YOUNG cattle prices continue to head towards stratospheric levels, with the benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator breaching the 1100 cents a kilogram carcase weight level yesterday.
The EYCI is currently sitting at a new record of 1102c/kg, having lifted 40c in the past week. It is now 274c/kg above the year-ago level.
Restockers looking to make full use of the feed in paddocks delivered by the recent widespread rain are the driving force behind the market. Restockers paid an average 1214c/kg for EYCI cattle yesterday, compared to feedlots at 1038c and processors at 938c.
Sustainability and consumers
WHILE sustainability is increasingly touted as a big ticket item in emerging consumer demands, compared to price, product quality and ease of access, it still ranks quite low as a driver of red meat purchases, marketing experts say.
Meat & Livestock Australia's general manager of marketing and insights Nathan Low said there was definitely a consumer demand around sustainability that beef brand owners could go after.
However, on scale it was not large enough to warrant targeted campaigns for all of Australian beef, he said.
Mr Low was speaking at a webinar held as part of MLA's annual conference run in the lead-up to its annual general meeting on November 25.
"Where I think sustainability can generate a premium is to differentiate brands within the market," he said.
"For those consumers where it is the most important part of the purchase decision - there are pockets of consumers where this occurs - there will be a willingness to pay more for it.
"But you only need look at plant-based protein products, which are clearly trying to position themselves on that sustainability platform and yet still account for less than 1pc of the category."
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Rural Bank scholarships
Rural Bank has now opened its scholarship applications for students commencing studies in 2022.
First-time undergraduate university, agricultural college and TAFE students enrolled in agribusiness studies, with a passion to contribute to the future of Australian agriculture, are invited to apply.
Each of the eleven scholarships on offer is valued at $5000 per year and, subject to academic performance and duration of the course, will be extended for a second year of study to support study-related expenses, including accommodation costs, course materials and education related travel.
For the first time, specific Indigenous agribusiness scholarships will be part of the program.
New ABARES boss
SENIOR agribusiness executive Dr Jared Greenville has been appointed executive director of ABARES, the science and economics research division of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.
"Since acting in the role from early 2021, Dr Greenville has led the economic, scientific, forecasting and data-related work of ABARES, as well as overseeing changes in work practices, culture and data and analytics infrastructure," secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment Andrew Metcalfe said.
Dr Greenville has held senior roles at the OECD where he managed work related to agri-food trade policy, global value chains in agriculture and food security and risk.
He has also previously worked for the Productivity Commission on diverse issues ranging from Australia's involvement in bilateral and regional trade agreements to domestic drought support.
Animal Medicines Australia has urged all animal owners, farmers and veterinarians to redouble efforts to "spread awareness, stop resistance" during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which kicks off today and runs until November 24.
"Prevention is our first line of defence and is key to reducing the need for antibiotics. Vaccination, good biosecurity and overall health and well-being of animals all play a part," AMA executive director Ben Stapley said.
"Early detection of disease through improved monitoring and cutting edge diagnostics give animal health providers the best chance to provide treatment at the earliest opportunity and before an outbreak spreads.
"When it comes to treating a bacterial infection in an animal, there is often no viable alternative to antibiotics. However ensuring that veterinarians, farmers and animal owners have access to the right information regarding antimicrobial stewardship is the best step to ensuring that these medicines continue to be an effective and available therapeutic tool."
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