Victoria's first Bluetounge alert

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As reported in Dairy Australia's Dairyweb News - October 17

Dairy heifers in northern Victoria have been detected with the state’s first indications of bluetongue virus.

BTV antibodies were detected in 12-month-old heifers near Echuca. The detection suggests the animals had previous exposure to the disease, but were not displaying clinical signs. The news could endanger Victoria’s BTV-free status required for the export of livestock including animals to China.

For the next 30 days, part of northern Victoria will be a BTV zone, and livestock within a 100km of the affected property will be ineligible to export to countries requiring a BTV-free status. Movement within Australia is not restricted.

Victoria’s chief veterinary officer Dr Charles Milne said Agriculture Victoria would observe herds and conduct on-farm sampling of cattle in the area for the next three weeks “to identify the potential source of the virus and determine if local spread of this insect-borne disease has occurred”.

BTV is spread by midge bites.

Contact QDO for more Biosecurity workshops in Beaudesert, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast and Malanda

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QDO will run additional biosecurity workshops if sufficient members want to attend. If you have missed out on attending the 13 biosecurity workshops please contact the QDO office immediately to let us know.

We will definitely be having an additional workshop in Malanda. We would also like to hold additional workshops in Beaudesert, Toowoomba and the Gympie/Moreton area. But these will only go ahead if there is sufficient interest from farmers.

Across the state 60% of QDO members attended the previous 13 workshops. However in Beaudesert, Boonah/Lockyer Valley, Darling Downs north and Gympie only 32 to 46% of members attended which is disappointing and needs to be improved.

Regardless of where you are in Queensland, if you haven’t attended a QDO biosecurity workshop and would like to please contact QDO immediately on 3236 2999 or ea@dairypage.com.au.

Last week to get your QDO election nominations in

QDO executive officer Eric Danzi AND QDO president Brian Tessmann

QDO executive officer Eric Danzi AND QDO president Brian Tessmann

By QDO Executive Officer Eric Danzi

Nominations for the QDO elections close on 27 October 2017. If you are interested in either standing for the state council or district councils please get your nominations in immediately. If you do not have a copy of the nomination form, please contact the QDO office.

You only need 1 fellow QDO member to sign your nomination form. And you can scan and email, fax or take a photo of your nomination form and email or text to QDO by 27 October. Please then put the original nomination form in the post.

I have recently had dinners with groups of young farmers in Toowoomba, Malanda, Beaudesert and Gympie. I was extremely impressed with the young farmers in all 4 districts. QDO desperately needs people like you involved in QDO and helping lead QDO and the industry forward. I can guarantee that your views will be listened to and you will play a significant role in QDO.

You can either take a small role largely from your farm, attend some local meetings if you wish or travel to other districts if you so desire and are able to. I strongly encourage all of you to nominate now. And if you know somebody who should nominate please encourage them to do so.

If you need any assistance, please contact Kerrie at QDO on 3236 2999 or ea@dairypage.com.au

QDO members saving big on their electricity bills with MIC

In September and October alone, MIC identified over $85,000 in savings for QDO members. See examples below. Just some of the dairy savings below:

  • $6,578 estimated annual savings
  • $6,373 estimated annual savings
  • $5,367 estimated annual savings
  • $5,142 estimated annual savings
  • $4,365 estimated annual savings

However, the biggest saver was with $38,371 in energy savings!!!

For more information: https://www.makeitcheaper.com.au/landing/qdo

LPA accredited dairy farmers: Stand by what you sell

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Changes have been made to strengthen the Livestock Production Assurance program and further safeguard Australia’s enviable status as a world leader in red meat safety, integrity and traceability. As dairy cattle are part of the food supply chain, dairy farmers are encouraged to maintain LPA accreditation.

From 1 October 2017:

  1. All LPA-accredited dairy producers will need to register their dairy license number with LPA and complete a short assessment and declaration to renew LPA accreditation* every three years.
  2. Free electronic LPA National Vendor Declarations (LPA eNVD) are available.

