Ord River, maybe. But we might have to use that for our normal crops soon.
There is actually a pretty good reason for it, Australia produces the largest yield per acre of both crops than anywhere else in the world. It’s one of the few profitable crops to grow.
With that being said it shouldn’t be grown in any region that doesn’t have exsiting irrigation channels and enough weather to flood the plains that it grow it.
With that being said it’s the allowing of import Aussie staples that undercut the locally grown stuff that forces farmers to grow rice and cotton
There really is no good reason for it IMO.
In the Worlds driest continent, using 2700 litres of precious water per cotton T Shirt, while the bottom of the River system chokes and dies. is just beyond fking ridiculous.
Not to mention their produce competes with that grown in Countries that are very poor, and Cotton is their Major revenue generator.
So what if we can’t get T shirts for $2 or $5 anymore and actually have to pay properly for them and poor people make a bit more.
Maybe they could even let their kids go to school then?
Again, it’s profitable. These farmers have been forced out of the crops they have grown for decades by Coles and Woolworths price gouging and importing.
It’s either farm rice or cotton or go bankrupt trying to get the other stuff at break even volume in worsening climate.
Murrumbidgee irrigation area is a perfect example, 20 years ago it was the epicentre of the counties citrus produce. I saw 3 years of fruit being left on trees because it cost more to pick than it would earn, to half the regions trees get ripped up one summer and the plains flooded for rice.
Now barley an orange is grown. The odd back yard tree and that’s about it.
That region went from Wheat, Barley, Orange, apricot to Rice, Cotton and Hazelnut almost overnight.
If they didn’t Griffith, Hay, Narrandera, would be dead by now
So they survive, using shitloads of water we just don’t have to spare, to grow something that is the single commodity in Countries that have too much of the stuff, … while communities downstream die instead, … not to mention the wetlands and the lower River system itself?
Good deal that, …
It ain’t farmers growing cotton, its corporations. Farmers don’t switch to cotton they sell their land
Exactly. Cubby fkn Station never grew Oranges.
Profit is a function of sale price and production cost, and both of these are factors that governments have a huge influence over. As you yourself point out, if there’d been legit cartel-busting action applied to the big supermarkets, then farmers would have a lot more market power and get higher produce prices. But government could, for example, put progressive taxes on water usage based on litres per acre per year, to make more water-efficient crops more financially attractive. And so on and so on - I’m sure anyone who (unlike me) actually knows anything about irrigation and water policy could come up with a dozen new policy proposals in an hour.
There’s not many things that steam me as much as governments shrugging their shoulders and saying ‘welp, market forces, watchya gonna do?’ when it comes to stuff like this. The market is a process that operates and evolves in an environment defined by the laws and regulations and enforcement regimes designed by government. The government can change that environment at any time if the outcomes are not working as intended or if the outcomes are destructive to the common or national good. And yes, that means some people who have invested heavily in optimising for the current market regime will lose out. But what’s the alternative? Stick with a broken system forever?
After spending the last 5 years in growing areas, I feel for farmers, I really do, the struggle is real. They are getting hammered by changing climate and foreign dominance.
Then I find out they are still voting national, and I think, well you bought this ■■■■ on yourselves then ya ■■■■■■■ idiots.
Same reason for my distain of farmers.
For all there BS, the National Party has never really put much into action for farmers. We shouldn’t import many foods, especially fruit and other produce. When we had the last big drought, I was the local Mayor and our market Gardeners were paying big money for their water rights, having to pay for 100% of their allocation but only receiving about 10% during the worst part. Bracks built the pipeline from the Goulburn to Melbourne and one to Ballarat, and the Desal Plant. Libs got into Government and I met with the new Water Minister to be told that the only water our region could have was what fell out of the sky, pipelines were all closed. Some local went broke and were bought out by the larger companies.
Nationals were useless.
Yes, but they all wear an Akubra, so clearly they are representing the bush battlers
Maybe we should set up a photo op and get them all to ride horses. That’d be interesting…
Humanity has wiped out 60% of animals since 1970, major report finds
The huge loss is a tragedy in itself but also threatens the survival of civilisation, say the world’s leading scientists
Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.
The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe. It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else.
“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”
“This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is,” he said. “This is actually now jeopardising the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ – it is our life-support system.”
“We are rapidly running out of time,” said Prof Johan Rockström, a global sustainability expert at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “Only by addressing both ecosystems and climate do we stand a chance of safeguarding a stable planet for humanity’s future on Earth.”
