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Hi All,
Here’s the last update for 2017. I’ve been in China so this one’s a little delayed.

Kudos to Sam Marwood at Cultivate Farms for progressing his venture. Sam has created a marketplace for matching capable new entrants to farm ownership, with investors and retiring farmers. I was present last week as the first farm pitches were considered by an investor, and this new business model has started in earnest.


Andrew Bomm
Temp prices
The Bidgee has bounced from 115 to $135 in the Bidgee, as the market realised that the major rain event hadn’t made much difference to allocations. Many understood this before last week’s allocation announcement, but the market wasn’t completely aware. Murray water has been fairly steady at around $105-110 on both sides.
 

Ruralco – kudos
Kudos to water broking firm Ruralco for putting up $0 trades on their water markets pages. This is useful transparency and Phil Grahame and his team deserve a shout out for making the move.
 

Bidgee losses
Bidgee irrigators have seen 90GL of their water flow past the gate because irrigator orders were abandoned with large rain events recently. As I understand, this has gone to meeting the downstream commitments that would otherwise be met by Murray irrigators. Whether the questions should be directed at Water NSW or MI, I’m not sure.
 

Parking water
Parking on Vic LRWS has been on offer at $35/ML. This may be a little ambitious relative to the asset value, which has continued to go up, sitting at about $400/ML. There probably won’t be much Bidgee water needing parking this year, which may depress parking prices in early 2018. If prices hold at $35 LWRS assets may jump again soon after.

 
Progressive Agriculture goes to China
I’ve been in China early this month. It was a very interesting experience. I learned a lot, but have much more to learn. Many things we consider to be straightforward here are not quite as easy there, but I’m aware that many Chinese people consider Australian cultural norms as unusual too. The challenge is navigating our different approaches to business for the mutual benefit that is there to be had. Chinese-born Australians will be needed to mediate between culturally different business parties.

China’s exploding economic growth combined with the interventionist role of government is a fascinating situation. There are contradictions between the incredible progress being achieved in such a short time, and the inefficiencies occurring in the government-led and organised rush. The Chinese real estate bubble must be worrying to the government and wealthy Chinese, and driving their supply side activity, but potentially at the later cost of cutting corners.

 
Rice industry elections
Ian Mason has been elected to the RMB and SunRice boards, replacing retiring Noel Graham. It was a close contest between Ian, Alan Walsh and Deb Buller. I was aboard the Walshy train, but I think Ian is also a good result for the industry. He is experienced and is a good conciliator.
 
In the long run though, the structure of industry governance and the lack of a candidate vetting processes are concerning. SunRice turns over more than $1bn a year, and is a complicated global business. Yet the board is dominated by growers, with a small group of professionals with technical expertise having to wear too much of the workload. More outside expertise is needed on the board to manage its task.
 
Compounding this deficiency is that no prior demonstration of competence and ethics is needed before becoming a SunRice board candidate. The good emerging leaders realise the challenge of the task and want to take time to be better prepared, while popular voices fill the vacuum. There's a risk that SunRice could succumb to the kinds of issues that have afflicted the Murray Irrigation Board, unless the suitability of candidates is vetted before each election.

 
AV Weather on the money this harvest
I saw Anthony Violi from AV Weather present in Griffith on October 12. He was bang on about the challenging harvest conditions we’ve seen, and he provided farmers with clearer and more tailored guidance than what the BOM gives. He understands customer service. Setting aside duelling claims about forecast accuracy, the BOM could learn plenty from Anthony about communicating climatic information to a farming audience.
 
Labor federal favourites
Federal politics betting has Labor at $1.62 to the Coalition $2.20 to win the next election. I can’t believe people would vote for Bill Shorten but the money doesn’t lie.
 
Podcasts galore
The new Farm Table website is up and running with a whole host of agriculture-related podcasts to enjoy.
 
Listen Here
GRDC research
The next GRDC Grains Research Update in Wagga Wagga will be on 13 and 14 February 2018.
 
Rinehart 4 Joyce 4ever
What an abomination the whole Rinehart-Joyce ambush of National Ag Day was. Agricultural influencer Oscar Pearse (@Oscarthefarmer) led the social media charge in opposition, his view immediately supported by NFF, who showed strong leadership in a frantic morning on Twitter. 
 
80’s cricket classic
Thirty years ago, Australia was playing New Zealand over the summer. Here are some great highlights.
 
Watch Here
Follow @progressiveagri on Twitter
Our mailing address is:
andrew@progressiveagriculture.com.au

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