Ag 2016: South West farmers look to the future

IN the Ag 2016 special publication, distributed as an insert inThe Standard on July 21,the focus is on our local agriculture endeavours, their successes and challenges over the year.
Nanjing Night Net

Click on the image to read Ag 2016 magazine.

DAIRY OUTLOOKDAIRY farmers in the SouthWest region are preparing fora tough 12 months as farm gateprices are slashed to belowcost of production.

Farmers are preparing forat least a year of tightenedbelts, hoping to be ableto ride out the low pricesby cutting stock numbers,reducing labour used on farmand reducing the number ofmilking sessions per day.

United Dairy farmers ofVictoria (UDV) has statedthe times are desperate formany dairy farmers across theregion, who will be rallyingtogether as much as possibleto try to assist each other, andthe industry, through this time.

UDV has encouragedfarmers to make the mostof the Taking Stock andTactics for Tight Timesprograms, available throughlocal regional developmentprograms (see page 21 fordetails).

FINDING A NICHETHERE are farmers in theSouth West region exploringalternative forms of farming,which are finding nichemarkets for products outsidethe traditional mould.

Innovation and explorationare in train to capturenew markets and engageconsumers in new ways (seeone farmer’s growing snailenterprise on page 9).

Australia’s fascination withcooking shows and the gourmetlifestyle continues unabated,offeringopportunities to temptthe nation’s palate. SouthWest’s farmers are up for thechallenge, finding new waysto distribute and engage theconsumer.

SHEEPVENTIONDRAWING more than 25,000visitors each year, Hamilton’sSheepvention event continuesto grow.

Offering a mix ofcompetition, animal sales,entertainments, food andfashion, this year’s eventon August 1 and 2 will be ashowcase of the South Westand Australia’s history ofsheep farming (see pages10-13 for more).

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