Many scientists believe the world has begun a sixth mass extinction, the first to be caused by a species – ■■■■ sapiens . Other recent analyses have revealed that humankind has destroyed 83% of all mammals and half of plants since the dawn of civilisation and that, even if the destruction were to end now, it would take 5-7 million years for the natural world to recover.
The Living Planet Index, produced for WWF by the Zoological Society of London, uses data on 16,704 populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, representing more than 4,000 species, to track the decline of wildlife. Between 1970 and 2014, the latest data available, populations fell by an average of 60%. Four years ago, the decline was 52%. The “shocking truth”, said Barrett, is that the wildlife crash is continuing unabated.
Wildlife and the ecosystems are vital to human life, said Prof Bob Watson, one of the world’s most eminent environmental scientists and currently chair of an intergovernmental panel on biodiversity that said in March that the destruction of nature is as dangerous as climate change.
“Nature contributes to human wellbeing culturally and spiritually, as well as through the critical production of food, clean water, and energy, and through regulating the Earth’s climate, pollution, pollination and floods,” he said. “The Living Planet report clearly demonstrates that human activities are destroying nature at an unacceptable rate, threatening the wellbeing of current and future generations.”
The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland. Three-quarters of all land on Earth is now significantly affected by human activities. Killing for food is the next biggest cause – 300 mammal species are being eaten into extinction – while the oceans are massively overfished, with more than half now being industrially fished.
Chemical pollution is also significant: half the world’s killer whale populations are now doomed to die from PCB contamination. Global trade introduces invasive species and disease, with amphibians decimated by a fungal disease thought to be spread by the pet trade.
The worst affected region is South and Central America, which has seen an 89% drop in vertebrate populations, largely driven by the felling of vast areas of wildlife-rich forest. In the tropical savannah called cerrado, an area the size of Greater London is cleared every two months, said Barrett.
“It is a classic example of where the disappearance is the result of our own consumption, because the deforestation is being driven by ever expanding agriculture producing soy, which is being exported to countries including the UK to feed pigs and chickens,” he said. The UK itself has lost much of its wildlife, ranking 189th for biodiversity loss out of 218 nations in 2016.
The habitats suffering the greatest damage are rivers and lakes, where wildlife populations have fallen 83%, due to the enormous thirst of agriculture and the large number of dams. “Again there is this direct link between the food system and the depletion of wildlife,” said Barrett. Eating less meat is an essential part of reversing losses, he said.
The Living Planet Index has been criticised as being too broad a measure of wildlife losses and smoothing over crucial details. But all indicators, from extinction rates to intactness of ecosystems, show colossal losses. “They all tell you the same story,” said Barrett.
But Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said the fundamental issue was consumption: “We can no longer ignore the impact of current unsustainable production models and wasteful lifestyles.”
The world’s nations are working towards a crunch meeting of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity in 2020, when new commitments for the protection of nature will be made. “We need a new global deal for nature and people and we have this narrow window of less than two years to get it,” said Barrett. “This really is the last chance. We have to get it right this time.”
Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF, said: “We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it.”
That brings to mind a Doco I watched a while back.
Someone should lock all the Neo Cons in a room with their eyes taped open and force them to watch it, … maybe then they’ll get a conscience and tell Big Coal to fk off.
Enter Bolsenaro. Can’t feel much other than despair at this point.
Dan the man has announced Latrobe Valley will become the EV hub of the nation. Very smart move. Opposition are apparently supporting it so it’s close to a lock. Here come the industrial, economic and employment benefits of renewables.
Also, NSW government just announced their blueprint for the transition away from coal. 70% of state coal generation gone in 15 years. Looks like the federal government are the last ones to “get it” now.
This has always been a bugbear of mine about the “keep coal” argument. “What about all those jobs in the Latrobe Valley and other coal-centric places?”, “Think of the economic impact of closing the coal plants!”.
How about “What can we transition this workforce to? What is going to replace coal and how can we be proactive and get in front of this change?”. It’s not like the writing hasn’t been on the wall for ages, regardless of what the federal gubment says.
John McCain used that sort of argument in North Carolina when he was campaigning in 2006.
Look at all the wheelwrights, wainwrights, farriers that got put out of business when cars took over! Find a niche that’s opening up, and concentrate on that.
Did you have the same feeling when Abbott and that fat turd treasurer screwed over our car industry.