Newsletter: NT Report
By Jonathan Shaw, 2005 Scholar and Chairman
The Northern Territory has had a fairly static year in many areas. It’s been a hot, dry season with early rains in September which made the onion harvest a frantic event. Growers were watching the weather and there were many “tarps on” and “tarps off” moments. In the north, we’ve experienced very hot and dry weather since, until last week when the heavens opened across the Top End.
Cattle orders have been mixed this year, with late import permits from Indonesia. The prices have been high and returns good, although the cattle numbers are dropping. Hay production has increased in the NT recently and there has been trouble for some growers shifting it all, as well as keeping it dry with the early rain in September.
The melon guys have had a fairly flat year, with prices rarely spiking above production cost, possibly due to mild weather in growing areas, creating an oversupply. Mangoes are in full production right now, which is a little later than usual. The rain this past week has created a stop-start to that harvest.
Han Shiong Siah (2015 Sch) presented the findings of his Nuffield studies at the National Conference in Adelaide in September. His focus was alternative and cost-effective methods to control flying feral vermin. We look forward to reading his final report soon.
Dan Richards (2016 Sch) has returned from his Global Focus Program and has been completing his individual study and we are looking forward to catching up with him, Sarah Hughes (2016 Sch) and Adam Coffey (2016 Sch), who are working through their individual studies as well.
Cameron Kruckow (2017 Sch) is our new NT-based Scholar who will travel on the Contemporary Scholars Conference, Global Focus Program and individual study next year. He received a scholarship supported by Australian Agriculture Company (AACO) and ANZ Bank and we look forward to seeing what research he brings back to the NT.
Finally, this will be my last report as the NT Chair of Nuffield as my family and I have sold our farm and are moving interstate. I’m currently contemplating a “gap year”! I look forward to handing the reins to an NT Scholar in a very democratic way in the near future! Happy harvest to all and all the best for 2017.