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The team at Peppin are delighted to collaborate with Andrew for friends and clients.
Hi All,

This year I’d like to get content from readers. There’s going to be a section devoted to outside content called ‘Soap Box’. This is an opportunity to express your views in 100 words or less. Unless offensive, defamatory, or blatant advertorial, your content will be published. Business self-promotion is fine, but it should be informative. Politics, philosophy and sport are good. Quite a few are reading regularly and it’s a good audience. Please send me your content!


Andrew Bomm

Prices steady or dropping

Despite the weather heating up and summer crop watering in full swing in the southern Basin, temporary market prices have remained steady or declined. Victorian prices have come back to around $80, NSW Murray $75, and in the Murrumbidgee prices have dropped to as little as $40. This Bidgee price is down around the levels seen in spring when it was heaving rain and there was much uncertainty about whether cotton plantings would get in.


Carryover strategies

Storages remain high and irrigators will be weighing up how much to carry over into next season, given that the risk of account spills is high. In the Murrumbidgee, Burrinjuck is 95 per cent full and Blowering 94 per cent. In the Murray, Hume is still 91 per cent and Dartmouth 78 per cent. Menindee is helping feed the bottom end. With reasonable rain in 2017 full allocations with be likely. Current Bidgee prices may reflect a desire to offload water that might otherwise have been carried, though at $40 it’s cheap insurance. If this is the case, such decisions may free up space in accounts for others to park water, though the risk of spill remains.


Murrumbidgee IVT account balance

With a $30/ML difference in price, look out for the planned MDBA inter-valley transfers from the Murray to Murrumbidgee. Information should come in their Friday weekly update but being the MDBA you never know how surprises appear. H2OX and Ruralco are generally up to speed on these things and publish a newsletter weekly. At the time of writing, the account balance was still maxed out at 100GL. If it starts to move towards 85GL, Bidgee prices could start to align more closely with those in other catchments.
 

Tropical systems playing out

A lot of exciting tropical weather is happening at the moment and it’s sprayed some residue on us down south. Again, the BOM’s December monthly outlook looked a bit ordinary while others have been calling it right. Hopefully the BOM starts providing a bit of regular weather commentary in the way farmers want it and talk us through the ins and outs of potential scenarios, rather than just giving us a bald outlook.

The autumn outlook should be a little clearer later in the month and I’ll provide a summary of what everyone is predicting in the next update.

 

When my baby smiles at me I go to Gold Coast… 

Sussan Ley has demonstrated appalling judgment in organising meetings with health stakeholders around the apparently more important objectives of securing Gold Coast investment properties and partying with brassy Liberal Party donors. This is consistent with her judgment in mismanaging water politics in the Riverina, and how someone with such modest intellect could be lumped with an uber-complex ministerial portfolio can only be put down to gender politics.

The political messaging has been similarly ham-fisted. The first instinct was to portray the investment as unplanned. Even if it were true, which is unlikely, how does arguing that an $800,000 Gold Coast investment happens spontaneously really help in the eyes of ordinary punters? It doesn’t – it just makes things worse. They can’t afford a first home, let alone a luxury apartment bought on a whim. The next day, the message was: ‘I haven’t broken any rules.’ Nobody cares, the public knows it’s wrong and that’s what should ultimately cost her the ministry.

The question must be: why? Prime Albury real estate is delivering outstanding yield on investment, low rental vacancies and should provide sound capital gains over the longer term. At the Gold Coast, you’re at the mercy of oversupply and a fickle rental market. Ley could have invested in her own electorate and she would still have a successful political career.
 

Competitive finance

Banks take customer loyalty for granted and frequently set uncompetitive rates for long term farm business clients. Farmers should speak regularly with a reputable finance broker about the competitiveness of their bank’s lending rates. Of all business costs it’s the easiest way to save money.  

A good option to reduce lending costs is to offset bank loans against Farm Management Deposits, a strategy which is now permitted after legislative change. Banks don’t want to promote this opportunity because it reduces the amount of borrowings they can charge interest against, so clients need to raise it with their lender themselves. Rural Bank was the first to promote an FMD offset product and hopefully others will follow.
Who will have a job in the
age of robots?

There’s a lot of talk about how the employment landscape will change in the next twenty years, as robotic technology adapts to many of the tasks currently done by humans. Technology has always enabled jobs growth in the past, but will this time be different? Here’s an interesting Ted Talks on the subject.
View Here

Next Liberal leader

At the Melbourne test there was some farcical Pakistani batting that makes you wonder about goings on in cricket betting markets. But this week it’s politics again. Turnbull is $1.75 with Sportsbet to not be leader at the next election (too short), but it’s the market for a pre-election replacement that provides a little value. Scott Morrison is at a very generous $11, below Bishop ($4), Dutton ($6) and Abbott ($7.50).
The most interesting maps
on the net

If you’re into maps this bloke tweets the best stuff. A German demographer living in Melbourne, Simon Kuestenmacher puts out a lot of maps depicting interesting data on everything from agriculture to economics to population demograhics. Fascinating stuff that conveys the changing world in simple graphic representations. Check him out here.
Click Here

Nowt!

Everyone running events is keeping their powder dry.

Sport and politics collide

This is the best documentary I’ve seen about sport. It covers the controversy of the West Indian rebel tours to South Africa when apartheid sanctions were in place. Not a short one but worth it if you can give it the time.
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andrew@progressiveagriculture.com.au

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