1. Drought policy reform to be considered

The report from a pilot study into drought reform measures, conducted by the Australian Government in partnership with the WA Government, has been released and can be found on the DAFF website at http://www.daff.gov.au/agriculture-food/drought-pilot/drought-pilot-review/drought_pilot_review_report. Hard copies of the report will be available from the department soon.

The study was designed to move drought management from crisis management to risk management by helping farmers to be better prepared. It is also trialling better-coordinated and more effective social support to farming families and rural communities.

The report will be used to further inform national drought policy reform by the commonwealth, state and territory governments. Next steps will be discussed at the upcoming Primary Industries Ministerial Council meeting on 28 October 2011.

Let us know if you have some views to feed into the discussion.

 

2. Looking for rural properties?

We have been advised by a private real estate firm of a National Rural Property Market Report that can be accessed at www.australianrural.com.au by pressing the free report button.

Note that we don’t necessarily endorse this product, merely advise you of its availability.

 

3. Uses of Dimethoate suspended

The APVMA (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority an Australian government authority responsible for the assessment and registration of pesticides and veterinary medicines) is proposing to suspend many uses of Dimethoate, based on adverse dietary risk assessments.

Lists of proposed retained uses and proposed suspensions can be found at www.apvma.gov.au/products/review/current/dimethoate.php and the APVMA warns that the crops listed for suspension are wide ranging.

 

4. Smoke gets in their eyes – in Mildura

A Centre for Expertise in Smoke Taint Research has been established in Mildura with the aid of a $4 million allocation from the Victorian State Budget.

Victorian DPI scientists aim to develop a web-based risk assessment tool to help growers determine the potential risk of smoke taint in grapes and wine by studying the uptake and accumulation of smoke in grapes.

Want to know more? Contact: Georgie Wilson, DPI Media Adviser, (03) 5430 4417, 0400 041 776

 

5. Safe and healthier food for all Australians

The Second National Foods Futures Conference, hosted by the Public Health Association Australia, 22-23 November 2011, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart. Conference Coordinator, Janine Turnbull, 02 6285 2373 or email: [email protected]

 

6. Tools for managing income risk

Farm Management Deposits (FMD) are tax-linked, financial risk management tools available to primary producers whereby income from profitable years can be set aside for draw down in low-income years owing to factors like drought.

We think this is probably not a lot of interest to winegrape growers in times like now but when things improve, you may like to consider them for times like recent years.

Ask your accountant about them – regulations are currently being enacted to make them more accessible and effective.

If you have any questions regarding the above please feel free to contact:

Lawrie Stanford | Executive Director E: mailto:[email protected]or

Kelly Bonser | Office Administrator E: [email protected]