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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

Wake up call for Australian Agriculture

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 23 April 2019

The latest biosecurity failure in South Africa (SA), the detection of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), not only had immediate impacts, with the banning of all movements of cloven foot animals and their products; but also consequential impacts on other SA farm products.

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Topics: Wool industry, cattle, sheep

What to look out for in 2019 - Wool

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 11 January 2019

In this series of blog articles, we’re taking a look back at the year that was for agricultural commodities and provide our insight for the year ahead.

This installment highlights 2018’s key movements in the wool market and what to keep your eye on in 2019.

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Topics: Australian wool industry, agricultural industry

Social Licence – it’s a rubbish concept!

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 3 January 2019

“Canberra bubble” has been coined the word of the year by the Australian National Dictionary Centre. Mecardo suggests that the equivalent in 2018 for agriculture is “Social Licence”.

Both are somewhat vague in meaning, although they are regularly trotted out by commentators and the plethora of industry opinionated columnists. We have noticed that “social licence” is now pushed to farmers and other agriculture industry participants as something to be “earned”.

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Topics: Australian wool industry, Australian cattle industry, Agriculture, activists

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, management, leadership

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, science, Land use

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: Wool industry, sheep

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: Wool market / wool price, Australian wool industry

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

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