IFMA Council - Country Reports
Country Reports - July 2009
As usual at the first Council Meeting of the IFMA on the 19th July 2009 in Bloomington, Illinois at the start of the 17th IFMA Congress the Council Members reported on the main issues affecting their country's agriculture and farm management.
These reports are included in the Country Reports document that you can download from this page. The reports are mostly in the form of bulleted headlines and come from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, USA, UK, Ireland and South Africa.
A few headlines from the reports:
Australia: There has been a wave of overseas and institutional investment in Australian agriculture. It will be interesting to see how successful these corporate investments will be. The evidence indicates that well managed family farms can out-perform most corporate farm businesses.
Canada: The global financial meltdown has had significant but not crippling impacts in Canada. The strong Canadian banking system (small number of large banks) has only had minimal government assistance to encourage lending but no equity bailouts.
New Zealand: NZ exports 90% of its agricultural production – the high US Dollar price had eased things – however Dairy receiving lowest prices in 25 years - lead to cut backs.
Denmark: Environment – Water Framework Directive is having a big impact. - Smell from pig farming a big issue.
USA: The extension service is shrinking fast – research is being dis-invested – the words “farm management” are rarely heard in departments now. - Ethanol had been a roller coaster – bankruptcy for some.
UK: The suicide rate amongst farmers was of concern – no extension service now – lonely working life for many farmers with ever increasing complexity.
Ireland: Value of farm land has halved (since 2009 Congress).
South Africa: The expected low prices will hit the emerging farmers (450,000) much more than the commercial farmers (40,000) as their reproduction levels of direct productive assets (land and livestock) is generally lower than that of their commercial counterpoints.
In most countries the volatility of both sale and input prices was having a big impact. Dairying was particularly affected. The H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus had irrationally caused major chaos in pigmeat markets and in hog production.
It is intended that 'Country Reports' will become a regular feature in the Articles Section. My thanks to the Council Members for permission to publish their reports - Hon. Secretary.