What a year it has been.
This photo blew up the internet as we all took a gasp – after Bianca Dickinson’s snap of her daughter Molly, 2, featured a terrifying photo-bomber: a two-metre long brown snake.
We paused to remember Andrew, Anne and Richard Basnett who tragically died inside a concrete water tank at their property near Oolong, between Yass and Gunning.
A wild dog that eluded capture for six years, all the while killing and maiming sheep, was shot dead on a property west of Scone.
Gunnedah was urged to heed warnings after an outbreak of the deadly disease, Brucellosis, in the area.
James Cook University students launched their annual nude calendar.
And the Peterson Farm Brothers pumped out a farming version of Ed Sheeran’s track “Shape of You”.
But that wasn’t all.
Here are some of the news stories that made 2017:
Driest September on record
The severity of the drought in NSW was backed up in Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) data that showed September 2017 was the driest September on record in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB). Read the story here.
Autonomous in the field at AgQuip
Driverless technology arrived at AgQuip this year, with the launch of the autonoTRAC PhantomDrive autonomous technology.
The driverless system was seen operating in a small paddock at the field days with trees to navigate around.
Love stands tall in Leadville
In February the Sir Ivan bushfire burnt out 50,000 hectares – wiping out the village of Uarbry near Leadville, NSW, claiming 23 homes and killing an extensive number of livestock from Dunedoo to Cassilis.
But for those driving down Black Stump Way and there was a four letter word warming the hearts of the Central West: love.
Processing sector crisis: shutdowns show need for urgent reform
Red meat processors battling arguably the harshest terms of trade in the sector’s history say the latest - and largest - plant closure brings to a boiling point the urgency for serious regulatory reform. Read more here.
Aussie canola sector sweat on EU glypho ruling
The Australian canola industry was closely monitoring the potential ban of glyphosate in the European Union (EU), concerned it could have an impact on import regulations in what is by far and away our major market for canola. Read the story here.
Merriman offers apologies at Senate estimates
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) chairman Wal Merriman faced political scrutiny after covertly observing a grower focus group meeting on sheep genetics from behind a one way mirror.
At the Senate supplementary budget estimates hearing in Canberra he apologised for swearing at journalists and for his role in the man in the mirror issue that ignited anger among wool grower levy-payers.
Bega Cheese spreads its skills with $460m Vegemite deal
Bega Cheese started searching for extra food industry talent for its board following the $460 million move to buy the Vegemite brand and a host of other Kraft spreads and sauces. Read more here.
Beef supply chain wants more explanation from senators
Beef industry groups appear disappointed with the lack of substance in the long-awaited final report from the federal senate inquiry into competition issues in the red meat processing sector. Read more here.
Joyce moves to cancel $40,000 Rinehart cheque
Gina Rinehart gave Barnaby Joyce a $40,000 award at the National Agriculture Day gala dinner for his “champion” efforts serving the farming sector. The next day Mr Joyce moved to cancel the cheque as criticism also erupted on social media.
Wool's ‘extraordinary’ record run
More than $3.1 billion worth of Australian wool was sold at auction this year, closing on a record breaking run of high prices. It marked the highest value of wool sold in a calendar year in Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) 23-years managing wool auctions. Read more here.
SwarmFarm partner with Bosch
A partnership between Australian start-up SwarmFarm and global engineering giant Bosch will see autonomous farming robots for sale next year. Read the story here.
Mutton surge the start of epic price rise
Mutton’s crazy prices are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come this winter, with analysts forecasting a 610 cents a kilogram peak. That will be a climb of nearly 60 per cent on year ago levels, and a rise of nearly 200c/kg on the National Mutton Indicator (NMI) since this year sales commenced. Read more here.
Push to train more doctors in bush bashed
If you thought the case to train more rural doctors to increase access to healthcare in the bush was a cut and dried, you need to think again. The medical fraternity and metropolitan universities have ramped up their campaign against a joint venture from LaTrobe and Charles Sturt University’s to establish a medical school with facilities to train 180 students across the Murray Darling Basin. Read more here.
Ag trend sets pace as Liberty OneSteel braces for boom
On top of what had already been a busy couple of years for metal product suppliers selling to the farm sector, newly re-badged manufacturer, OneSteel, prepared for a 10-year demand boom. A $1.2 billion spending program was on the drawing boards to upgrade Liberty OneSteel’s eastern Australian production sites and product range following British steel billionaire Sanjeev Gupta’s purchase of parent company, Arrium. Read more here.
US gas wastewater rings earthquake alarm
Earthquakes have increased at an earth shattering rate in the US, and it is now officially recognised that a standard onshore gas wastewater disposal technique is to blame. Read more here.
Weaner market keeps on climbing
Cattle producers had their bank balances back in the black after two consecutive years of record high prices following Wodonga’s weaner sales held at Barnawartha saleyards. Angus cattle were in hot demand for both restockers and backgrounders looking to restock or feed onto slaughter weights. Read more here.
Industry cautiously accepts code changes
Fruit and vegetable industry groups have largely welcomed the federal government's response to the Horticulture Code of Conduct review but acknowledge the details of the final Code will be telling. Ausveg gave a swift thumbs-up to the revisions in the government's released response. Read more here.
Caught on camera
Remote sensing cameras in the upper reaches of the Guy Fawkes River, close to Ebor, have captured a rare encounter between native Quoll and a Wedge Tailed eagle. Read more here.