Community concerns drove the LHPA review
From the August 2011 edition of Agriculture Today.
I am proud to say the NSW Government has delivered on yet another pre-election commitment, with my recent announcement that a full scale review is to be conducted into the Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) model.
The review will look at the structure, effectiveness and efficiency of the LHPA model as well as the ongoing role of the organisation and its rating system.
It will be undertaken by an independent consultant and overseen by a Government-Industry Steering Committee, who will report to me by the end of November.
We have implemented this review in response to the widespread concern expressed by farmers and other rural landholders since the LHPA system came into place in 2009.
LHPAs are an important industry-government partnership in animal health and pest management, and it is important that these arrangements and the associated landholder rating system be structured appropriately.
The review will involve in-depth consultation with all stakeholders so all relevant issues and their potential solutions are canvassed and considered.
Winter crop forecast
With the State’s winter crop now sown, the Department of Primary Industries estimates the crop at 5.1 million hectares, the largest area sown in more than ten years.
This is great news for farmers and our regions as we rebuild following a decade of drought.
Despite the bumper forecast, this year’s crop plantings have not come without challenges.
Patchy rain and extended dry periods stalled sowing, resulting in many areas having seen a long and drawn-out planting.
Mice numbers continue
to place pressure on our winter crop, with mouse numbers at their highest in key cropping areas in the Central West, Western, Riverina, Lachlan and Hume regions.
Seasonal conditions continue to be variable across the State, with follow-up rainfall now needed over most of NSW to consolidate the winter crop.
Farmer of the Year
I congratulate Wellington Merino producer, Norm Smith, on being named the 2011 NSW Farmer of the Year at NSW Farmers’ annual conference.
Norm successfully manages his farm with a focus on increasing productivity and profitability, while caring for the environment.
He is widely respected and regarded as a leader in his field.
Narrabri based beef cattle producers, John and Liz Manchee, were deserving runners-up.
The Manchees showed great innovation in their work to drought-proof their property.
I also congratulate Book Book’s Marc Greening who was named 2011 NSW Young Farmer of the Year at the same event.
Marc is responsible for helping to run and market his family business, Injemira Beef Genetics.
His genuine passion for the beef industry and interest in innovation set him apart from his peers.
Gunning mixed farmer, Alan McCormack, was runner-up in the Young Farmer section.
He impressed judges with his commitment to farming and his innovative approach to business management.
Please start thinking about applying for the 2012 Farmer of the Year Awards.