*Licensed dairy farmers will need to complete the LPA reaccreditation when it is due (or any time after 1 October 2017), but will not be required to complete the LPA learning modules or pay the LPA accreditation fee.

As a dairy farmer, what do you need to do?
As an LPA-accredited dairy farmer you will need to:
Complete the reaccreditation when your LPA accreditation is due (or any time after 1 October 2017), by:

  1. Logging in to the LPA Database (https://lpa.nlis.com.au)
  2. Select ‘Dairy’ as your enterprise type
  3. Input your Dairy License Number, and if required update relevant LPA contact details
  4. Complete the short LPA assessment
  5. Complete your LPA declaration (including confirmation that you will notify LPA of any changes to the License status of the Dairy)·
  6. Record whether any other species or enterprise types are being run on your property.

Dairy farmers are exempt from the LPA learning modules (including animal welfare and biosecurity) as dairy industry quality assurance programs and licensing arrangements address these requirements. Once your license number is recorded through the LPA reaccreditation process, you will also be exempt from LPA random audits.

If you run other livestock enterprises on your property (e.g. beef cattle, sheep or goats), you can continue to sell these livestock as LPA accredited, and will be notified separately about the LPA reaccreditation requirements for these enterprises at a later date.

Dairy farmers are encouraged to record your Dairy License Number with LPA and complete the LPA reaccreditation process any time after 1 October 2017. Once you have completed the LPA reaccreditation process you will be exempt from LPA random audits.

Alternatively, you’ll be contacted approximately two months before your reaccreditation is due and given instructions for working through the new process online. You will remain LPA accredited throughout this process and your LPA accreditation will only be at risk if you do not complete the reaccreditation process when it is due. No fee will apply.

Electronic NVDs (eNVDs)
The LPA eNVD is now available through the LPA Service Centre and licensed software providers. It is available to be printed but not everyone can receive it electronically yet. Check how to use the eNVD at www.mla.com.au/envd.

It is not compulsory for producers to change to the eNVD. You can continue using paper LPA NVDs (which will remain at $40 incl GST per book) or you can download or print the eNVD free of charge.

More information:
Website: www.mla.com.au/lpa Helpline: 1800 683 111 Email: lpa@mla.com.au

Extension to ACCC Inquiry into the Australian dairy industry

Below is a statement from the ACCC Agricultural Unit

The final reporting date for the ACCC’s dairy inquiry has been extended to 30 April 2018 by the Treasurer, to enable the ACCC to consult with the industry on an interim report to be released in late November this year.

The Treasurer granted the extension following a request from the ACCC.

The ACCC sought the extension to allow it to consult with the industry through an interim report. This report will contain interim findings and recommendations based on our analysis of issues such as competition between milk processors, contracts between processors and farmers and the impact of domestic retail prices on the industry.

The interim report will be released by 30 November 2017. The final report is now due to the Treasurer by 30 April 2018.

On 27 October 2016 the Treasurer issued a notice requiring the ACCC to hold an Inquiry into the competitiveness of prices, trading practices and the supply chain in the Australian dairy industry. The Inquiry formally commenced on 1 November 2016.

For more information please go to the ACCC website: https://www.accc.gov.au/about-us/information-for/agriculture/dairy-inquiry

Vacancies for all QDO District and State Council representatives 2017

I, Eric Danzi, the Executive Officer have been appointed the returning officer by the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation Ltd State Council for the purpose of the election of State and District Councillors. I hereby give notice that an election is called to fill vacant positions on all FIVE (5) of our District Council and for all FIVE (5) State Council positions. The term of office, in accordance with the QDO constitution, for all State and District Councillors elected shall be from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2020.

All members are encouraged to apply for positions. Eligible candidates must be current, financial, “producer” members of the Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation Ltd as at the opening date for nominations, i.e. 6 October 2017. Any “NEW” members must have also been accepted as members by 6 October 2017.

