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Mecardo Blog

Unusual stunts from animal rights activists, and how to react to them.

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 4 February 2018

Protests in steak restaurants, sheep vigils, monuments to fallen chicken & attacking fictional cartoon characters. These are areas which animal rights activists have campaigned in the past month.

In the modern world of social media, and instant communication, it can be easy to spread a message. How should the industry respond to these stunts? 

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Topics: animal rights, Animal Welfare

Bang for your banking buck

Posted by Olivia Agar on 4 February 2018

The struggle of financing for many small rural businesses is widely felt. There is little joy in the cumbersome process of applying for financing and the nerves and sleepless nights over interactions with current or prospective banks can be haunting. 

Having a good relationship with your bank can be a means to drive your business forward. In this article we delve into what a good relationship with your bank should look like, and how it will help to get the best bang for your banking buck.

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Topics: banking, farm management, finance

US dollar in the sin bin, but for how long?

Posted by Mecardo on 4 February 2018

Continuing robust US data has become more of an expectation than a surprise over the last few months as FED Chair Janet Yellen in her final meeting highlighted the Board’s growing confidence in the US economy.

However, the better than expected numbers, plus the expectation of three interest rate hikes in 2018 by the FED reserve, and the eventual passing of U.S tax reforms has left the FX market confused by the lacklustre performance of the USD.

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Topics: currency

Is the wool industry short of shearers?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 22 January 2018

We have noticed a lot more chatter in the past 12 months from wool producers regarding the increased difficulty experienced over the latest shearing – unreliable teams, much later finish to shearing and generally a frustration with organising most important task for the year.

Facts and figures around the shearing industry are difficult to pin down, so let’s start with the anecdotes and comments we are hearing.

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Topics: Wool industry, shearing

Flaming frost, Flipping wind, dastardly dry, blooming rain – Is there anything we can do about it?

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 22 January 2018

Anyone who has worked in Australian agriculture for more than a couple of days will have heard one of the above, albeit most likely with stronger adjectives.

If there is one guarantee for farmers in Australia it’s that we are at the mercy of the gods when it comes to weather. In such a big country, there will always be an area where something will be going wrong with the weather.

Many of you will have heard about multiperil crop insurance, but what about weather insurance & derivatives. Are these a suitable risk management option for protecting against the weather?

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Topics: Risk management, Agriculture, insurance

If the Agtech bubble bursts, who will the survivors be?

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 22 January 2018

In recent years there has been an upsurge in agtech funding to previously unheard-of levels. A day doesn’t go by without a conference, media coverage or new product launch in the agtech space.

As with all start-ups there will be winners and losers, but what factors will help make a successful product?

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Topics: innovation, agtech

Is the traditional financing model broken (or brokered)

Posted by Olivia Agar on 15 January 2018

The nature of financing for small to medium businesses, particularly in rural communities, isn’t quite what it was 20 years ago. Relationships with a single bank, spanning generations are increasingly rare. For farmers and rural businesses, rationalization of regional banks and the revolving door of bank managers causes disruptions to customer service which has stripped away much of the appeal and reduced the value of having a longstanding relationship with a bank.

Small business owners are now placing more value on a personalized approach to finance, seeking greater flexibility and support from their lender which is driving them to search for alternative options or a more competitive offer on their finances.

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Topics: financing

Corporate Ag Investment: "Doing the right thing"

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 13 January 2018

Long term food producers (farmers) have noticed the positive sentiment that’s been rolling over the ag sector in recent times. An evolving situation of increasing world income, a growing population – particularly the wealthy middle class; greater appetite for amplified consumption of protein, and an at best constrained capacity for increased productivity (at least in the traditional sense), all suggest a cautiously positive outlook is here.

Corporate ag investment, could provide opportunities for co-investment or alternatively is this the time to cash in on years of diligent and painstaking investment in the family farm? Other than financial returns what other factors are investors taking into account?

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Topics: agriculture debt, Agriculture

Deferring grain pricing: More than one way to skin a cat.

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 11 January 2018

At this time of year, those lucky to have grain on hand will now be deciding whether it is best to sell their grain or hold on for higher prices. There are numerous ways of deferring pricing, and provide exposure to the market at a later date.

This short article will provide summaries of easily accessible options.

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Topics: Grain market / grain price

Agtech Visions: Will lab grown meat supercede animal agriculture?

Posted by Olivia Agar on 6 January 2018

Porterhouse Steak $34.00 –grown from the finest myosatellite cells of a 100 day grass fed Black Angus in a bioreactor.

While this doesn’t quite kick the salivary glands into action, it could be the story of providence on the menu at any fine dining restaurant in the future (like this one). Well, that is if we are to believe that the hype around ‘lab grown’ meat can become a reality.

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Topics: agtech