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TAS Country : March 15th 2012
16 Tasmanian Country Friday, March 16, 2012 The Stock Report Smart farmers, clever cows Dairy conference in Ulverstone ROGER HANSON CHALLENGES: Dr Bronwyn Harch THE future of Tasmania's booming dairying industry will be in the spot- light next week. Up to 200 farmers and other delegates are expected to take part in the Tasmanian Dairy Conference. The conference, to be held at Ulver- stone on Wednesday, is a major event on the state's agricultural calendar. ''The conference is important for gaining knowledge on what is looming on the horizon for the industry as Tasmania enters a renewed growth phase,'' DairyTas chief Mark Smith said. The conference will feature a number of prominent speakers and cover a range of topics, including national and international outlooks, pasture productivity and R&D, milk processor investments in Tasmania, farm automation, investing in the dairy industry, energy efficiency on farm, and safety regulations. Mr Smith said Ulverstone High School will present its Mooin Transfer video while guest speaker Dr Bronwyn Harch, the deputy director of CSIRO's Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, will discuss the topic ''achieving food secur- ity in the face of climate change: challenges for Australia''. Dr Harch will present key challenges for global food security that are rel- evant to the Australian dairy industry, Mr Smith said. Dr Harch has 16 years' experience with CSIRO in the areas of Agri and Environmental Informatics. In 2010 she was awarded the Queensland Women in Technology ICT Outstanding Achievement Award and ICT Profes- sional Award. Informatics is the science of turning data into insight and action. Dr Harch's primary research focus has been on the statistical design of landscape scale sampling protocols and monitoring programs. She also has been involved in the statistical model- ling of complex landscape systems. The CSIRO's Sustainable Agricul- ture Flagship oversees research invest- ment at the interface of agriculture and the environment. A particular area of focus is ensuring that innovations in ''smarter infor- mation use'' contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of Australian land use while also achieving the productivity gains that are needed for prosperous agricultural and forest industries, and global food security. The conference program can be viewed on the DairyTas website at www.dairytas.com.au Mr Smith urges farmers to attend. The conference will be held at the Central Coast Civic Centre, Ulverstone. Burnie cheese on top KAROLIN MacGREGOR A TASMANIAN-made cheese has won a major award at this year's World Championship Cheese Contest. The Tasmanian Heritage Wh- ite Pearl Camembert, made in Burnie, has been awarded the Best of Class-Camembert award in the prestigious event. The World Championship Cheese Contest, held in Wiscon- sin in the US, is a biennial event that attracts entries from around the globe. The Tasmanian Heritage brand is owned by Lion, which currently is investing $120 mil- lion on a revamp of its Burnie cheese-making facilities. The winning White Pearl ca- membert scored 98.85 points out of a possible 100 to take out the award in its category. Lion external relations man- ager Julia Fraser said the win was testament to the hard work by staff at the factory and the quality of the milk supplied by Tasmanian dairy farmers. ''White pearl is a superior product that very deservedly has taken top honours among a field of 29 international entrants,'' Ms Fraser said. ''This award recognises the superior skill of our cheese ma- kers in Burnie and cannot be made without quality milk from our farmers.'' The cheese is called White Pearl because of its silky texture and the fact it develops an almost lustrous centre when cut and allowed to breathe. ''This win highlights the enor- mous confidence we have in the site at Burnie and we look forward to many more wins of this nature in the future,'' Ms Fraser said. Industry focus on Jer-nomics KAROLIN MacGREGOR JERSEY Australia has joined a project studying the genotypes of cows and bulls across Australia. The Jer-nomics project is a large scale analysis of Jersey genotypes that is being run by the Dairy Futures Cooperative Research Centre. It is hoped the genomics study could produce cutting edge breeding tools that could fast track the improvement of the breed. Jersey Australia chief executive officer Scott Joynson said the organisation was excited about being part of the project. ''We have been involved with the CRC from the sidelines for the past few years,'' he said. ''But becoming a supporting participant provides us with the ability to ramp up our involvement and work directly with the dairy Futures CRC to improve the attributes of the Jersey breed.'' So far members have provided 700 semen samples and more than 4000 cow tail hair samples for analysis. Dairy Futures CRC chief executive David Nation said they were pleased Jersey Australia had come on board. ''The Jersey breed is an important contributor to the Australian dairy industry and this support demon- strates how a range of organisations can work together to benefit all Aust- ralian farmers,'' he said. The genotyping will start this month and preliminary breeding values will be available as soon as May through the Australian Dairy Herd Improve- ment Scheme. Mr Joynson said this project was just the beginning of the industry gaining some exceptionally useful breeding tools. ''Through genomic technology we will be able to deliver exactly the right type of animals to the mix,'' he said. Hedging may be a prudent move WOOL REPORT Eric Hutchinson FARMERS should be watching care- fully what impact the expected short- age of wool and meat, due to the flooding in New South Wales, is going to have on supply --- and prices. The floods however do not help explain the reason for another very pessimistic forecast report out last week, this time courtesy of ABARE in respect of wool. They must have a different type of calculator to the one I use. The average for the EMI is over 1220 c/kg for the season thus far (and we are nearly to the end of March) but their forecast for the 2011/12 season is to average 1180, which seems extremely unlikely. Looking forward to 2012/13 they are forecasting an average EMI of 1085 c/kg, pointing to sluggish consumer demand in Europe as the primary justification. In my opinion they are not acknowl- edging the changing retail demand structure in China and the compara- tively low levels of both raw wool and semi-processed material. About 26 per cent of the world's luxury goods are now sold in China. Interestingly, they also suggest the Australian dollar will be lower during 2012/13, which should also be a positive influence on prices. When looking at the table of prices, it is interesting to see where we have come from in the past year. The overall level of the market is good by most measures of the past 20 years, but averages don't tell the whole story. Superfine wool is well back on the levels of last year, but the medium microns have been very strong and posted year-on-year gains of impressive magnitude. At the broader end, the cross- bred types again have been remarkably resilient and have, in large measures, tracked the movements in the Australian dollar over the past year. The exception to this is seen when supply in New Zealand or South America has been more readily available. Locally, we would normally expect to see the volume of these broader microns high at this time of the year and in the next few months. Certainly that was the case in Sydney last week with nearly 70 per cent of the offering of fleece wool being broader crossbred types. My view is that prices for this end of the market may come under some pressure in the next few months. It may be prudent for those with wool to sell between now and July to look closely at the prices avail- able to hedge this part of your wool production. We traded for a client last week 28 micron for May at 605c/kg, which is very close to current market prices and historically a much better than average level to be selling this type of wool. With all the variables involved with primary production, taking out one of these in the form of prices makes sense for many wool and meat producers. ROBERTS WOOL REPORT AWEX MPG Summary March 15, 2012 Current Change 12 mths ago 3-year av EMI 1234 18 1307 1004 17 1716 18 2446 1466 18 1563 27 2111 1407 18.5 1516 33 1882 1317 19 1482 27 1652 1220 19.5 1451 24 1441 1133 20 1417 34 1270 1060 21 1393 22 1187 1025 22 1332 14 1130 990 23 1278 1 1097 948 24 1209 0 1003 871 25 nq 0 929 761 26 nq 0 834 682 28 642 5 664 530 30 578 9 596 472 MC 738 -1 786 635
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