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Dairy West Vic

a series of videos targeted to different audiences tackling the issue of sustainability.

Cotton near Hay

Different moments captured during the 2016 and 2017 Cotton seasons across three farms at Hay in western NSW.
Saturday, 24 March 2018 08:36

Lamb redefined

A change in the definition of lamb has been officially endorsed by Sheep Producers Australia, following significant industry feedback, with WAFarmers applauding the decision.

Friday, 23 March 2018 12:30

Bold ag vision

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has launched a new initiative by the National Farmers’ Federation which aims to spark growth in Australia’s farm sector

Thursday, 22 March 2018 12:27

Bronzed butchers

It was a red carpet event for Australia’s best butchers when they won Bronze at the World Butcher’s Challenge in Ireland overnight.

Thursday, 22 March 2018 09:33

Quad safety

The ACCC has proposed major changes to improve the safety of quad bikes, including the introduction of a safety rating system, crush protection devices and mandatory minimum performance standards.
Tragically, quad bike accidents result in an average of 16 deaths in Australia each year. They also result in approximately six people per day attending a hospital emergency department and two of these requiring hospitalisation for serious injuries.
To help reduce the deaths and injuries associated with quad bikes, the ACCC is proposing a mandatory safety standard that:

  • adopts the US Standard and requires an additional rollover warning label
  • introduces a safety star rating system so safer vehicles get a higher rating
  • requires manufacturers to integrate an operator protection device, such as a crush protection device or roll over protection device in the design of new quad bikes
  • imposes minimum performance tests for dynamic handling, stability and mechanical suspension and requires that all wheels be able to rotate at different speeds.

“The ACCC believes a mandatory safety standard incorporating all of these elements is the best option to save lives and make quad bikes safer for everyone. We invite the public and stakeholders to have their say on this important safety proposal,” ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said.
“The ACCC has considered a range of evidence and views in making this draft recommendation. We have consulted with industry representatives, quad bike manufacturers and retailers, farmers, consumers, academics, hospitals, health professionals, tourism operators, among many others.”
The ACCC has developed a Consultation Regulation Impact Statementhttps://www.accc.gov.au/sites/all/modules/extlink/extlink_s.png); width: 10px; height: 10px; padding-right: 12px; text-decoration: none; background-position: 2px center; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">(link is external), which details the proposed options to make quad bikes safer.
“I encourage stakeholders to consider the proposed options to improve the safety of quad bikes and make their submission by 4 May 2018, before we make a final recommendation to the Government mid-year” Mr Keogh said.
If you currently own or ride a quad bike, the ACCC strongly recommends that you follow safety advice on Product Safety Australiahttps://www.accc.gov.au/sites/all/modules/extlink/extlink_s.png); width: 10px; height: 10px; padding-right: 12px; text-decoration: none; background-position: 2px center; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">(link is external).
Improving the safety of quad bikes is a product safety priorityhttps://www.accc.gov.au/sites/all/modules/extlink/extlink_s.png); width: 10px; height: 10px; padding-right: 12px; text-decoration: none; background-position: 2px center; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat;">(link is external) for the ACCC in 2018.
Background
There are approximately 190,000 quad bikes in operation in Australia used for in workplaces, recreation, adventure tours and competitive racing. Currently about 16,000 quad bikes are sold each year in Australia and they are one of the leading causes of death and injury on Australian farms. Since 1 January 2011, 114 people have died in quad bike-related incidents.

Thursday, 15 March 2018 14:21

Kalyx on the go

Leading national Australian agricultural research company, Kalyx has announced that it will be investing over $1 million during the coming five years in a graduate technical training and employment program.

Thursday, 15 March 2018 13:56

Lamb diet RD&A

A range of dietary additives showing potential to improve the viability of newborn animals when supplied in utero are now undergoing the first comprehensive trials in sheep in Australia.   The Meat & Livestock Australia project aims to identify compounds with the biggest potential to boost a lamb’s ability to survive and thrive in late pregnancy and the days immediately after birth. If successful, these will contribute to higher whole-flock productivity and profits on-farm. The ‘New approaches to increase the weaning rate of the national sheep flock’ initiative is one of 12 on-farm research, development and adoption projects to receive MLA investment in 2017-18, instigated through the organisation’s regional consultation process.  This process enables red meat producers to have input into the direction of RD&A funding that is most relevant to them for their environmental conditions.  Previous MLA research has recognised poor lamb survival pre-weaning is a major source of reproductive inefficiency in the national sheep flock and this new investment will help producers fine-tune their nutrition and management tactics. MLA Program Manager, Richard Apps, said it was particularly targeted at finding dietary supplement options for twin-bearing ewes in the second half of gestation, but would also apply to ewes carrying a single foetus. “Survival rates for twin and singleton lambs across Australia’s sheep flock average about 70 per cent and 90 per cent respectively and this has not changed in many years,” Apps said. “For the national Merino flock, the average is lower at about 50% and 75% respectively. “Improving these rates is integral to increasing on-farm productivity and the competitiveness of sheep production and meeting an expected global rise in demand for red meat in coming years.” The project is led by the South Australian Research and Development Institute in collaboration with The University of Adelaide. Phase one started this year at SARDI’s Turretfield Research Centre, where a team of sheep reproductive biology experts is testing a range of the most promising dietary and biomedical compounds for increasing energy stores in foetal lambs and/or reducing the risks of damage from any oxygen deprivation during the birth process. SARDI’s Research Scientists, Dr Dave Kleemann and Dr Jen Kelly said it was the first time these products had been tested on sheep in such a comprehensive way, but many were being investigated for their benefits to human babies and pigs. “We will be feeding a range of compounds to ewes in late pregnancy initially, and tracking physiological responses that suggest enhancement of survival and weaning rates of lambs,” Dr Kleemann said. “The most promising products will then be tested in field trials across SARDI’s research stations in South Australia and then, if successful, in commercial paddocks in collaboration with four farming systems groups in South Australia and two in Western Australia. “Working with these groups will enable us to assess whether the products will work on commercial farms as feed additives, such as in a pellet or liquid form, for Merino and specialist maternal breeds in a wide range of environments.” The University of Adelaide’s Senior Lecturer in Reproductive Physiology, Dr William van Wettere said the key objective was to find compounds targeting improved lamb energy stores at birth. “This could reduce the incidence of stillbirths, enhance lamb thermo-regulation to help them survive cold and windy conditions outside the uterus, increase early vigour and growth and – ultimately – lift survival rates,” Dr van Wettere said. “There may also be compounds that increase ewe colostrum production, which could boost lamb weights and improve their ability to survive the first few days after birth.” Dr Kleemann said the biggest cost:benefit would come from dietary additives for multiple-bearing ewes. “If supplements are feasible, we anticipate lamb survival rates could increase by about 10% on average – and more for Merino flocks - which means an extra 10 lambs for every 100 joined,” Dr Kleemann said. “Benefits will flow to producers from having more, high value lambs and fast-tracking ."

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:42

Deep learning

There has been a lot of hype around artificial intelligence during the past couple of years.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:15

Grain contracts re-jigged

Grain marketing organisation AWB Harvest Finance Pools Pty Ltd has made changes to its standard form grain pool contracts after the ACCC raised concerns that some terms in the contracts were unfair.

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