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Queensland ravaged by cyclones, floods and drought
JUST when you thought it couldn’t get any tough- er, Queenslanders were hit with another blow be- low the belt.
Faced with the downturn in prices over the past two years, many pig producers either reduced stocking or exited the industry.
The result has seen some recovery of prices but as the pig price went up, so did the price of grain.
With the majority of Queensland experiencing drought conditions, grain was scarce and transfers from WA have become the norm.
While high-$400 to early-$500/tonne was the norm before Christmas, high-$500 is now com- mon, with north Queens- land facing at least anoth- er $150 freight and hand- ling over these prices.
One producer was quot- ed prices as high as $700s.
Then as we all know, along came the tropical low that sat over Towns- ville, which brought floods not seen for hun- dreds of years, with rain- fall measured in metres.
The rain that fell on the Great Divide saw coastal towns lose houses and farms destroyed.
The water directed west- wards saw livestock prop- erties that were in drought for up to five years go un- der water for kilometres in every direction.
Reported losses of up to 500,000 head of cattle
in northwestern Queens- land have left the region and farming communities devastated.
In the south of the state, the drought remains, with long-range forecasts not looking favourable.
Grain supplies from Western Australia and pockets within eastern states will get us through to 2020, but something needs to happen to pig prices to support a sus- tainable production base.
Pork Queensland Inc and Queensland Farmers’ Federation have met with
the Queensland Minister of Agriculture to provide regular updates.
Discussions with the De- partment of Agriculture can offer little support to the current situation, other than direction to the vari- ous farm subsidies and re- view of financial support through agencies such as Queensland Rural Finan- cial Services and Queens- land Rural Industry and Development Authority.
PQI urges any farmers in financial difficulty to approach these entities to assist in their situations.
Unfortunately, it is a slow process and quite convoluted, but the sooner you approach these agen- cies the better.
Don’t try to complete the applications without their help!
While sales figures pro- vided by A PL show good demand, it is the price that
needs to rise to support a normally sustainable pro- duction base.
Talk to your pig buy- ers and wholesalers who in turn need to gain the support of the retailers in- cluding the supermarkets.
The ASF outbreaks in Asia and now western Eu- rope will bring about in- creases in prices of glob- al pork supplies, which should flow through to in- creases in imported prices
of processing pork com- ing into Australia.
This can only help with the price point of domes- tic pork in Australia.
Major world lending institutes view the ASF outbreaks as the most sig- nificant interruption ever seen to the global protein supply chain.
PQI will meet with gov- ernment during March to provide an update on the dire situation.
Photo: Townsville Bulletin
The discussions are also focusing on the impacts of farm raids and potential biosecurity breaches.
Penalties, while higher in Queensland than other states, need reviewing and pressure applied to the ap- plication of them with of- fenders who break the law time and time again.
If you need help in con- tacting any of the support agencies, please call 0407 622 166.
President’s Perspective
Changes to Korean and Japanese maximum residue limits
Protection and Profit
® Porcilis®
Long-term PCV2 immunity for performance and profit
A single vaccination (2 mL) to pigs from 3 weeks of age* Rapid onset of immunity with long-term protection Reduces viral load and shedding
Reduces mortality*
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Increases average daily weight gain*
* During the fattening period. Refer to registered product label for full claim details. Refer to Technical brochure for details of trial data.
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Amanda Vardanega 0427 011 579
KOREA and Japan are currently going through a major review of their residues policy, which is likely to see changes to the maximum residue limits permitted for pork products.
This is very relevant particularly for those sell- ing pigs to an export abat- toir.
A MRL is the maximum concentration of chemical residue that can be ac- cepted in animal tissue.
They are often set for particular chemicals and particular meat cuts.
For example, the level of ractopamine in pig liver may be set at a rate per kil- ogram for some countries.
In the event that sam- ples are found which are higher than that level, ex- ports may be temporarily suspended.
Some countries may not have a MRL at all for cer- tain chemicals, meaning any quantifiable amount found in a sample may lead to a partial ban on Australian pork exports.
For Korea, MRLs are being reviewed for chemi- cals that are not registered for their domestic market.
This process is currently under way in plant prod- ucts and is expected to start for meat products by 2021.
This means any chemi- cal Australia uses and Ko- rea doesn’t may be subject to scrutiny.
If a MRL is removed it will then be up to the chemical registrant or company to request the establishment of an im- port tolerance MRL,
which may or may not be granted.
The changes to Japanese MRLs are more specific.
Japan is proposing MRL changes to: difenocona- zole, flupyrimin, flutria- fol, spirotetramat, tetra- conazole, triforine and fenitrothion.
If you use products con- taining these chemicals anywhere on your farm, please speak to your vet- erinarian about an appro- priate treatment plan to ensure these new MRLs are not exceeded.
Always follow the direc- tions on the label.
What does this mean for you?
It is important the in- dustry works together to minimise risks to export markets and maintain our reputation as suppliers of safe, high-quality pork.
For producers that send pigs through an export abattoir, any contact with veterinary medicines, pes- ticides and other chemi- cals must be managed to meet the requirements of this market.
Following export slaughter intervals and withholding periods on your PigPass NVD will assist with managing these risks.
Producers need to be aware that changes to MRLs occur regularly.
APL communicates these changes to Austral- ian pig vets.
Please keep in contact with your veterinarian to ensure you are aware of and are meeting the re- quirements of the markets you supply.
by ALISTER OULTON Policy Analyst
Australian Pork Newspaper, March 2019 – Page 5

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