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Land and Environment : Agribusiness Assoc. of Australia

Australian Agribusiness Perspectives: 2007

Paper 75, 30th September

Mallee Farming

Bill Malcolm

In the future the Mallee is going to be hot and dry. Farming in the Mallee is going to be very profitable sometimes, middling profitable in some years and not profitable at all at times - as has always been the case. In 10 years time there will be less Mallee farmers; they will be farming a little differently to now; and most will earn a good living. The scale of operations will be greater. The rate of change will be faster. Change makes it possible to cope with change. The size of the challenges will be greater, but the capacity to deal with the challenges will be better than now. The past is prologue.

Paper 74, 5th October 2007

Biofuel Mania

Bill Malcolm

From an economic perspective, the current fashion for biofuels to help achieve something towards something called ‘sustainability’ seems ill-judged. At some point, economic sustainability becomes relevant. At present, unless heavily subsidized, biofuels only make economic sense if the feedstocks cost little and oil costs a lot. The prospects of achieving much towards the goals of reducing carbon-related pollution need to be established to justify a market failure/public benefit argument. Goals of replacing a cheaper energy source with a more expensive energy source in the name of self sufficiency makes no economic sense. The merit of ‘renewability’ of a resource to replace a resource in plentiful supply until technology makes it passé, is also dubious. This mania for biofuels might yet prove to be one more example, from many in Australia’s mixed economic history, of mercantilist interests masquerading as the national interest, and politics temporarily winning over economics. History is littered with plenty of examples of politics overwhelming economic sense, for a while at least. Fashions change, subsidies dry up, firms go bust. Economics wins, eventually.

Paper 73, 8th May 2007

Future Productivity and Growth in Dairy Farm Businesses n New Zealand: the Status Quo is not an Option

Bill Malcolm and Alex Sinnett

There are several themes in this paper, all relating to the imperative for dairy businesses to grow and to improve productivity. For agricultural businesses to grow and increase productivity in a dynamic world, the status quo is not an option.

Paper 72, 8th May 2007

Expected Public and Private Benefits of Embedding Farm Business Performance Systems in the Australian and New Zealand Dairy Industries

Glenn Ronan


This paper is an outcome of a PIRSA project that commenced in late 2005 to assist in the procurement of a dairy farm business performance system, its implementation and ithe interpretation of reported results.

Paper 71, 30th April 2007

Geographical Indication for New England Wines in NSW

Hui-Shung (Christie) Chang, Gene Campbell and Peter Sniekers


Geographical Indications (GIs) have increasingly been used as a marketing tool to create an image of quality and uniqueness, and so capture premium prices. Hedonic pricing studies have shown that indication of geographical origin of production (e.g. country, region, wineries, and location), can affect prices. However, Geographical Indications only work when they are backed up by quality products. The objectives of this study are to assess the potential of a proposed Geographical Indication for the emerging “ New England” w ine region in promoting local wines and to make recommendations on how that potential, if it exists, can be realised. The assessment is based on an overview of existing systems of Geographical Indications and conditions, both economic and regulatory, which are required for successful geographical indication applications.


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