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The supply and demand situation remains quite tight in the sugar market but activity by speculators has kept prices down. Watch the CANEGROWERS Marketing Information Service April 2021 update with Dougall Lodge for an insight on what’s happening.

Marketing Information Service – Canegrowers

Farm Management Deposits Scheme – Evaluation

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) is undertaking an evaluation of the Farm Management Deposits Scheme (FMDS) to ensure it meets the expectations of primary producers and operates efficiently.

The FMDS was established in 1999 and assists primary producers across Australia build financial self-reliance, manage risks, and prepare for times of uncertainty. The FMDS allows primary producers to set aside pre-tax income in good times to build up cash reserves, increasing their self-reliance during tough times.

The department wants to hear your thoughts on how the FMDS is run and how it helps primary producers manage through tough times. They also want to hear about other ways primary producers manage risks and how they compare to the FMDS.

Your feedback on the outcomes, impacts, costs and benefits of the FMDS will support government decisions on the ongoing implementation of the FMDS.

Have your say today at https://haveyoursay.awe.gov.au/farm-management-deposits-scheme-evaluation

CANEGROWERS will be submitting comment through the National Farmers Federation but if you use the Scheme and want to provide personal feedback click on the link above.

Up to $20,000 for producer groups to boost on-farm technology adoption 

Applications are now open for an exciting new Producer Technology Uptake Program. AgriFutures Australia will work with grassroots producer groups, servicing farmers, fishers and foresters to deliver a practical program to increase producer confidence, know-how and ambition to adopt technology in their businesses.      

AgriFutures Australia is delivering this national pilot program over 12 months in partnership with established producer groups. Eligible groups are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $20,000 to deliver a bespoke technology uptake program which will include a producer workshop, as well as other activities identified by the group, to introduce technology solutions and kick start technology adoption across their member base. 

Grants are available to Australian farming, fisheries and/or forestry producer groups, who know and understand the producer needs in their region and can help them overcome known barriers to adoption, including digital literacy, lack of understanding on the potential return on investment, and overall appetite for technology.   

AgriFutures Australia Senior Manager, Rural Futures, Jennifer Medway said this new program will give producers a practical pathway to evaluate the role and value of new technology in their farming operations. 

“Working with producer groups who can tailor opportunities to best meet the needs of local producers makes perfect sense. Eligible activities could be anything from trialing new technologies in the local environment, getting out on-farm or at sea to test new equipment, or seeking the knowledge of experts to assess the return on investment and demystify how to use particular technologies,” said Ms Medway.  

“Technology is increasingly part of the future of farm, fish and forestry businesses and we need to ensure those with an interest in technology can easily navigate the adoption journey.” 

As part the grant program, producer groups will automatically get access to a centrally-designed and facilitated workshop to deliver at the local level. The workshops are tailored to the needs of each producer group and designed to deliver practical information, decision-making tools and resources.  

Ms Medway said producers will walk away from the workshops with a personalised farm technology plan, including relevant solutions to their farming system and importantly, steps to implementation.  

“Few producers identify themselves as ‘technology adopters’, yet they may be using GPS-guided tractors, smart phones to engage in livestock markets, or sensors and other tools to track and measure paddock performance and own sophisticated farm-management software.”  

“Tech solutions can optimise the use of inputs, speed up decision making, create labour savings and improve market access, there are big benefits to be gained for farm businesses. It’s an exciting time for Australian agriculture and we want producer groups to be at the forefront of the adoption journey, supporting their members to unlock technology potential in their farming operation.”   

To be eligible for the AgriFutures Australia Producer Technology Uptake Program, you must:  

  • Be based in Australia 
  • Be a producer group, representing producer members (farmers, fishers and/ or foresters) 
  • Have a registered ABN 
  • Have a group with at least 10 producers committed to attending a training workshop 
  • Have experience in managing grants, including financial and reporting systems 
  • Be able to demonstrate that participation in the program will genuinely benefit producers in your group.  

To find out more about this program, including application guidelines, visit: https://www.agrifutures.com.au/national-rural-issues/producer-technology-uptake-program/ 

Applications close Thursday, 22 April 2021 and are to be submitted via the smartygrants website

Tropical Cyclone Niran disaster recovery available 

Primary producers in Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook, Mareeba and Tablelands local government areas who suffered damage to their enterprises during Tropical Cyclone Niran and Associated Low Pressure System 25 February – 3 March 2021 can apply for disaster recovery grants and concessional loans. 

Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants of up to $25,000 are available to assist with immediate recovery and clean-up costs for primary producers who suffered direct damage as a result of the natural disaster. 

Disaster Assistance Loans of up to $250,000 are also available to assist primary producers to re-establish the normal operations of their primary production enterprise while Disaster Assistance Loans (Essential Working Capital) of up to $100,000 are available to assist with essential working capital for expenses. 

For more information, including eligibility click below.

https://www.qrida.qld.gov.au/program/special-disaster-assistance-recovery-grants

Following the CANEGROWERS victory in securing choice for Queensland sugarcane growers, marketers began competing to provide their services to growers. CANEGROWERS provides a neutral information service to assist members to make informed decisions and reap the benefits of competition.

Marketing Information Service – Canegrowers

QUEENSLAND WELCOMES DISASTER ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT NORTHERN PRODUCERS

Disaster assistance has been made available to assist the recovery of additional communities and primary producers in North Queensland impacted by Tropical Cyclone Niran.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Federal Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the DRFA assistance will provide financial support in the form of freight subsidies and concessional loans to aid the recovery of impacted primary producers in Cassowary Coast, Cairns, Hinchinbrook, Mareeba and Tablelands.

QUEENSLAND WELCOMES DISASTER ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT NORTHERN PRODUCERS – Ministerial Media Statements

QUEENSLANDERS CHANCE TO DISPOSE OF UNWANTED AGVET CHEMICALS – REGISTRATIONS CLOSE APRIL 19

Queensland property owners can register their unwanted agricultural and veterinary chemicals for Agsafe’s ChemClear collection which is hitting the road in June.

ChemClear is a widely recognised program that manages the risks associated with obsolete agvet chemicals. The program provides a safe, effective and convenient path for users to dispose of their unwanted agvet chemicals.  

For more information visit Chemclear’s website.

Queenslanders chance to dispose of unwanted agvet chemicals – Registrations close 19 Apri – ChemClear