Recent comments by: pepper

Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm

Geronimo is on the money... wastage is king already and is evidenced by the number of small crop farmers who have either gone broke or left the industry over the last fifty years, mainly due to abysmal crop price returns caused by unsustainable retailer and processor demands. We do not need to grow more to throw more, what we need is a common sense approach and acknowledging that a minor blemish on a tomato does not diminish its food value and does not need to be thrown away. There are thousands of acres of previously productive land laying idle due to destructive corporate economic scalping.
05/02/15 09:59 PM
The hoary old chestnut :'Cutting costs' has been relegated to the partner 'downsizing', and buried . The phoenix that arose was 'rightsizing'! It would be helpful if sometimes an explanation of 'cutting costs' was tabled. It's a meaningless throw away cliché that ignorant experts use when they have no clue of what to say. When people are being sold up by unsympathetic creditors who charge for taking a risk then don't take the risk by such actions, there are no costs to cut. In fact there is nothing for those farmers ( or their families )......but the creditors and processors grow fat.
10/12/14 12:46 PM
Without that reform GFA, we can kiss the Aussie family farm goodbye......then wait for the bleats from the consumers as the cost of feeding the family rise. we need producer protection/rights as well as consumer protection/rights.
06/08/14 11:46 AM
With any meaningful manufacturing in Australia gone.....hold on to your hat agriculture you're next. At least with government regulation and some sort of community consensus within any industry the community has some voting does the community of farmers have an input into a dictatorial corporate monopoly. More importantly how did such a circumstance be allowed to arise.....someone has been asleep at the wheel.
07/07/14 01:38 AM
Hey Bushie Bill give me agricultural socialism over corporate communism every time.... your community conscience must rattle every time you see the outrageous demands for social security. recommend you have a read of a few of Orwell's books maybe Animal Farm would be a good starter for you.
05/05/14 02:01 AM
Second last line spoiled a reasonable article. and so close to Anzac day.
28/04/14 12:45 PM
Rational Ag Policy.....written like a true multinational.... Maybe you could also explain why it is good to use successful peoples tax monies for futile military operations overseas. Good farmers cannot persist or survive in an unbalanced, unfair, and monopolistic excuse for a market that leaves them as price takers. Of course the rogues will always find a way forward.
28/03/14 10:00 AM
What a good idea....lets stop pumping money into war in unrelated countries and subsidise Australian farmers with the saved money. I look across the country side and see so many once highly productive paddocks now grassed over and destocked. If the farm gate returns were above cost there would be plenty to share with neighbours and solve our employment problem at the same time. It seems that Australia is one of the few countries who haven't realised this inevitable truth in the need for a fair farmer support. Much better than being invaded and starving anyway.
24/03/14 12:46 AM

Get Muddy

Sam the other approach maybe to put cooking back into the suburban kitchens. Perhaps a focus on modern house designers to make dining a centre of conversation around some healthy fresh veg and meat dishes. It would be a refreshing change from the marketing of cardboard takeaways for the masses. Fine dining out is limited to the minority who have liquidity. If the stew is cooked wouldn't need the premium Japanese cattle meat! Might solve Qlanders point and a lot more producers could participate. If we all went to the markets with the ute would be chaos supreme.
27/08/14 01:09 AM
Leon we've already compulsory levies and taxes. and what has been achieved? The one point in Australian beef production that needs to be demystified is why retailers and middle operators have rights and power and the producer is a price taker....This is not a balanced vertically integrated industry. This is a production, processor, retailor confusion.
Demarcation is needed so that the fair rights of the producer is recognised. Collective bargaining by producers to the power of buyers is the only way a fair go in a non market will be achieved. Drought is a 'force majeure' and a distraction.
21/03/14 12:59 AM
If you want to start talking about culture, the first thing needed is the representative separation of collective interest groups. The producers have a very different culture to processors, exporters, or retailers. We are not America, England or China, we are Australian, and we have a unique culture...particularly in the farming sector. Machevalli and Ned Kelly are alive and well in the corporate world but the Aussie farmer has an independent expectation of a fair go. Ban the lobby groups and let allow the constituent farmers use the three levels of government representation of our democracy.
18/03/14 01:38 AM

Burrs under my saddle

Pete, a good hit at raising a few issues.... here's an idea that will appease the free marketeers, and oppoagries on this forum..... put GST on all food sold through a supermarket....this should balance the books when our remaining farmers hang up their chiphoe and put their hand out for the social security support. Seethelight might explain why GST shouldn't be applied to food. Freshy, you describe the problem of vertical integration and cross subsidy by the big end of town: where is the balance of market power for our primary producers.
08/05/14 06:25 AM

