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Mecardo Blog

Robert Herrmann

Robert Herrmann
Rob is the Managing Director of Mecardo, an independent specialist agricultural consultancy and market analysis business. Mecardo provides the latest market analysis and outlook for cattle, sheep, wool and grain markets. Rob has over 30 years of agricultural experience, including 11 years as a senior wool specialist with Elders advising in the marketing and risk management of agricultural commodities.
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Recent Posts

Leadership and other musings

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 5 September 2018

Leadership is often sought as some sort of pinnacle in a chosen field, something to be aspired to when seemingly other more humdrum accomplishments have been completed.

In fact, this is the deception of leadership, the gaining of leadership is not the end game, it is just the beginning of a responsibility that few are prepared for and most attempt to “learn on the job.”

Whether leading a company, a movement, an industry or a team, good leaders can achieve great things via their team, members or staff. The obvious paradox is that poor leaders can hold back the organisation or team leaving an unfulfilled or sometimes worse situation.

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Topics: Agriculture, leadership, management

What will the wheat genome map mean for the fight for acres?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 22 August 2018

The announcement that scientists have successfully mapped the wheat genome is significant. Firstly, for the fact that the scale of this achievement is huge; the wheat genome map is five times the size of the human genome map.

But also important is the impact this will have on wheat as a source of food supply into the future, and by extrapolation the effect this event will have on future land use in general.

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Topics: wheat, Land use, science

Sheepvention – I wouldn’t miss it for quids!

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 31 July 2018

The Sheepvention name captures the remarkable story of a sheep show that has survived where many other regional events have long ago shut up shop.

The P & A Society members who 40 years ago decided to re-invent (and re-name) a dying sheep show by thinking outside the traditional and accepted model are to be applauded.

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Topics: sheep, Wool industry

Sheep meat producers set to be the real winners of the food boom.

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 11 July 2018

We have seen some optimistic headlines recently about the prospects for agriculture.

“Mining boom to dining boom” and “Australian farms to be the food bowl for Asia” are recognizable newspaper headlines that capture the promising outlook.

And when you look at where the growing population lives, there is no doubt that Australia is well placed to service this potential.

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Topics: food boom, sheep, Asia

Are you sure the wool market can only go up?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 11 July 2018

The wool market has finally shaken off the disappointing prices of the 1990’s and early 2000’s to currently sit at levels many wool producers have longed for.

As in the past when markets surge, the underpinning fundamentals for the strong market support a positive outlook into the future.

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Topics: Australian wool industry, Wool market / wool 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: business, management, 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: business, management

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: shearing, Wool industry

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, agriculture debt

Is the Merino stud model fit for the future?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 6 January 2018

Its many years since stud breeders of jersey bulls, landrace pigs and rhode island red roosters presented their prized stock at the various capital city Royal Shows to assess breeding potential. Today, these industries rely on data & science to identify the best sires to breed for the growing commercial demand for milk, pork and chicken.

Performance recording has replaced show judging.

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Topics: Wool industry, merino

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