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Mecardo Blog

An evolution in sheep shearing

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 8 February 2017

The wool industry relies on the shearer as the first stage in the harvesting and movement of wool to its ultimate market. And while this process has been successfully carried out since sheep first arrived in Australia, it is curious that this harvesting system has progressed little over time. The timeline for the evolution of shearing is slow, interrupted with disputes and false starts.

In this blog we look at one innovation with the potential to take wool harvesting to the next evolutionary level.

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Topics: Wool industry, merino

Long-range weather forecasts by Dr David Stephens

Posted by Mecardo on 1 February 2017

Since 2001, Long-range weather forecasts were issued by the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia (DAFWA) and the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC) by Dr David Stephens.

Dr Stephens has a reputation for producing the most accurate weather and crop yield forecasts in Australia, and has agreed to write occasional articles on Mecardo to help provide weather insights to our readers.

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Topics: weather

Let's make merino great again

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 25 January 2017

There are times when you just have to stand up; “it’s now or never”. Coaches espouse the need to win the crucial 3rd quarter, the “break” point in a tennis game, or bowl the “dot” ball at a crucial time of a cricket match. “Sometimes there is no next time, no time-outs, no second chances. Sometimes it’s now or never." The playwright Alan Bennet probably wasn’t talking about the wool industry, but he could have been.

Prices are great but the industry is in decline, how do we learn from other industries to save Merino in Australia. How do we make merino great again?

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Topics: Wool industry, Australian wool industry, merino

Trump has won, now what?

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 10 November 2016

As you will be aware the United States have elected their 45th President. In what can only be considered a heated contest, Trump was victorious. The media and the pollsters got it all wrong, but they were also wrong about Brexit. During the campaign, policy took a back seat to personal attacks. In this update, we will highlight the initial obvious impacts likely to be felt on agriculture.

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Topics: markets, Politics

Grain & Canola NPE contracts, the simple facts

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 3 November 2016

In an attempt to secure supply a recent response from grain traders and merchants to the low world prices is to offer and promote to grain growers No Price Established (NPE) contracts. As with any contract there has to be something in it for the seller, and also something for the buyer. Lets have a quick overview looking from both sides.

It is important to note that NPE contracts come under many different guises including Fast Cash from Agfarm, and Market Advantage from AWB.

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Topics: wheat

How do you reduce price volatility in wool?

Posted by Matt Dalgleish on 3 October 2016

This blog article takes a look at managing downside price risk exposure for a wool grower using forward contracts and minimum price contracts.

There are two predominant strategies to reduce the effect of price volatility when selling physical wool for a date in the future. These are by using a forward contract or using a minimum price contract (MPC).

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Topics: Wool market / wool price, Wool industry

Mecardo are on tour!

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 5 August 2016

The GRDC are running a series of farm business updates during August and September. Mecardo are excited to have been invited along to present at events across the east coast. 

The GRDC Farm Business Update provides a unique forum for growers and advisers to learn from, and network with, leading industry professionals. 

The Mecardo team will be contributing the first presentation for each day. Our presentation will be titled 'Getting a gauge on the market', and will be used to set the scene for the following presenters. 

We recommend attending these events, as it is a good opportunity to get some new insights

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As the EYCI advances are restockers getting grass fever?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 5 July 2016

The EYCI has hit an all-time high of 660.50 cents per kg cwt; this brings to the fore the question of where is the top of the cattle market? Has the market peaked? The old adage of “it takes high prices to fix high prices” starts to resonate.

We have also been around long enough to see frenzied bidding when conditions are good and grass is abundant – grass fever!

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Topics: Australian cattle industry, beef market

Dairy farmers left holding the pail

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 30 June 2016

In rural and mainstream news services there is a regular stream of stories recounting the disastrous situation dairy farmers find themselves in as a result of the “claw-backs” advised by the milk processors last month.

Unfortunate as it is, these claw-backs are part and parcel of the milk supply agreements most of the dairy farmers in Australia commit to. In this article we aim to give an insight into dairy contracts for those outwith the dairy industry, and why most of the risk is held by the farmer.

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Topics: dairy

Is Brazil a real threat to Australian cattle markets?

Posted by Augusto Semmelroth on 25 May 2016

Australia and Brazil are undeniably the two “giants” in the global beef trade. Together, both markets account for 35-45% of world trade, and to some extent, dictate the supply and price of beef for available for international customers. With that in mind, our analyst in Brazil Augusto looks into whether the two compete head-to-head for market share.

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Topics: Cattle market / cattle price, beef price, beef market