Mecardo Blog

Banning GM crops provides a premium in South Australia……..

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 11 March 2018

South Australia is the only major crop producing area in Australia which does not allow the commercial production of GM crops. We were tasked by the industry with answering the question:

”Does the GM moratorium, provide a premium price to South Australian farmers?”

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Topics: Grain market / grain price

You better learn to learn!

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 11 March 2018

“For students starting a 4-year degree, half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.”

This was one of the startling facts I learnt recently from a YouTube post discussing the rate of change and innovation that has occurred around the world and is predicted for the future.

It included other amazing stats like the 25% of India’s population with the highest IQ’s ……. is greater than the total population of the USA!

And, “China will soon become the Number #1 English speaking country in the world”, along with, it took 38 years for the radio to reach a market audience of 50 million, 13 years for TV, and 2 years for Facebook to reach an audience of 50 million. 

Both these projections seem amazing but also plausible to me, but what if someone had told us this 30 years ago? Would we have believed it or even done things differently?

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Topics: management, business, learning

The trunk technique- driving business into the future

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 5 March 2018

Agriculture is in a fortunate position, it produces a non-discretionary consumer product, that is the need for food sits at the very top of the consumer spending decisions. This is good, but this fact alone cannot be relied upon to sustain our farms. Complacency in industry or business is not justified and we should look to learn from other sectors for methods to drive growth. 

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Topics: management, business

Time to bless the rains down in Africa!

Posted by Matt Dalgleish on 2 March 2018

Toto have been singing about it since 1982, but should livestock producers be paying more attention to Africa in the future, instead of India? 

The Australian livestock sector is perfectly located to take advantage of the growing population of middle class wealth expected to stem from Asia in the coming years. Indeed, there are more mouths to feed in the regions to our north west than there are in the rest of the world – Figure 1. Over 50% of the current world population reside in the shaded circle.

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Topics: Sheepmeat market, Export market, markets, wheat, corn, beef market, dairy, India

Investment in agriculture: Are all your eggs in one basket?

Posted by Olivia Agar on 26 February 2018

The philosophy ‘Invest in what you know’, advocated by Warren Buffett, has been a popular guide for investors. The premise is that having specialized knowledge in the field should mean an investor can pinpoint strengths and weaknesses of the business, evaluate the industries climate and know when to make a move. But is this really an ideal strategy to follow for those in agriculture or is it placing all your eggs in one basket?

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Topics: Risk management, investment

Water woes and water wars

Posted by Matt Dalgleish on 26 February 2018

All this bickering about water and access to water is doing my head in at the moment. You would think it is a crucial element to our survival the way the commentators are carrying on about it... actually, wait a minute – it is!

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Topics: markets, weather, water

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

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