Out of the shadow

You farmers need to understand that the pollies need to fund their family holidays somehow......? business class at that! Look to the price takers....... And Jock if you don't flog the farm the taxpayer supported banks will give you forceful incentive to move on. The whole unsustainable economic madness of increasing production just collapses and the cycle starts again. Next time it won't be a GFC it will be a TFC?
10/08/15 12:43 AM
This amazing rhetoric espouses from the spring of economic and market destruction that flowed through the Australian primary producers of beef cattle and dairy farming. Same dribble another channel.
06/04/15 01:40 AM


Now can we see the headlines for the majority of farm gate profit/losses? Does this only include primary production or do we detect some secondary processing profits included as agriculture?
16/09/15 01:57 AM
Give the research money to the farmers and then watch the increase in production.... Production will never increase unless it's commercially viable.....and why flood produce onto an undervalued market anyway? We hear all this increase supply nonsense without any solid evidence of demand increase. It's cheaper to buy milk than water at the local supermarket.....go figure!
31/08/15 04:01 AM
This is another example of the sad farm produce payment model that we have in Australia......Processors should be service providers only and not have the power of a clearing house for any primary produce. To have a proper market in beef and dairy ( in particular) this major irregularity must be addressed. An independent market operator and a market watchdog with legal teeth is long overdue. It is even more obscene when we see another nation's company executive dictating the terms of trade.....and who would be the advantaged in this advice? Not the 'Aussies Battlers', of can be sure!
31/08/15 03:46 AM
Hey angry, while your points may be valid, the one chance that famers have to survive is a fair and equitable market opportunity for all primary production. Let's hope that the selected Ag commissioner has the issues affecting the small farmers as well as the corporate giants at heart. An open and transparent market for cattle would be a good start, with an independent clearing house ..... and banning of cross subsidisation particularly where primary production is involved. Maybe then those 15000 people you want to sack would have alternate employment opportunities in profitable agriculture.
21/08/15 02:33 AM
A typo toothless.... should read ACCC not AAAC. Thanks for raising. Did you have any thoughts on why cross subsidies should be a legitimate non competitive way to eliminate the small business competitor?
17/08/15 12:46 PM
Right on dogsbody.... we could start with AAAC banning cross subsidies on any product/produce line. If a product or activity cannot stand alone economically, it is not viable but if it needs to be propped at another products expense the outcome becomes nothing more than a bribe to buy. This is not competition, it is unfair, unreasonable, and cannot support the value of an even playing field. It's time this nonsense be addressed and marketeers relegated to some form of control. At the very least publically expose or declare who is doing the subsidising at whose expense.
14/08/15 05:33 AM
Contributions by so many to benefit so few to see such a white elephant? Fix up what we already have first.....then see what is needed.
08/06/15 12:33 AM
wtf , that 'divide' is created by marketeers and packers whose interest is not the producer or consumer. How a government department can be complicit in enforcing such produce standard nonsense is something worthy or investigation. A standard may not be complete as it does not cover slightly imperfect produce. This choice should be the consumer not retailer.
Capture the needless waste and feed the world!
28/04/15 02:50 AM
You are spot on Percy, this has also happened in the so called beef industry, small crops, etc..... except that they haven't cut anyone out rather eliminated the competition. Wake up ACCC small business is being destroyed in this country by your short term perspectives and inability to see beyond corporate canvasing.
27/04/15 02:00 PM
It's high time that ACCC looked at retailing cross subsidy impact on primary and secondary production. As with any war, price wars are destructive, and at the end of the day.....someone is out, or crippled. This is not competition it is unsustainable stupidity and to even consider that this nonsense is not going to result in unfair harm to genuine businesses competing on the same playing field. As with wages all primary production and secondary industry need a market floor to support honest endeavour. Any cross subsidisation should be transparent and published in a market notice.
24/04/15 11:13 AM


