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TAS Country : June 14th 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012 Tasmanian Country 3 News Climb up pecking order Demand for pork, poultry up KAROLIN MacGREGOR and BRUCE MOUNSTER MORE AFFORDABLE: Consumer prices for poultry have fallen 1.9 per cent a year over the past decade. HIGHER beef and lamb prices have produced an unexpected boost for the country's pig and poultry industries. The National Australia Bank's rural commodities wrap-up reports that an increase in productivity and relatively low feed costs have also helped the country's pig and poultry and farmers. NAB general manager of agribusin- ess Khan Horne said both industries were enjoying solid conditions. ''The poultry industry has main- tained its position as Australia's meat of choice,'' he said. ''This is being driven by a number of factors, including consumer demand for the low-fat, high-protein content of chicken meat, along with its versatility and price relative to other meats.'' Per-capita poultry consumption ac- ross the country is estimated to have reached 45.2kg during 2011-12. While this is still down on 2010-11 levels, it is well above the 38kg recorded in 2009-10. Consumption is expected to continue to grow and reach 45.5kg in 2012-13. ''We're seeing poultry farmers in- crease production to meet this rising demand, despite some farmers experi- encing a rise in processing costs and concerns around the potential for grain prices to increase,'' Mr Horne said. Robert Nichols, operator of North- West Tasmanian free-range chicken farmer and processor Nichols Poultry, said demand from consumers was pleasing, but it did not necessarily mean higher profits. Mr Nichols said processors, con- fronted by a national oversupply, had been selling a lot of chickens, but the financial bonanza just wasn't there. On average, consumer prices for poultry have fallen 1.9 per cent a year over the past decade, according to the latest CPI data from the Australian To Page 5 Uncertain future for top dairy ROGER HANSON THE future of one of King Island's largest dairy farms remains uncertain. David Bowden's Winton farm, which has 1150 cows and supplies 4.6 million litres of milk a year, is facing financial difficulty. The farm supplies National Foods' internationally acclaimed specialty cheese and dairy producer King Island Dairy. ''National Australia Bank revalued the farm and felt the uncertainty of the dairy industry on King Island, and National Foods only issuing short-term contracts, left us with nowhere to go,'' Mr Bowden said. The farm is geared for out-of-season milk. ''I have done up to half of King Island Dairy's summer volume in the past,'' Mr Bowden said. ''It's got everyone scratch- ing their heads as to who is going to supply them. It's sad for the island.'' The 900ha farm has 275ha under irrigation plus 145ha laid out for techno grazing, and has 80ha fodder crop sown. It also runs 450 beef cross cattle. Mr Bowden, who moved as a teacher from Hobart to King Island in 1966, has been farming since the early 1970s. ''The farm is in good condition, and we are here working to do the best we can. It is still a good day every time you wake up,'' he said. Councillor Charles Arnold, a former King Island mayor, said it was his understanding that National Foods was committed to a $15 million expan- sion program. ''They are here for the long run taking the milk and cream, but it is not unusual for these tactics to be employed to manipulate their monopoly by offering short-term contracts,'' Cr Arnold said. ''Losing a producer of that size would leave a great hole in production. I think they would look at alternatives.'' NO DRAMAS RA S O ARAN ! Plain Wire e alan c a ar Wire Pi e & e • BURNIE • KINGS MEADOWS • MOONAH Sale valid until 30th June 2012. A 13 M A AND ( 3 ) "H s le e s 3 t J e." $72 Fr "L s f st k m st e le e . D st e m ke s ffe !" $1 r ll Fr 133856 3.15mm S ft (75 m) $1 263500 2.5 mm Me m Te s le (15 m) $1 253501 2.5 mm H g Te s le (15 m) $1 263513 1.57mm H g Te s le B (5 m) $72 263514 1.8 mm H g Te s le B (5 m) $ DOWNGRAD A SSORI S H e s f t es f e ess st k m st g ! R ge f fe g t ls & ess es t se! A US OR GR A PRI S! $1 Fr MOR D A S IN S OR ! H ge ge f A st l m e e t e f fe g ge e l se s t e f m et f t gs. A OR PRI !
June 7th 2012
June 21st 2012