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The state’s agricultural worker shortage has wiped hundreds of millions from projected harvest income as farmers desperately plead for access to labour. NSW Farmers President James Jackson said reports of the state securing more farm workers would be welcomed if they came to fruition, but he warned the time for talk had passed. “We’re getting into a pretty tough spot with a lot of crops, we need up to 16,000 farm workers and we need them now – not in two- or three-months’ time,” Mr Jackson said. “NSW Farmers has been warning of labour shortages since the pandemic started and while you’d think our state and federal governments had learned the lesson last year ...
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Farmers have told the state’s leading agricultural association that resilience and environmental performance are some of their top priorities for the future. NSW Farmers, in partnership with the Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre and the University of New England, asked members and non-members to take a survey on the future of farming as part of a push to grow agriculture to $30 billion by 2030. Preliminary findings from the survey show respondents were most likely to prioritise building and maintaining a resilient farming business, and a notable proportion were also most interested in improving the environmental performance and status of the farm. ...
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Farmers flying towards the future NSW Farmers members and horticulturalists in Batlow have been given a hands-on experience of the future of agriculture. The ‘day of drones’ training was a result of NSW Farmers partnering with Tocal College and Bralca, with AgSkiled delivering funding to train the production, horticulture and grains sectors. NSW Farmers Gundagai Branch chair Kevin Malone said the course gave participants a chance to see if a drone would be of value within their farming operations. “I was pretty impressed with the drone, farmers are always looking for a way to do things better, smarter and safer,” Mr Malone said. “A drone may be a great ...
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Farmers unite in call for harvest certainty State farming organisations (SFOs) from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have joined with their federal colleagues in calling for an urgent solution to the east coast’s harvest worker crisis. AgForce, NSW Farmers, the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and the National Farmers Federation (NFF) met to discuss solutions ahead of the first East Coast Taskforce meeting on Friday. There was a common desire from the SFOs and the NFF to find swift and cost-effective solutions that would deliver thousands of harvest workers to farms before November. Current quarantine requirement for international ag workers should ...
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Plans to grow a strong future for agriculture will fly out the window if state and federal governments fail to recognise biosecurity as a top priority. NSW Farmers is again urging governments to secure a pest- and disease-free future. With Biosecurity Chair Ian McColl saying a long-term funding model and robust response plan was key in the fight against emergent threats. “One of the main assets of the Australian agricultural sector is our so-called ‘clean and green’ status,” Mr McColl said. “It’s what drives demand for our food and fibre globally and it is basically why our produce carries a high premium here and overseas. “We acknowledge and appreciate the ...
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The Prime Minister’s decision to overrule a planned removal of quarantine arrangements has sparked fresh fears our harvest will be spoiled. NSW Farmers President James Jackson said he was stunned to hear of the reversal just hours after Premier Dominic Perrottet promised to scrap hotel quarantine. “We had been calling for cheaper and more efficient quarantine arrangements heading into a big harvest season, and were relieved by the Premier’s announcement,” Mr Jackson said. “Now we’re left shaking our heads. Plants ready for harvest don’t care about political finger-pointing or vaccination rates; our farmers desperately need workers and this is just another ...
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NSW Farmers' President James Jackson said any efforts to bolster the harvest workforce were welcome, but more workers would be needed before summer was over. “We’ve been highlighting the dire need to improve access to harvest workers for weeks now, and this will certainly help, but cherry growers, for example, need workers for five weeks, not one,” Mr Jackson said. “There is a shortfall of at least 10,000 harvest workers this season, and that’s because of the COVID restrictions we’ve had in place. “Now that vaccination rates are rapidly rising and we have access to rapid antigen testing, the government needs to vastly improve harvest worker mobility if we ...
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