Month: August 2018

International, interstate guests to provide GM perspective at GROWING SA

The grains side of GROWING SA 2018 will have a strong focus on exploring how genetically modified crops can fit into South Australian production systems, in advance of the independent review of the moratorium to be conducted later this year. Set for Friday 14 September at the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre, Hahndorf, delegates at the GROWING SA Conference will have the opportunity to hear from a renowned Canadian scientist and a Victorian grower on their perspectives of GM crops. Dr Stuart Smyth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and holds the Industry Funded Chair in Agri-Food Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan. His research focuses on innovation and agriculture and the resulting impacts. In 2009, Dr Smyth was part of a group of academics which received $5.4 million in funding over five years from Genome Canada to examine the genomic, economic, environmental, ethical, legal and social issues pertaining to bioproducts and biofuels. Dr Smyth will speak at GROWING SA thanks to the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia on how GM crops have revolutionised the production systems and marketing options of Canadian growers. “Probably the lead environmental discovery of my research is the substantial environmental benefits offered by GM crops, particularly GM canola,” Dr Smyth said. “Farmers in Saskatchewan have been no-till farming for 15-20 years and in some instances have reported adding up...

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Livestock producers urged to invest now for future success

PRODUCERS have been urged to take opportunities to invest now to maintain future profit margins and business strength, with Rural Directions Consultant Simon Vogt saying taking these steps would help them to be well positioned in the event of any price corrections​. Mr Vogt, who will speak at the GROWING SA Conference on Friday, September 14, says “well-considered” investment of current profits is the key to long term success and sustainability. “It’s important to recognise that low risk and high margin agriculture is possible,” he said. “Recent results from a national project, funded by Meat & Livestock Australia, the Profitable Integration of Cropping and Livestock, showed that the difference in profit as a percentage of turnover between an average producer and one in the top 20 per cent, was 9.91pc versus 33.15pc, with the difference in variable costs 42.48pc vs 33.10pc. “These are significant differences and highlight the importance of producers looking to their main profit drivers in their enterprises, for sheep these are reproduction rate, turnoff weight, fleece value and low mortality while in cattle these are reproduction rate, turnoff weight and low mortality.” Mr Vogt said managing the feedbase and achieving production goals from a pasture-based system wherever possible can improve enterprise profitability. With dry matter produced in a pasture-based system generally costing only 10-12 cents a kilogram versus an average cost of 25-30c a kilogram on...

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