The NPG was joined by representatives from Bayer and FMC to provide updates on their operations, products and supply. Bayer provided a briefing on the ongoing litigation in the United States and reiterated the importance of growers having access to the chemistry and maintaining confidence in our regulator. Following ongoing grower concerns around blenching with Overwatch this season, FMC provided an update to the NPG and discussed the issues. Growers are encouraged to report any adverse experiences via the APVMA website or email directly:
Workforce and Labour Shortages
Our agriucltural workforce is a critical input that is directly linked to business
performance and profitability. The NPG is acutely aware the pressure COVID-19 has placed on the agricultural workforce and is eager to ensure a sustainable workforce into the future. The NPG worked through a range of short-term and long-term policy solutions that GrainGrowers will pursue to support the industry’s workforce needs.
This includes, ensuring the AgVisa suits the needs of grain farms, activities to promote the industry’s employment options and addressing international border barriers.
Climate and carbon
With ongoing talk about Australia’s position on net zero and the role agriculture can play, GrainGrowers is working with the Australian Farm Institute (AFI) to explore the potential impact on the grains industry if Australian agriculture is excluded from a net zero emissions target. NPG provided their thoughts on the scope of this work and discussed a range of considerations with the report being due in October.
The NPG also discussed two newly released ways to participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) carbon market which appear on face value to offer increased opportunities for croppers to participate in carbon market.
ISCC and harvest
Many grain buyers are talking about sustainable grains (ISCC) in the lead up to this harvest. The NPG spoke with GrainCorp and CBH, with both confirming that the ISCC remains a voluntary scheme and that all sites would accept both ISCC and non-ISCC grain and reiterated that it does not need to be physically segregated.
Customers are increasingly interested in buying sustainable grain, and the trade expects to put forward more bids for ISCC canola, barley and other crops this harvest. The NPG continues to focus on ways to ensure that sustainability scheme remains entirely voluntary and that those farmers interested in sustainability certification are able to get it in one form or another.
GrainGrowers would like to thank our Northern NPG members for their contributions over the past three years. For further information about any of the issues discussed or to provide feedback, please get in touch at ua.moc.sreworgniarg@yriuqne or (02) 9286 2000.