by Matt Cawood
It was hard to find a speaker at Outlook 2009 who didn’t mention productivity.
Federal Agriculture Minister Tony Burke opened the batting, observing that productivity improvements will be a crucial factor in agriculture’s response to the three great global crises: the financial meltdown, food shortages and climate change.
ABARE director Philip Glyde agreed, arguing for more effective research and development supporting a more efficient farming sector.
They didn’t get any argument from graingrower David Brownhill, who with his brother Gordon and their families, farms 4700 hectares across five properties on the Liverpool Plains of northern NSW.
At an Outlook session, Mr. Brownhill outlined an approach to productivity that didn’t aim for a single big hit, but the cumulative effect of many small gains.
“We’ve tried to take the best ideas we’ve seen and incorporate them into a family farming business,” Mr. Brownhill said.