Auto 2X4 » Independent Rear Suspension » MacPherson Front Suspension » Integrated Front Storage Compartment » 340kg Towing Capacity » Disc Brakes all-round » Digital Instrumentation » Steel Front Bumper MADE 1300 654 142 www.polarisindustries.com.au HARDEST WORKING. SMOOTHEST RIDING.
March 24th 2011
April 7th 2011