Thursday, 10 November 2011 11:16

Editorial: Beware snake oil salesmen in the new carbon world

Written by 

The debate surrounding the newly legislated carbon tax has been highly politicised and highly divisive.

With different agendas come highly charged claims and counter claims – it will either be the end of the world as we know it, or the fuse to become even more efficient.

The fact is, the carbon tax will be applied to dairy processors and energy suppliers from July 1, meaning dairy farmers will receive higher power bills and, according to Murray Goulburn, reduced farm gate prices as processors offset their increased costs.

The best thing farmers can do is look for ways to reduce their power bills and we have several examples this issue on how to do it.

Farmers don’t need to rush out and buy the latest in solar power generators - we’re guessing they will be inundated with proposals to do so – a dairy audit will show simple and cost-effective ways to reduce power and save money.

The best thing farmers can do is concentrate on what they do best – produce high quality milk – and be wary of snake oil salesmen that will try and bewitch with how to make money on the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) and other “sure fire” proposals.

The Government introduced the CFI as a way for farmers to offset their increased costs by generating carbon credits to be sold in a global carbon trading scheme.

The CFI is a donkey, especially for dairy farmers.

Those who have land to plant to forestry can gain credits under the scheme but the reality does not look like meeting the Government’s best intentions. 

The cost of locking up farmland and planting trees will not be adequately rewarded.

So be wary of those who try and convince you otherwise. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Farmers at a recent seminar were told to “trust no-one”.

“There will be a lot of sharks out there trying to make money out of the CFI.”

The advice was, if farmers want to explore their options under the CFI, to work with someone they know and trust.

Carbon legislation is not going away. The Opposition said they would repeal it if they win office but this would be unpopular with business which wants certainty.

Many are still concerned about what carbon legislation means for them and nobody knows exactly. It will be at least 18 months before the impact is fully known.

Australian farmers are the most efficient in the world – they have had to be to compete against subsidised competitors. Under the carbon tax, they will have to become even more efficient to keep pace.

There is help available, but make sure it’s from people you can trust.

More like this

While the industry makes headlines, the market turns

We're getting close to the peak of the production season in southern Australia, in one of the most tumultuous periods in the recent history of the industry. In the past 18 months, an unprecedented volume of milk has moved between major dairy companies in a short space of time, and most likely has some way to go yet, as the aftershocks of the major step-down in milk prices towards the end of the 2015-16 season continue to reverberate.

Another lost season for farmers

Farmers have been surprised and in some cases angered by Murray Goulburn’s lower than expected opening prices, however some are adopting a measured response.

More from this category

Milking It...

A rod for their back

A shortage of labour is a bugbear for most farmers, but how many would think this would be a problem on a prison farm?

Help needed as farmers recover

IMAGES COMING from Queensland have been horrific. There is no other way to describe them.

The stories of local residents losing everything – from a lifetime of possessions and memories in a flood-affected house, to livestock washed away down the river – can reduce you to tears.

China and India will shape global market


DEVELOPMENTS OVER the last 12 months have changed Rabobank’s view on the likely role of China and India in the world marketplace through to 2014.

Long advocates of the likely self-sufficiency of these markets, Rabobank now believes that China faces a structural market deficit that will be difficult to erode in coming years.

GENOMICS HAS hit the dairy breeding industry by storm.

During the past couple of years, we have gone from almost no application of genomic/genetic marker results in breeding programs to widespread use of genomics.

THERE'S NEVER been a more important time for the Federal Government to look at the big picture when preparing policy.

A NEW report on progress of the Commonwealth water buyback for the Murray Darling indicates that the two tender rounds that were held in Queensland's Lower Balonne have been undersubscribed, leaving most of the budget of $140 million unspent.

The new milk season looms as a period of consolidation for most Australian farmers but we are starting to see a concerning divergence of fortunes between those in south eastern Australia and those in Queensland, northern NSW and Western Australia.

WORKING WITH teams both sides of the Tasman enables me to see various approaches to getting the best out of people. So I'm thinking about teamwork, in particular the merits of different leadership styles.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.\nBasic HTML code is allowed.

» Get social

When butter and chocolate collide

TWO New Zealand companies Lewis Road Creamery and Whittakers have teamed up to deliver what must be every dairy lover’s dream: chocolate butter.

» E-Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required