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.
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.
“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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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?
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.