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Sunday roast looks set to get cheaper The chair of the NSW Farmers sheepmeat committee says lamb prices should be easing in the coming weeks, but there are ways to save on a hearty meal now. Jenny Bradley, a lamb producer from Armatree in the state’s central west, says the slow cooker is the cost-conscious family’s best friend in winter. “We’re all feeling the pinch a bit at the moment, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a warm hearty meal at a fraction of the cost of Uber Eats,” Mrs Bradley said. “Have a chat to your butcher about what cheaper cuts of meat might be available and how best to cook them, you’ll find a whole world of flavour ...
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Feral animals on the rise

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Feral animals on the rise Farmers are calling for practical and workable solutions to control a surging number of feral animals. Across the state, NSW Farmers members reported an increase in the number of wild dogs and pigs, while deer were expanding their territory. Of most concern were the surging numbers of feral cats, which the CSIRO reported were responsible for 1.8 billion native animal deaths each year. Neil Baker, a farmer in the Tweed, said there were shocking reports of livestock being attacked by feral animals. “It’s really nasty some of the stories you hear, animals being ripped apart by predators,” Mr Baker said. “We’re really very ...
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Port bottlenecks holding Australia back The state’s peak farming organisation has warned Australia will be left behind without significant improvement and investment in freight infrastructure at Port Botany. NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin said access to export markets was critical for farmers, but high port charges, poor rail quality and port bottlenecks were limiting Australia’s competitiveness. “Agricultural industries are an economic dynamo in New South Wales, but we’re being outpaced by other countries because of the situation at our ports,” Mr Martin said. “We have three ports and we need to get them up to scratch; look at Port Botany, at ...
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Farmers demand fairness in energy transition NSW Farmers members called out a lack of fairness in the energy transition during debate at the organisation's annual conference. With power prices soaring, developers are looking for opportunities to build renewable energy installations in regional areas, but farmers have warned this often comes at the expense of food and fibre production. NSW Farmers Energy Transition Working Group Chair Reg Kidd said there needed to be a rethink on the rollout of transmission lines, a vastly improved understanding of the effects on regional rural values and economies, and a recognition of the need to protect the land ...
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Soaring input costs squeeze food producers Official government data has revealed total input costs for wheat farmers has doubled in just two years. According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Financial performance of cropping farms 2029-20 to 2021-22 report, total input costs for the average wheat farm in NSW increased from $212 per hectare in 2019-20 to $425 per hectare in 2020-21, with further increases expected through to 2022-23. Fertiliser costs increased from $64 to $82 per hectare, while the cost of chemicals increased from $30 to $63 per hectare. NSW Farmers Vice President Rebecca Reardon ...
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Bee bug reaches blueberry fields Blueberry and avocado growers on the Coffs Coast are concerned about the arrival of Varroa mite in the region. Local NSW Farmers Coffs Harbour Branch Chair Paul Shoker said Varroa mite had been detected in hives near Nana Glen, and were linked to the Newcastle outbreak. “It’s a bit of a worry for our farmers as we approach pollination time, without bees we can’t produce avocados or blueberries, or a lot of other crops for that matter,” Mr Shoker said. “We understand the Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services are doing their part to keep the outbreak under control, we just need everyone else to do ...
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Farmers welcome state biosecurity strategy The state’s peak farm advocacy body has welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s draft Biosecurity and Food Safety Strategy. The draft strategy, launched by NSW agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders in his keynote address at the NSW Farmers Annual Conference last week, builds upon the state’s major biosecurity spend in this year’s budget and aims to keep the critical issue front and centre. NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin said Australia's biosecurity system was recognised around the world as being strong and effective, and welcomed Minister Saunders’ efforts to bolster protections. “Good biosecurity ...
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Strong interest in farming from Labor NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin has thanked NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns for his interest in agriculture, with several key policies announced this week. The state Labor leader made his pitch to primary producers at the NSW Farmers annual conference on Thursday, promising to deliver an independent Agriculture Commissioner and a fresh focus on domestic biosecurity. Mr Martin said Mr Minns addressed a few of the state’s peak agricultural advocacy body’s long-standing asks. “Australian farmers produce the food and fibre we all enjoy, and it’s critical to have support for this important sector right across ...
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National tag system no silver bullet for FMD Members of the state’s peak agricultural body have voted to support the development of a national electronic tagging system. On Tuesday, the state government announced it would support a national electronic tagging system for sheep and goats in response to the threat posed by foot and mouth disease. NSW Farmers Biosecurity Chair Ian McColl said while electronic tagging could be helpful, it would not be a silver bullet for the threat posed by FMD. “Our members voted to provide in principle support for the development of a national individual traceability system for sheep,” Mr McColl said. “However, this ...
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NSW Farmers elects new president Mullaley farmer Xavier Martin is the new leader of Australia’s largest state farming organisation. Mr Martin was elected NSW Farmers President on the first day of the organisation’s annual conference, and thanked members for their support. “It’s humbling to be elected president and I look forward to maintaining the momentum on key issues such as biosecurity and productivity,” Mr Martin said. “We are looking at ways to secure the future of farming, and a big part of that is giving members their voice at our conference. “I look forward to seeing the result of these motions and working on progressing those issues with ...