This issue is a reflection of how food is valued... nutrition or visual appeal.
I wonder if the preamble costing include the health waste bill?..... this common sense initiative would eliminate the perceived need to waste funds on the likes of the aggressive ag project we see touted up north. Oversupply leads to unsustainable agriculture on to waste and waste. Finally the environmental and economic cycle must implode leaving expensive environmental and health issues. Tax fast and entertainment foods to the same level as tobacco! and teach food value and preparation skills in schools...?
05/06/15 01:02 AM
Independent Farmer, why does a market need uncertainty to function correctly? Two key factors are enough 'degrees of freedom' for the market to move/respond, and transparency ( which is not commercial in confidence information ). Supply/Demand data at a market node is not just a dice toss, it does have boundaries of certainty which drives strike prices. A Gambler wearing a Traders jacket?
29/04/15 12:10 PM
Fred, it is a fundamental of functional markets that every player has access to data post trade and that the market is clearly advised of any player issue that may impact on the market outcome pre-market. Good business should not be a total random game of chance. Even in poker there are play strategies developed on experience from previous games, and the end game cards are tabled before settlement. It is comforting to know why you lost.....
28/04/15 10:38 PM
Pay Attention, what you may be indicating and supporting is that, if say someone throws their garbage into your kitchen, then it is your problem and you would be pleased to remove it and clean and remove any contamination at your cost. You would also be happy to replace any losses as a result of this event at your own cost. After all: it's your kitchen and "you take the risk of contamination", and it is only a small percentage of the kitchen space! I hope you keep your cattle behind the fence.....they too, can make quite a mess.
09/04/15 10:51 AM
Testing is a wonderful hobby....testing for things that we know about. Can the pundits explain clearly how they test for conditions that they don't know or understand? Or do we just keep testing for the known and conclude 100% without a risk, then blindly follow the smell of profits with total abandon of any ongoing responsibility.
26/05/14 04:52 AM
Unfortunately ( or fortunately) X Ag Socialist the factual or real experience of many farmers on the supply side in Australia ( I can only cite from small crops and cattle ), is that many crops get ploughed in due to oversupply in the market. Have a look at the current cattle market in Queensland, orchards being pulled out down south. I believe there was a case last year where a semi load of oranges was dumped after being offered free to a processor and refused due to an import contract. Food shortage or profiteering by the market manipulators? Do some real research and you may be surprised
26/05/14 04:41 AM
It is interesting that food has been successfully grown and consumed for thousands of years and within a decade we hear that we won't survive without GM. It's time the debate turned to who benefits and what those gains are. GM corn is now contributing to the greatest obesity epidemic that the world has ever seen..... it that the gains society needs or is it the pocket full of cash from the manufacturers and mass producers. Barnaby should exercise the same caution as with the climate change This is not for high speed expediency of a commercial bottom line.
23/05/14 01:34 AM
Relax people....double cropping has vey limited sustainability. Typical of corporate exploitation take and move on. It is inevitable that a single desk and regulation will return....has anybody stopped to think why it was as it was. i.e. apart from those that have very short sighted, inward focused vision? and droughts/famines/wars have happened in a lot of countries and affected a lot of others. Computer chips might be crunchy but you can't feed people on technology.
21/03/14 12:24 AM
And thirdly Jeffito: most credible scholars don't play 'old man kangaroo' and spray their passion to douse all other views. The 'BS detector" gene may have turned into a "TE receptor' gene. 'Seek first to understand' that there are others who surprisingly have predecessors who lived quite successfully without GM for many centuries. It's a bit like DDT saving the world not to mention the cane toad, There's been plenty of time to reflect on those brilliant scientific initiatives ( to name a couple ). Maybe it's your 'TE receptor' that needs realigning.
17/09/14 01:52 AM
Jeffito, for such an articulated GM educated proponent , your comment conclusion indicates a misplaced bogan gene causing a disconnect between your passion for GM and social reality. I have no major issue if you want GM but keep it on your side of the fence, and allow others to inform you of their view on your so called " troll's wallop"
16/09/14 10:12 PM


