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Mecardo Blog

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.

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Topics: Sheepmeat market, Sheep market, Australian cattle industry

Some entertaining solutions for harvesting!

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 24 November 2017

The Australian harvest has started, and most areas will be in full swing within the next fortnight. There will be some long days and nights ahead of you in the header.

Let's be honest, harvest can get a bit boring. To alleviate that boredom, each of the Mecardo analysts have provided a recommendation of a podcast which they enjoy to help you wile away the hours.

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Topics: Agriculture

Agtech Visions: Making our own replacement parts

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 24 November 2017

It’s the middle of harvest, the weather forecast is for rain tomorrow. We want to make sure we get as much harvested as possible. Boom, a problem with the header and a new part is required. It’s four hours drive away. A scenario which I imagine many of us have experienced.

In the future, will we be able to have a mechanical part emailed to us? In this short article, we introduce the possibility of 3D printing and how it could be a solution to on farm problems.  

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Topics: agtech

An Unexpected Journey to Agriculture

Posted by Olivia Agar on 24 November 2017

How did a 24-year-old girl from Sydney's southern suburbs of 'The Shire', with no family ties to farming end up set well into a career in agriculture? Well that’s an excellent question, and one I get asked often, generally accompanied by very baffled expressions from the asking persons.

Given National Agriculture day this week, and a time to celebrate all things agriculture, I'm going to share the tale of my unexpected journey into Ag.

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Topics: Agriculture

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.

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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.

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Topics: Wool industry, innovation, agtech

Shut the gate, the Merino’s have bolted!

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 19 July 2017

For some time, we have been writing about our concerns for the Merino Wool industry, noting the “fight for acres” to date has been well and truly won by the croppers. To top it off, the number of ewes now mated to terminal sires has also been growing. It hurts an old shearer/wool classer/wool broker/wool market watcher to see properties that for over a hundred years proudly produced Merino wool, jump ship and either rip out the fences and plant crops, or purchase terminal rams and get into prime lamb production.

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Topics: Wool industry

India beef exports hit for six

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 3 June 2017

The announcement by Prime Minister Modi of a ban on the “sale of any bovine animals for slaughter” has caught analysts of guard, with some early reports filtering through that this is not a major event on the world beef stage; we are not so sure.

It is pretty clear from reading the government decree that failing any backflip by the government, this will impact the slaughter of cows, buffalo and even camels.  

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Topics: Australian cattle industry, beef market, India

To shear or not to shear, is that the question?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 1 June 2017

For some time, there have been messages from wool processors that much of the Australian wool clip is too long. If this is true then shorter lots should attract a premium – this would be a normal economic lever to attract more of the type, and if that is the case can wool producers justify the additional cost of two shearings in one year?

To get to the bottom of this issue, a full understanding of the situation is needed. It is normal for suppliers (wool growers) to want to meet customer requirements (processors). At the same time, meeting the “new” requirement cannot increase the net costs to the business unless there is an off-setting increase in income.

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Topics: Wool market / wool price, Wool industry

Getting the farm enterprise investor ready.

Posted by Robert Herrmann and Olivia Agar on 7 April 2017

Australian farm enterprises have much going for them; management skills honed to the local conditions, robust and transparent markets, constant new technology and innovation upgrades and a relatively stable political climate.

The challenge is capital funding, especially funding to grow the business. The good news is that there is plenty of capital around; the challenge is how do farmers access this capital.

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Topics: financing, crowdfunding, agriculture debt, p2p lending, peer to peer lending, disruptive finance