Friday, April 28, 2017

Zoysia Seed - Compadre and Zenith - UNAVAILABLE in AUSTRALIA

We have been lead to believe by the US supplier Patten Seeds in the last quarter of 2016 - that seed of both varieties would be available in Australia for use in 2016/ 2017 summer planting periods, through sales to a single nominated importer in Australia.

This story - saga maybe is better- developed from late 2016.  Through numerous updates and apparent recleaning plus further seed testing it festered along over many months, with an expectation that seed would be able to meet Australian biosecurity requirements and market quality requirements, and ship to Australia.

Our business continued to inform users, based on expectations that seed would make the grade and get shipped.

As April rolled around it had reached the stage where use in northern Australia was about the only place where sowing was considered possible, even there growth would be in a period of much cooler nights and predicted to be much slower such that waiting for warmer weather in August / September might be a better option.

However, the Australian importer has been informed recently that seed would not be coming to Australia at this time - it did not make the quality cut for import.

So all potential clients ........... it is NOT going to happen anytime soon - availability of both varieties in Australia is still some time away.  Do not be misled by overseas or international web sites offering zoysia seed for sale at this time - it is unlikely to be acceptable for use in Australia, and offers are really directed at US spring sowing options.

New season's production is likely to be harvested by June/ July and maybe this seed might get to Australia by the Australian temperate regions spring sowing period.

We are keen to assist potential growers of this class turf from seed, as we think it offers many advantages, both in quality of turf and costs, albeit with more time required to develop a full turf cover compared to laying full turf sod.  Most of our previous purchasers are extremely impressed with the outcome, independent of whether Zenith or Compadre variety was used.

As users and promoters of zoysia turf in Australia it is a significant setback to get so seriously screwed around by the major seed producer in the US who seems to not acknowledge that there is burgeoning demand outside of the US market including Australia.  If seed is not produced that market will die, yet the specialised and quality production areas cannot meet demand  of a quality product for the Australian market!

We hope to keep the users and potential users informed, but it is unlikely much news will be available before June or July.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through Agriculture

29 March 2017
This year, more grain will be harvested than at any time in history. And yet, in this era of plenty, one in nine people do not have enough food to eat. Another two billion may eat, but their meals lack the nutrition necessary for proper health and development. Rapid population growth, dietary shifts towards meat and dairy products, and expanding food production are putting enormous pressure on our ecosystems. If these trends continue, we will be surpassing our planetary boundaries.

And yet, it is not too late to reshape agriculture and food systems to better feed the world and deliver sustainable development. No doubt, governments must play a critical role, but it is not their responsibility alone. It requires an unprecedented effort by all sectors in society, and business must be at the heart of this endeavour. I would like to highlight five priority areas where action is particularly urgently required to shift to more sustainable food systems.

First, we need greater investment, particularly in developing countries where the need and potential for increasing agricultural productivity and production are greatest. This would help feed growing populations sustainably, while creating jobs and incomes across rural areas.

Second, we have to make sure that smallholder farmers, who produce nearly 70% of all food consumed worldwide, are at the heart of all our efforts. Governments and the private sector can and must form innovative partnerships with farmers’ organizations, small farmers, and local agribusinesses, providing access to better seeds, sustainable farming techniques, and modern technologies.

Third, we must ensure that agriculture and food systems become nutrition-smart, because it’s not just about the amount of food we grow, it’s also about the type of food that we consume. Evidence shows that nutrition is crucial for economic growth as better nourished populations are more productive.

Fourth, we need food systems that produce more food but with fewer resources. This requires enforcing policies that promote responsible natural resource management and prevent the loss of natural habitats, forests and biodiversity. It is crucial that businesses source, process and manage resources efficiently to meet growing demand, while preserving our environment and climate.

Fifth, we must seize the moment to push for climate-smart agriculture and food systems. Cutting down agriculture’s climate footprint and shifting towards renewable energy sources will not only help avert climate catastrophe, but also create new opportunities for investment, growth and employment.

I have set out an ambitious agenda. With courage, vision, and bold leadership from every sector, we can move decisively towards truly sustainable food systems and agriculture. We have no time to waste. So let us turn aspiration into action and build a food secure, sustainable, and prosperous world for everybody.

Copy of presentation by Kofi Annan [former UN Head] to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture.

Agriculture [ and horticulture] has had a lot of activity of late with some very successful harvest outcomes around the world, and a trend to finally develop and use some new genetic tools for gains in performance of new varieties, while GM related developments are thriving, even if use can be curtailed in a number of countries [ think the EU], and it is using new technology avidly [ drones, precision agriculture etc].  And importantly, a new cohort of clever young students are again choosing agriculture as a career of choice.  But this has to translate into real improvements in African agriculture where need is still high.  If the continent can be a leader in small scale finance it can improve agriculture too!