It would be good if Mr Howard would 'exercise common sense' and support Makka's view, particularly regarding a replacement for an ineffective gun. What does a cooling off period achieve when a person already is licenced and has already access to firearms? This situation is quite different to a first time purchase by either the inexperienced and/or one without an impeccable record.
09/09/15 01:00 PM
Call it what else you like, a completely new word ... but the definition and meaning of marriage has been has been solid for thousands of years....not something that should be messed with by any political envelope pushers.
31/08/15 04:22 AM
The reality is that as the world population increases the larger holdings will be subdivided.....time to start thinking outside the traditional squatter view and more effective and efficient use of land is needed. There are as many if not more useless farmers on 5000 acres as there is 'blockies' on 200 acres...It's time this 'blockie' nonsense was put to bed and the real issue of farm gate returns addressed. There is no place for blatant discrimination in agriculture much less uphold such poppycock. By the way have you stopped and looked at house affordability in the major cities?
25/08/15 09:39 AM
The biggest help for any primary producer is that labelling laws clearly state where the produce came from and not be washed out by retailer or processor marketing. i.e. label clearly stating: e.g. oranges from Jones Farm Gayndah packed by Jackson Co, or beef from Bucking Station and processed/packed by JBS. Now that would give consumers a choice and not retailer dictation.
28/04/15 02:41 AM
For all the noise they would hardly pay their way anyway.... don't just split them up ...shut them down. and replace them with a few 'bill of rights' enforceable by law. Self perpetuating and prolific organisations are generally parasitic on any community. We need a valid and detailed cost/benefit analysis to demonstrate beneficiary status.
01/04/15 12:12 AM
Even the regional businesses need to get online.....your competition is no longer up the street ( or in the next town) it is global. NBS? and Australia post. Pills in the post? What's that I hear??? maybe more regulation to stamp that out.
28/04/15 10:43 PM
Nico you are quite right it is unbelievable.....that you that you can isolate a particular point in a statistical representation and infer that 25% is half of 50% particularly if you are working off a complex curve. How many independent variables have you included in your final equation and what weighting have you contributed to each independent variable. Or are you working on a singular dimension with an absolute reference? Even neural networks need to be tuned but are useless unless they give a credible result. 25% of 50% is useless if indicated it's actually 10% within that 25% of 50%.
06/04/15 03:13 AM
and nico what weightings are you putting on your stats.....'probability' and 'chance' are two different words each with it's own meaning.
02/04/15 02:25 AM
get real nico.... 50% doesn't mean a thing without clarity on what the independent variables are, how the variables were selected, and some more accurate resolution of the topographical selection. The evidence would indicate it would a 50% chance that a knee would ache before it was going to rain. It should be compulsory for all of these forecasters to step outside and visit a rural area where there are farmers who have to roll the dice against the weather and are playing for keeps. No forecast would be more useful and less emotionally devastating than a misleading one, (and cheaper as well!)
01/04/15 04:32 AM
To answer your question, angry, .... they polish their CV, rewrite their KPIs and review every 6mths, um, ah, er, whinge about the air conditioning, write another meaningless report, re-write another meaningless report, have a meeting about a meeting......gosh is it smoko yet? then have another fire drill because the newspaper is late again!
Then they need a full regime of command to manage morale and despondency. Yes Minister, DAFF is fully aided! The redundancy bill would be too high to wind it down.
01/04/15 05:06 AM


What risks are taken by the authors of the 'import risk analysis handbook ? ..more importantly who are the authors and what interest/long term exposure do they have when the holes in the swiss cheese model line up. Where is the contingency planning handbook for when they do stuff up (and there are many examples of that, starting with the cane toad ). Commercial interests have much lesser priority than public health or environmental contamination when playing with import bio security. Have a harder look at consequence over occurrence. Prevention is better than a costly cure every time.
20/02/15 12:36 AM
Logic is spot on.....there are thousands of acres of top volcanic soils not being utilised .... not because they can't produce ( some of these small farms supported a few families in earlier times ), but because of the incorporated ignorance in current commercial and economic reasoning. The 'increase production' lobby has effectively supported the manufacture of large machinery and caused a mono cultural flood of produce into markets which has simply taken the many more diverse small farmers out. Consumers need to pay a fair farm gate price and there'll be a revival without any fuss,
19/08/14 01:13 AM


Lulu maybe you need to report your sightings to the appropriate authorities and not just your politically driven mates. And while you're at it report any cases of illegal trespassing, biosecurity breaches, etc. try not being so selective about which law you respect and your credibility may be established.
04/03/15 11:30 PM
I hope our primary production levies aren't financing this nonsense. What has NLIS got to do with CSG? High time to close down this waste of producers money.
03/08/14 10:20 PM


Barcoo you seem to be doing well...we can't even afford the working dogs let alone the feed for them. Your words are echoed by many small family farms.... bring on a transparent and non monopolistic cattle market ASAP. Then the kids may see some certainty that their efforts rewards won't just be forced from them by corporate greed, and stifling regulation. Most folk will happily work hard if there is at least a minimum recognition for it, SO if primary production does that.....where are the takers...currently?. The up side is... it saves family conflict over who gets the farm at the road end.
31/10/14 01:19 AM

Rural Lifestyle

The experience of the 25 year old business manager just oozes from this article. The NFF would be wasting less funding if they revealed to the constituency how that they intended to introduce an open and transparent Primary Production Market to ensure viable farm gate returns for all primary producers....Something helpful and useful, not some juvenile business manager telling all how to suck eggs. There's no sensationalism in real farming stories!
02/11/14 01:14 PM
The merger of local councils needs reversing to address the reduced representation that regional locals have within their locality. Health care needs to be decentralised to stimulate a transfer of wealth of retirees to the country which will cause the support industries to follow. Real estate prices in the cities are beyond sensibility when compared to many regional centres. Time for the regional councils to sharpen their pencils and look beyond their navel to capture some of the tax spend into improving essential infrastructure such as some bitumen on local roads within 20k of a town centre.
22/08/14 04:40 AM


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Sorry did i get it wrong..? Rankins Springs is still open..?!
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No doubt a few frosted Freddies out there who will wish they had taken a closer look at the AGC
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Matthew, I was wondering if you had followed up this story with the farmer after the whole

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