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Australia’s top 10 grain- use sites revealed
Danny Benn with Ferdinand – the first time in 199 years a duck has won the award. Photo: Rhett Wyman
Feathers ruffled for first time in 199 years
FERDINAND, an Indian runner duck from Dapto, ruffled a few feathers by winning best bird at the 2021 Sydney Royal Easter Show.
guide to how we judge them.
lay a chook and is healthier and hardier than other breeds.”
In the show’s 199-year history, it was the first time a duck had taken the coveted prize, and with the spread of the news the accolades streamed in.
“This particular drake had been well- prepared and stood at nearly 90 degrees – exactly how they should stand.
A runner duck also produces more eggs than chickens – 150 to200eggsinado- mestic setting and more than 300 a year when professionally raised.
Standing upright, Ferdinand does not waddle... he walks, and was honoured with a place in the show’s Grand Parade.
“I looked at him half a dozen times, and he stood there like a soldier.
“All are judged on a 100-points score for type, shape, colour and the condition.
Plus, they are less bother for neighbours as they are not as noisy as chickens.
“He was one of those ducks who nev- er dropped his guard.
Sydney Royal Poul- try Show Special Awards judge Garry Phillips has officiat- ed the awards for 58 years and said, “This one has created quite a stir.”
“He had the ‘Here I am, give me the prize and let me go home’ winner’s look,” Mr Phillips said.
“I get so many peo- ple asking, how do you judge a duck or a chook?
Kept as a hobby in a backyard in subur- ban Dapto by Danny Benn and Gerald Farrugia, Ferdinand is one of 42 Indian runner ducks and 60 chickens.
“We have the Aus- tralian standards for the breeds of water- fowl, turkey, geese and chickens as our
Mr Farrugia said the Indian runner duck was a wonder- ful backyard pet.
Ferdinand won the top award for poul- try at Sydney Royal Easter Show. Photo: Rhett Wyman
“It’s a prolific lay- er, fantastic for the backyard, can out-
AN independent list of Australia’s top 10 grain- use sites, developed by Grain Central, has high- lighted the might of Ma- nildra as a processor of grain for human use and industrial purposes.
percent, with grain being hauled across several state borders to meet demand, which was concentrated on the east coast.”
Linking Melbourne and Brisbane, the northern end of the new Inland Rail line is currently un- der construction and due to open in coming years.
million, and Western Aus- tralia is in the process of building and rebuilding mills worth more than $200 million.”
The list also revealed that two evenly matched malt houses are lead- ing Australia’s malt ex- ports, and George Weston Food’s Enfield mill within Australia.
To make way for big- ger operations such as Ingham’s Murray Bridge and Ridley Wellsford, sev- eral domestic sites have closed.
“Something to watch therefore in the next few years is how Inland Rail might reshape parts of that market, where north- south movement of grain becomes more com- petitive to feed the large grain-processing sinks,” Mr Storey said.
The Western Australian investments will provide feed for ruminants, mo- nogastrics and aquacul- ture.
In the middle of the list are four new or enlarged feed mills, followed by two mills in the greater Sydney region.
“Rationalisation in the flour, malt and feed indus- tries of the past 20 years has seen a concentration of processing at a range of mega sites,” Mr Storey said, which has had two significant side-effects on the market.
“When those new mills get built and come on- line, we’ll see closing of smaller mills,” Mr Row- land said.
From a market perspec- tive, it indicates that the inland sites from Darling Downs to Geelong are dispersed at intervals of up to 400km.
“First, these regional grain sites create their own demand, with draw- ing arcs that drive a local- ised basis for that region, which benefits the grow- ers.
Noteworthy is that the 10 listed plants rely ei- ther on rising or inflex- ible domestic demand for poultry or flour, or export markets.
Confidence in the live- stock, poultry and aqua- culture sectors, combined with low interest rates, was prompting big spends.
Key to setting the mar- ket are the domestic co- lossi and export uniform- ity, though the Australian grain industry relies on domestic buyers of all sizes.
“Buying local grain is always cheaper than haul- ing it in from out of zone.
“In 2018 and 2019 we saw a dramatic increase, up by maybe 20 percent because of increased feed demand during the drought,” Mr Rowland said.
A government push to support manufacturing in Australia had made now the time for companies wishing to invest to ‘bite the bullet’.
Storey Marketing Ser- vices principal Ron Sto- rey said that while the Australian grain industry tended to speak of large export customers as its big buyers, the domestic market was the lead con- sumer.
Of the 10 largest sites, six offer road and rail access, while Wellsford, Hanwood, Murray Bridge and Grassdale are road only.
“Now we’re seeing a dip of about 30 percent from those highs due to the abundance of feed in the paddock.”
“Second, it creates re- gional supply chains.”
“This is about consoli- dation and companies po- sitioning themselves for the future,” he said.
Stock Feed Manufactur- ers’ Council of Australia executive officer Duncan Rowland said seasonal variations will impact the rising consumption trend of the sector.
“What we’ve got in stockfeed is manufactur- ing that in general is 50- 70 years old,” he said.
“At around 14-15 mil- lion tonnes per annum every year, our largest grain buyer is our domes- tic market,” Mr Storey said.
“They need to tick over 365 days a year on a 24/7 timetable, because typi- cally the storage facilities at the processors is limit- ed, and the chooks, cows, pigs and malt and flour and oil customers need to be fed every day,” Mr Storey said.
Mr Rowland said pro- jects in Tasmania, West- ern Australia and Queens- land were likely to provide significant new demand.
“Even in this record 2020-21 year, domestic consumers will take 30 percent of the crop.
“As well, once the in- vestment in value-adding is made, those asset own- ers want to keep running at capacity and keep their customers.”
“NSW, Victoria and Tas- mania are going strong, and Tasmania is on the increase purely because of aquafeed,” he said.
Storey Marketing Services principal Ron Storey.
Table 1: Figures in tonnes. Asterisk indicates tonnage not confirmed by the company, or through its previous statements. All care has been taken in compiling this list from primary and independent sources, but tonnages may vary slightly from the figures which appear.
“In the recent 2018-2020 drought years it was 50
“Tasmania in the past 18 months has seen mills built to the value of $110
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National Poultry Newspaper, May 2021 – Page 11

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