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TAS Country : June 7th 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012 Tasmanian Country 5 News Dog parasite a threat to cattle FEARS: A parasite carried by dogs threatens beef and dairy industries. A PARASITE linked to dogs poses a threat to Tasmania's beef and dairy industries. A University of Sydney study said the parasite, which is responsible for an estimated $30 million loss to the national cattle industry each year, is present throughout Australia. The neospora caninum parasite, passed from dogs to cattle, is carried in a dormant state in cows. When the cow becomes pregnant the parasite becomes active and can cause an abortion. The new findings, published in the latest edition of Veterinary Parasit- ology, show that other dog popu- lations are infected. They will also have important implications for vac- cination development. To Page 7 TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania Tasmanian Alkaloids are expanding our growing area this season. Talk to your local TasAlk Field Officer, or Phone 6393 5202 2058341-120413 Farmers to gain in water security BIG SUPPORTER: Sorell Mayor Carmel Torenius. From Page 3 a sales threshold, firm quotes within budget, and final regulatory permits and approvals to get the Government's $26 million contribution in the public- private partnership. With the balance of the $14 million comes private water sales. The initial offer to farmers is $2700 per megalitre. Water to be offered is 5000ML. Subject to all approvals going through estimated start of construction is February. Water will be sourced from the River Derwent at Bryn Estyn, with 50km of supply pipeline from Granton to Craigbourne, including new River Der- went crossing of 45km of distribution pipeline and up to five pump stations. The irrigable area of SEIS is 25,000ha and covers a broad arc north and east of Hobart from Brighton, through Tea Tree to the Coal Valley and through to Forcett. Lewisham farmer and chairman of the Sorell Irrigation Group, Brad Grat- tidge, has shown his confidence in the project by buying another 285ha from three farms to expand his growth in cereals, lettuce and cabbages for seeds. ''We have the best basalt soil in Tasmania, all we need is the water,'' Mr Grattidge said. Sorell Mayor Carmel Torenius, who worked with farmers to initiate the scheme, said it was a dream come true that the project was so close. ''It will create jobs, protect farmland and change the dynamics of the area which is one of the driest in the state,'' Councillor Torenius said. Local farmers said the irrigation scheme was a once-in-a-lifetime oppor- tunity for the area. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief Jan Davis said far- mers had put their money where their mouth is and shown their confidence in the potential of this area for farming expansion into the future. ''This is further evidence that the state's agricultural sector, working in partnership with Tasmanian Irri- gation, will drive the economy through what otherwise would have been un- certain days ahead,'' Ms Davis said. Vegetable grower Colin Houston said his business would expand three-fold when the surety of water came on stream. Mr Houston employs 15 staff on his Southern Fields farm near Forcett, growing a variety of lettuce and cauli- flower. ''In the Forcett valley we have the best soil in Tasmania for growing vegetables, and once this scheme ar- rives we could expand our staff to 50 people,'' he said. Tasmanian Irrigation's SEIS project manager Peter Rand said a key strength of SEIS was the economic benefit from the expansion of high- value vegetable production, perennial stone and pip fruit trees and cool- climate wine grapes. The annual volume delivered would be 5000ML over the 180-day summer season. Nominally SEIS seasons start in October. NFF wants banks to pass on full rate cut MATT LINNEGAR FARMERS are hurting and this week's 0.25 per cent cut to the official interest rate must be passed on to the agricul- ture sector, the National Farmers Federation warned yesterday. ''For the second month in a row, we've seen a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia [RBA] in the official cash rate, yet farmers and agricultural businesses are not reaping the ben- efits,'' NFF chief executive Matt Lin- negar said. ''Last month, the NFF Agribusiness Loan Monitor showed that in the week following the RBA decision, only one bank made any reduction in their agribusiness loan rates. ''This month, we hope that the Monitor will show a reduction in rates across the board from the financial lenders, taking into account the signifi- cant cuts made by the RBA during this period. Like all business ow- ners, farmers cannot afford to miss out on interest rate cuts designed to boost the weak- ening economy and encourage spending growth. ''In fact, just this week we have heard reports that rural confidence has slum- ped in the last quarter as a result of lower commodity prices, a sustained high Australian dollar and an increase in farm input costs. ''And with the Government's carbon tax set to be introduced from July 1, which the Government's own ABARES has shown will add significant costs into our farming businesses, now is the time for some positive news for the farming sector.'' Mr Linnegar said the decision by the RBA to cut the rate by 0.25 per cent was welcome news for farmers because it eased some of the pressure -- but only if banks passed on the rate cut. ''As we saw last month, a cut in RBA rates does not always translate into cuts in bank loans, and a cut in bank loans certainly does not always translate into cuts in agribusiness loans,'' he said. ''Once again, it's a waiting game for farmers to see which banks, if any, have passed the cuts on, and by how much. We are calling on the financial sector to pass the full rate cut on to farmers.'' The June Loan Monitor will be released on June 18.
May 31st 2012
June 14th 2012