Each eligible¹ candidate’s written nomination must be signed by the nominee and ONE (1) nominator, being an eligible producer or ownership associate. The nominator must be qualified to vote at the election of members of the District that the nominee is standing for.

The nomination must be in the form and the manner prescribed by the QDO Constituion and must be delivered or transmitted by mail, email or fax to the Returning Officer, at the office of the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation Ltd NO LATER than 5pm on nomination day – Friday 27 OCTOBER 2017. All people who nominate for election to State Council are strongly encouraged to also nominate for their District Council.

ALL nomination forms are to be posted to the office of the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation, PO Box 13061, George Street, Brisbane 4003 even if they have already been faxed or emailed by the said date. If additional nomination forms be required, please contact the QDO office.

The number of positions from each district for the state and district council is specified below:

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Should there be more people nominating than available positions then an election will be conducted as per the Constitution commencing on 17 November.  If this is required, ballot papers will be issued and must be returned to the Returning Officer at the office of the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation Ltd no later than 5 pm Friday, 8 December 2017. Only eligible producers may vote in the election. The counting of votes (if required) will be conducted on Monday 11 December 2017.

Eric Danzi
Executive Officer
29 September 2017

John's disease and biosecurity for Queensland dairy industry - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Biosecurity Queensland has released a report on Johne's disease and biosecurity concerns for the Queensland Dairy Industry. Dairy farmers are encouraged to keep up-to-date with their biosecurity obligations and know the importance of having a biosecurity plan for their farm.

To view the full list of FAQs, visit: https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/animal-industries/animal-health-and-diseases/johnes-disease/faqs-dairy-industry

The eighteen-page report includes frequently asked questions from dairy farmers including:

Reef Awards Open

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Dairy has always been a proactive industry when it comes to natural resource management and we should celebrate this by showing our wider community the custodial nature of our farmers.

The Reef Alliance Awards is a fantastic opportunity to do this. It is important to recognise the efforts our farmers are making towards improving their land management practices.

I encourage all farmers to nominate their neighbour farmers who should be recognised for their contribution towards improving the quality of water through either improved nutrient, sediment or pesticide management on their farms.

In previous years of the Reef Awards, we have celebrated farmers such as Dennis Brynes from the Atherton Tablelands who continues to make improvements to his effluent management system, irrigation system and riparian areas through creek crossing.

Nominations for the following awards close on 2 October 2017:

The winning primary producer or enterprise for each category will receive a trophy and the opportunity to attend a study tour at the Heron Island Research Station in early 2018. The award will be presented at the Reef Awards Dinner in Townsville on Wednesday, 22 November 2017 in conjunction with the Queensland Government’s Annual GBR Synthesis Forum. 

The Reef Awards are sponsored by the ‘Reef Trust: Reef Alliance – Growing a Great Barrier Reef’ project, which is funded by the Australian Government Reef Trust.

Details and nominations at www.qff.org.au/reef-alliance/awards

QDO can access free industrial relations advice

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Did you know that as a QDO member you are eligible to access the resources of Primary Employers Queensland (PEQ) to provide you with helpful information to assist your business enterprise. Your membership of the QDO is able to provide free telephone advice to you on:

·               Employer IR Obligations

·               Award and IR Legislation

·               Employee Workplace Agreements

·               Workplace Health & Safety

·               Workers Compensation

Employment issues can be a minefield!

The Fair Work Act, Industrial Awards, union activity and industrial relations, human resources issues, safety, WorkCover, contracts of employment, staff discipline and counselling and compliance are just a few issues faced by Queensland dairying businesses every day, distracting them from their core activities.

Sometimes making no decision is as bad as making the wrong decision, so enjoy the peace of mind available from Primary Employers Queensland who are only a phone call away.

For further information on the services available to the QDO members by Primary Employers Queensland or to be put in touch with their advice line please contact the QDO office on (07) 3236 2955.