Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS - Peter H. Greenham

It’s been a while since I’ve writ­ten my cor­ner and a lot has hap­pened. On the lighter side, our team didn’t do any good in the grand fi­nal but my peo­ple in­form me that the young group is staying to­gether and can go one bet­ter in 2020.

I can’t say much about the dairy in­dus­try ex­cept that I do know that a fair num­ber of farm­ers are buy­ing fod­der and not wa­ter which makes sense at the cur­rent pric­ing. Spring looks like a fair break for Vic­to­ria and I hope you get the rain you would like.

It’s amaz­ing that peo­ple talk about un­em­ploy­ment in re­gional ar­eas as if there’s noth­ing to do. Our plant is now run­ning at ap­prox­i­mately 50% im­ported labour and ONLY be­cause oth­ers do not seek a job. Any­one read­ing this and keen for solid and con­sis­tent in­come with an Aussie owned com­pany, please con­tact the team at the Ton­gala works.

One of the strangest hap­pen­ings in our in­dus­try is that China is now the largest im­porter of Aus­tralian meat, out­strip­ping even the pow­er­house USA. Our com­pany, along­side fif­teen other pro­ces­sors, have sought list­ing to sell to China and is osten­si­bly ap­proved, but needs the rub­ber stamp from the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment.

As those who are close to the land know very well, we can­not let swine fever into the coun­try and I think we would all agree, that what­ever steps AQIS un­der­take, it’s im­pos­si­ble for them to go over­board. In my es­ti­ma­tion, the trou­bles that China have got will take at least five years to be cor­rected. Where they get the sows or fu­ture breed­ers from, who knows? There is cur­rently no vac­cine avail­able for African swine fever, leav­ing an­i­mal slaugh­ter as the only ef­fec­tive dis­ease con­trol op­tion.

If I don’t write again be­fore Christ­mas, the ren­der­ing plant which you have no doubt heard about will be com­mis­sioned in Jan­uary which will make us more se­cure for the fu­ture and han­dle what­ever cat­tle be­come avail­able. Cur­rently our kills are 75% in­ter­state and only 25% from the Goul­burn Val­ley which is dis­ap­point­ing but we do un­der­stand the prob­lems with smaller dairy hold­ings.

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