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Tomorrow’s farmers must be agile say experts Australia’s agricultural future is bright despite increasing natural disasters, a panel of experts has told the state’s farmers. The inaugural NSW Farmers Securing the Future of Farming Forum was held in Sydney on Monday night, and heard adaptability would be key to unlocking future growth for food and fibre production. Former NSW Chief Scientist Mary O’Kane said climate extremes – not necessarily climate change – were the big challenge for primary producers, but she said farmers were used to dealing with drought, fire and flood. Regional Investment Corporation Acting CEO Paul Dower said growth in the sector ...
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Outgoing farm leader sees hope on horizon Outgoing NSW Farmers President James Jackson says there is a great future ahead for Australian agriculture if governments and the public support the vital sector. With his term as leader of the country’s largest state farming organisation ending this week, Mr Jackson reflected on his time in the role and identified a key challenge for the sector. “Australia as a nation lags behind on backing farmers, with a government paper on food security this week revealing we have one of the lowest levels of agricultural support across the 37 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries – ...
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Supermarkets must step up on dairy pricing NSW Farmers Dairy Committee Chair Colin Thompson has welcomed moves by Coles to lift own-brand milk prices, with low farmgate prices forcing farmers from the industry. In the last financial year 29 farms left the dairy industry, putting further pressure on milk supplies that were exacerbated by flooding and supply chain problems. Mr Thompson said the higher prices being paid to milk processors were a direct result of constricted supply, and warned the situation would only get worse unless farmgate prices improved in real terms. “This should be an alarm bell for the major supermarkets and processors that we as ...
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Farmers Fix Focus on Future

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Farmers Fix Focus on Future Australia’s largest agricultural advocacy body will next week assemble a panel of experts to help secure the future of farming. NSW Farmers President James Jackson said it was an important time to host the Securing the Future of Farming Forum as climate extremes, biosecurity threats, international trade disruptions and surging inflation were putting pressure on food security and families. “The challenge of growing world-class food and fibre for people is more important than ever,” Mr Jackson said. “This year we have seen how vital it is to have a strong farming sector and robust supply chains with floods causing chaos across ...
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Stop making excuses on biosecurity NSW Farmers President James Jackson has slammed government officials for being wishy-washy on biosecurity controls such as foot baths. The outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia has farmers extremely concerned as it is a highly-infectious virus that would cost Australia $80 billion if it reached our shores. Export markets would slam shut, animals would be destroyed, and entire parts of the supply chain would be at a standstill if FMD made its way to Australia. Mr Jackson said while federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt had beefed up some biosecurity controls after pressure from farming groups, his ...
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Prevention better than cure on biosecurity NSW Farmers Biosecurity Committee Chair Ian McColl has thanked the federal government for listening to industry concerns on biosecurity, but warned urgent action is needed to prevent an outbreak. The confirmation of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Bali was a major concern for farmers who had been warning Australia’s biosecurity systems were clearly substandard following the Varroa mite outbreak in NSW. Mr McColl said the announcement of increased measures from federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt was a positive move, but warned more needed to be done to reform the system. “More signage, more detector ...
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Initial payments welcome but long term support needed NSW Farmers President James Jackson says emergency payments to flood-affected communities was an important first step in helping people get through the flood disaster. The federal government has announced emergency payments will be available to flood affected individuals in 23 disaster declared LGAs from 2pm Thursday, and the state government has offered concessional loans and transport subsidies for eligible farmers and businesses. “People are hurting, and this money will help them meet some of their immediate needs as they deal with yet another natural disaster this year,” Mr Jackson said. “However, ...
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Biosecurity failures risk billions The state’s peak agricultural body says the Varroa mite outbreak is a stark example of the failures in the national biosecurity system. NSW Farmers Biosecurity Chair Ian McColl said it was clear biosecurity screening protocols at our borders were clearly not at the standard required, and it was time for the federal government to urgently fix the system before it was too late. “We have been warning Australia is highly exposed to biosecurity incursions and we’re seeing that play out right now,” Mr McColl said. “It is clear that there are gaps in the system, because Varroa mite reached our shores and evaded detection. ...
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Fresh flooding to impact food supply chain Farmers across the state are once again being hit by wild weather creating fresh concerns about food supply chains. Producers in the Sydney basin are among those hardest hit with widespread flooding across the region, putting tremendous strain on farmers in the Hawkesbury and Nepean valleys. However, the impacts of the torrential rain are being felt out into the central west, and vegetable growers in the Hunter Valley have had paddocks drowned for a third time this year. NSW Farmers President James Jackson said the full fury of nature had been on display this year, and he urged affected communities to stay ...
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Workers wanted to boost food and fibre production NSW Farmers President James Jackson says Australians looking for work should consider a career in agriculture. There were almost half a million job vacancies across the country, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which Mr Jackson said was holding back productivity. Getting out of your comfort zone and embracing a new career in rural and regional Australia was a “no-brainer”, he said. “We have a little over half a million people who say they’re jobless, and a little under half a million job vacancies in this country,” Mr Jackson said. “Throughout the pandemic agricultural businesses have ...
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