Winter is over and again we enter the spring and summer without any rain. We, of course, are not alone as large areas of the eastern states are gripped by crippling drought. This has led to an Australian wide increase in slaughter rates as pastoralists de-stock with the subsequent decrease in the national herd. The extra supply to abattoirs has not led to price drops, as any surplus has been absorbed by strong overseas markets buoyed by a weak Australian dollar.
Our pastoral production team can assist in making objective decisions on stocking rates in these difficult times to maximise long term production and to drought proof your property. Recovery of rangelands when rain finally does come is probably just as important as making the most of the feed that is now present, and our professionals can offer excellent advice in this area.
Budburst is currently underway in the table grape farms at Ti Tree and Alice Springs, the hope is for a frost free time between now and November as this is what all the growers require. Like cattle, the table grape industry has been held up by strong export markets that balances out supply ensuring our growers can make a fair return on all the hard work they do and risks that they endure.
Our department recently commissioned Ernst and Young to assess the commercial potential and market for bush foods in Central Australia. Although not a huge market at present, it does provide supplementary income for hundreds of Aboriginal people, mostly women, living in remote communities in our region. The report found that unlike the beef and grape industries, demand outstrips supply. It is my firm belief that this industry is ripe for entrepreneurial investment in the next decade to the point where consumption of native, Australian flora and its products will be commonplace.
For our department, we are reaching the end of our tenure in the middle of “town”, and will be moving back to AZRI this month. We will be having a re-opening and celebration of AZRI’s 50th anniversary on the Friday 16 November at the AZRI social club from 3pm. You are all invited and I hope you can make it. Please contact Michelle Lord on 89518111 or email@example.com.
Regional Director – Southern Region
Last updated: 06 December 2018