March 19, 2013
Better representation of the grains industry and chemical reform have been addressed as key issues in today’s Victorian Farmers Federation grains conference. Kicking off in Mildura in front of 140 delegates, outgoing grains President Andrew Weidemann praised Victorian farmers for their resilience and skill over the last twelve months. “The production results of last year were a direct reflection of the skill of today’s farmer,” Mr Weidemann said. “With some areas of Victoria producing near record crops and other areas receiving similar rainfall to the 82 drought, yet still able to produce something in trying conditions, this says a lot.” Another crucial issue Mr Weidemann noted was the impact that chemical reform has had on the industry. “Our main issue around the revised legislation is the unintended consequences that could occur as a result of chemicals being de-registered. “The cost of not having appropriate regulations has major impacts on industry. “Legislation as it stands, will wipe hundreds of valuable and specialised chemicals from the Australian market. We’re a very small market for these large multinational companies and as a consequence, chemical companies just won’t bother re-registering ‘cause of the cost,” Mr Weidemann said. Mr Weidemann also cited the need for greater national representation and the importance of state farmer organisations. “The grains group, on a state basis, has spent considerable time this year engaging with both new and current members through organised social events. “These social events organised by the group have been a success. Any chance we have to create the opportunity for growers to meet and discuss issues facing them is a huge positive, “Mr Weidemann said,. On a national level, Mr Weidemann highlighted the need for a united approach. “We have seen in the past, and we will see it again, but when all lobby groups work together outcomes are achieved,” Mr Weidemann said.