Mecardo Blog

Robert Herrmann

Robert Herrmann
Rob is the Managing Director of Ag Concepts Unlimited, an independent specialist agricultural advisory service and publisher of Mecardo. 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.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

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“For students starting a 4-year degree, half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.”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

Read More

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. 

Read More

Topics: management, business

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.

Read More

Topics: Wool industry, shearing

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?

Read More

Topics: agriculture debt, Agriculture

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.

Read More

Topics: Wool industry, merino

Animal Welfare: Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 6 January 2018

It’s the relaxed time of the year when everything slows; so, any significant proclamation from governments can give rise to conspiracy theories that perhaps they are hoping it will slip under the radar.

I am not sure if we are a being paranoid, or adding 2 plus 2 and getting 5 …. but the announcement on 2nd January that the Victorian Government has released Victoria’s first ever “Animal Welfare Action Plan” set of an alarm bell.

Read More

Topics: Animal Welfare

Has the wool game changed?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 8 December 2017

As Charles Massy explains, from the 1840s wool was the backbone of the national economy. Indeed, in the mid-20th century, Australia boasted the greatest wool industry the world had seen.


In this article, we ask, has the wool game changed?

Read More

Topics: Wool market / wool price, Australian wool industry

Livestock market transparency – possibility or pipe-dream?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 24 November 2017

Debate currently rages about the provision of slaughter data by meatworks; the question processors raise is why should we provide it when it gives our export customers ammunition to reduce their price bids when supply and throughput is high?

Despite the obvious that when supply is low the boot would be on the other foot; that is processors could point to tight supply as a reason to increase meat prices, the question of “What is the value?” to the industry of greater transparency in publishing price or supply figures remains.

Read More

Topics: Sheepmeat market, Sheep market, Australian cattle industry

Agtech Visions: Weighing sheep by camera

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 18 November 2017

The assessment of sheep in saleyards by agents, buyers and market reporters is subjective; that is the estimate of liveweight, fat score & carcase weight is a best guess.

Given the importance of accurate assessment, especially to buyers and reporters, wouldn’t it be good if we could add some real time objective measurement to enhance this important sale function at major sheep and lamb auction markets?

This is the first in a regular series of agtech insights, aiming to provide a vision on the future of technology in agriculture.

Read More

Topics: Sheep market, agtech, technology

AWI: Learn from the avocado!

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 25 October 2017

A bad news story will trump a positive story every day, and you would have to be living under a rock to have missed the scrutiny AWI have been under in recent times.

AWI have been criticised for a perceived favouritism of ‘subjective’ over ‘objective’ development, and concerns related to potential conflicts of interest.

Perhaps to balance, we should take an objective look at what should be the focus of the wool industry; and expand our idea around the need to innovate to future proof the wool industry.

Read More

Topics: Wool industry, innovation, agtech

Be the first to hear!

The latest opinion, news, reviews and offers

Subscribe to Mecardo's blog to be the first to hear the:

  • Opinion of Mecardo and guest market specialists on the 'hot topics' in markets

  • Reviews of tools and resources

  • News on upcoming webinars, training and other resources

  • Special offers from Mecardo


Yes, I'd like to subscribe to Mecardo's blog

Recent Posts

Follow Me