Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 394
Posted on: September 14th, 2018


This week’s quote is from Gregor Heard’s article titled “Feed grain sector a big winner in Indonesian FTA”.


“Australian grain growers could receive a $150 million windfall due to increased access to markets as a result of the newly inked Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) free trade agreement (FTA). The gains are likely to be made in the area of feed grain, with a key plank of the FTA that Australia be able to export 500,000 tonnes of feed grain, including wheat, barley, sorghum and oats, without incurring any tariffs.”


Increased access to Asian markets is key for Australian farmers.


Source: The Land, Gregor Heard, August 2018



AI to map Australia’s 65 wine regions row-by-row

The vineyards in Australia’s 65 wine regions will be accurately mapped for the first time using high-resolution satellite images and advanced machine learning in a national census of Australia’s wine grape area. Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said, ‘the national scan is an exciting opportunity as it will allow Australia for the first time to have a scalable and repeatable method to measure vineyard area.

‘Through the investment, the maps will also be delivered in an online interface that will be able to be accessed by Australia’s grape growers’, he said. By mid-2019, Consilium Technology’s world leading agricultural artificial intelligence software GAIA (Geospatial Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture) will deliver a row-by-row census of all of Australia’s vineyards using high-resolution satellite images and advanced machine learning.

The scan will be repeated for two years, producing maps for three consecutive vintages. Wine Australia’s agreement with Consilium Technology follows a successful pilot undertaken earlier in 2018, which returned an outstanding accuracy of more than 90 per cent for scans of the two trial regions Margaret River and Tasmania.

‘GAIA’s pilot of Margaret River and Tasmania demonstrated the technology can deliver accurate, timely and cost-effective information about Australia’s vineyards and it is exciting that its capabilities will continue to grow as it learns from the information it receives. We are extremely pleased with the results’, Mr Clark said.

GAIA’s first test was conducted in Margaret River where vineyard locations were already known, and a quantitative analysis of accuracy performed on the results. A second demonstration was then run using the trained algorithm from the previous analysis to demonstrate its learning capability, which showed a 5 per cent improvement on the previous scan.


Source: Wine Australia, September 2018

Britain outlines post-Brexit farm policy in bill

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will introduce legislation on Wednesday for agricultural policy after it leaves the European Union that will link support for farmers to the provision of public benefits such as tackling climate change or preserving beautiful landscapes. The Agriculture Bill, primarily covering England, will provide the basis for policy in a sector which for decades has been controlled by the European Union.

“After nearly 50 years of being tied to burdensome and outdated EU rules, we have the opportunity to deliver a Green Brexit,” Britain’s farming and environment minister Michael Gove said in a statement. The bill includes a seven-year transition period to allow farmers time to adjust as direct support payments linked to the amount of land they farm to be phased out.

Under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, British farmers receive about 3 billion pounds a year in public funds. “The bill allows us to reward farmers who protect our environment, leaving the countryside in a cleaner, greener and healthier state for future generations,” Gove said. “Critically, we will also provide the smooth and gradual transition that farmers and land managers need to plan ahead.”

National Farmers Union president Minette Batters said the bill “falls short of our aspirations,” adding British farmers would need to compete with farmers all over the world, nearly all of whom are supported financially to produce food.


Source: Nigel Hunt, Reuters, September 12


This week’s chart of the week is from ABC rural news. Following on from our quote of the week, the chart below highlights the importance of the FTA with Indonesia.

“Australia and China signed a FTA in December 2015 and agricultural exports rose 10 per cent — more than $1 billion — in the financial year that followed. At $11 billion, China receives more than a 20 per cent of all of Australian agricultural exports. Economic forecasts have Indonesia on track to become the world’s fourth-largest economy. But it is not currently one of Australia’s top 10 trading partners.”

Source:  Brett Worthington, ABC Rural, August 2018








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