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TAS Country : July 28th 2011
4 Tasmanian Country Friday, July 29, 2011 Inappropriate use of chemicals not worth the risk THERE is a trend towards increasing use of agricul- tural chemicals not regis- tered for a particular appli- cation. There is evidence to sug- gest that the practice is happening in Australia among a small number of consultants advising far- mer clients, especially in cropping. This practice is simply not worth the risk. There are particular chemicals being recom- mended for non-registered uses, mainly to reduce costs. In spraying crops such as clear-field canola, the saving can be as much as $15 to $20 per hectare. The use of non- registered products for mice control this season is another example. This practice was also being driven by frustration with a shortage of regis- tered products in the rela- tively small Australian market. This is particularly so with minor crops, many found in the horticultural sector. Consultants who might be tempted to recommend a non-registered use need to carefully consider the consequences. Our advice is to stick strictly to the registered uses listed on the product label. Geoff Thomas, acting president, Ag Institute Australia Carbon cost reality check IN the TFGA matters column (Tasmanian Country, July 15) Jan Davis asserts the additional costs to Tasmanian farms from the incoming carbon tax ''is more likely to be $10,000 per farm''. She was quoted in the same newspaper as saying ''the farmers across the state would face an extra $1500 in costs a year.'' Unless Tony Abbott or Eric Abetz write the TFGA matters column these days, perhaps Jan Davis could clarify the huge dis- crepancy between her two wildly differing dollar fig- ures and explain which is nearer reality and which is simply scaremongering. Philip Sumner Woodbridge Hemp in Twilight Zone AS if Tasmanian industry and agriculture isn't ham- pered enough by incom- petent, mentally lazy poli- ticians, we can now add ''superstitious Ludddites'' to the list, on both sides of politics. The fact that industrial non-toxic hemp cannot be grown within 5km of a school totally exemplifies the hysterical overreaction and jaw-dropping ignor- ance of those ''in power''. One wonders how many tobacco, alcohol or legal gambling outlets that the ''vice junkie'' Government depends on for revenue there may be between any school and a 5km radius to a hemp crop, if indeed said school has not been shut down? No wonder Tasmania is in economic strife. Ian Coghlan Weldborough Your Say Word of caution over farm loans AGRIBUSINESS loan rates this month have remained steady, according to the latest Agribusiness Loan Monitor released by the National Farmers Feder- ation. The chair of the NFF Economics Committee, John McKillop, said that agribusiness loan rates by the major banks and other financial lenders had not moved during July as the Reserve Bank of Australia maintained interest rates at 4.75 per cent for the eighth consecutive month. However, he warned that farmers and rural businesses should not be lulled into a false sense of security by the lack of movement in rates to date. ''The Australian financi- al market is very heavily exposed to overseas forces, and the looming debt crisis in the US may have nega- tive impacts on the interest rates and ultimately the agribusiness loan rates here at home,'' Mr McKil- lop said. ''The US Congress has until August 2 to reach an agreement on lifting its debt ceiling -- ironically, the same day as the RBA next sits to discuss Aust- ralia's interest rates. ''A loss of investor confi- dence in the US could potentially raise interest rates quite significantly, which would be devastat- ing for Australian far- mers.'' For a better Australia, shed some light on Census night. Tuesday August 9 What is Census? Think of it as a snapshot of Australia at one given m government and industry to determine where impro be made in Australian communities. What you say is confidential and lights the way forward for health, ed transport, industry and the environment, making a b future for all of us. So how will you shed some light on Tuesday Augu You can either fill out the form delivered to your hom or complete the eCensus online. For more information visit abs.gov.au/census or call 1300 338 776. ABSC1108/C2
July 21st 2011
August 4th 2011