The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > It’s a dry argument > Comments

It’s a dry argument : Comments

By Daniel Donahoo, published 8/7/2005

Daniel Donahoo argues we should be planning for drought even when rain is plentiful.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All
Planning for drought, gosh, why didn't any farmers think of that before? The key to drought planning is to manage the stocking rate to match the fodder reserves. And once it becomes clear that reserves will not be replenished by rain then de-stocking and or suplementary feeding must take place. Urban and quasi-urban experts have been lecturing farmers on this for years.

The problem is not that farmers are unable to comprehend this simple truth, far from it. The problem is that the urban community has taken over effective control, and therefore ownership, of the animals that normally consume up to 50% of all fodder reserves, the Kangaroos and other wildlife.

And once taking control of these animals, the urban community has consistently failed to adjust the stocking rates of "their" herd to cope with seasonal change. So any farmer who reduces his own stock will only ensure that the public's animals can continue to overgraze the remaining fodder until mass starvation takes place. The farmer is then blamed for the resulting environmental degradation.

The original "protection measures" for Kangaroos were based on estimates by Archer that we only had 10 million Roos but improved detection has brought that number up to 100 million with 40 million in Queensland alone. And, surprise, surprise, no-one has apologised for this ten fold error and the "protection" of this vastly expanded herd remains in place.

A farmer can spend weeks on the soul draining task of shooting drought affected sheep to end their suffering but if he shoots a single Kangaroo facing the same agonising death, without a license, he becomes a common criminal.

Nationalised ecology assumes power over wildlife but accepts no responsibility for it or the consequences of it's mismanagement. [Enter the ideologue, enter the scape goat]
Posted by Perseus, Monday, 11 July 2005 11:48:02 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Great post peruses.

It IS just amazing how people can write such stuff, while the entire time sitting behind a very subsidised protected labour market for their income.

It’s about time we had the same rules for all Australians.

By this I mean, if the rural community has to bear the full brunt of the world market, what ever the price, for what ever reason, than for any section of the australian community to have “any” regulation that does not allow the same exposure to the world market has to be absolutely discriminatory.

The only reason agriculture is having problems with its terms of trade is because of the massive amount of regulation that is designed to protect the urban people in this country.
Read the book” how to argue against an economic rationalist”
Can supply the author name when I get my hands on it again.

It tells about the deliberate policy of enhancing the urban living standards, at the expense of the rural community’s to encourage immigration (just for a start.)

In fact it has a whole chapter on this issue, but in the summing up, sort of forgets this chapter as it means the summing up arguments would have to be different, very different.

I am all for industry’s being world competitive, so let’s start with the domestic subsidies (regulations) that are crippling not only agriculture, but our country.

Agriculture is world competitive, with world market costs, but not with the high costs as we have now due to regulations for the benefit of a select majorities.
Posted by dunart, Tuesday, 12 July 2005 1:58:00 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Dunart - that's two of your posts I've read today that I am intrigued by - the one where you compared economic rationalists to a fundamentalist religion made me LOL!! I am quite interested in reading that book when you post the other details....

Daniel! Long time no hear...remember we had a bit of a 'chat' about the Peter Pan Syndrome some months back...? Just wanted to say hi, how's the kids etc.... good to hear you're still writing!

I am a country-raised kid too - I have ALWAYS been taught the value of water and therefore certain things are commonplace in my house. We don't run the tap while cleaning our teeth for example. This isn't a rule which comes in and out with water restrictions, it just is - all the time.
Country people understand these things - it's the city folk who don't....
Same thing with the 'roos (as mentioned above).... no person who has personally witnessed their hard-raised stock being shot while vast herds of roos sweep across their poor, empty paddocks would have any objection to culling roos in any number.

What is needed most to help our farmers in drought (ie: All the time!) is the education of the city-dwellers. All we need to do (IMO) is have a compulsory program of biletting of city kids in country households (of course these families would need to be redressed....maybe something like a petty cash claim with...say...2% for their trouble?)

What do you think...? Should we start lobbying?

I think it's a terrible shame that the majority of Australia's population has never seen the other side of the Great Dividing Range..
Posted by Newsroo, Tuesday, 12 July 2005 4:25:59 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
You folks are all spot on.

I am not arguing for drought planning by farmers - I do not underestimate the resources and time spent trying to diversify and prepare for the conditions this country serves up.

As with the kanagroos example I am asking that people start to get innovative at a government level. Natural resource and agricultural management need to be completely rethought and develop new land management practices with the complex nature of systems in mind.

I don't, and won't ever, claim to have the solution - but it is bloody obvious things could be done better than they are.

Newsroo - thanks, the kids are great.

The billeting idea is a good one - I'd actually say we need to have everyone take greater responsibility and be more connected with their food production...backyard vegetable gardens are a damn fine thing for health and well-being as well.
Posted by Daniel Donahoo, Wednesday, 13 July 2005 8:48:24 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The first, and most critical step in true sustainable agriculture is to restore all property rights, including ownership of all wildlife and native vegetation, to the owner of the property on which they are found.

The second step is to make every piece of legislation that has used the precautionary principle as it's justification to state the character, scale and seasonal range of variation of the resources, and threats to those resources, that the measure is intended to protect. And it should include a clause that automatically voids the entire legislation if the original justification is subsequently found to have been false or misleading in any substantive way, or if the circumstances have changed in any substantive way.

This second step would eliminate most of the legislation and policy that is currently forced on the rural minority by the illinformed majority. It would completly change farmers approach to threatened species, for example. At present landowners fear the discovery of threatened plants or fauna because they have been converted, by illconsidered legislation into a threat to their existing operations. But under free market ecology a rare plant or animal would be an opportunity to propagate and sell a new product line with few competitors in conditions not unlike the market for stud animals today. It would spread threatened species far wider and more economically than the disgracefully mediocre results that are currently achieved by the so called "threatened species recovery plans".

It took the world almost a century of pain, death and attrophy to come to the realisation that the centralised state comand of economic production achieved substantially diminished economic and social values when compared to a wisely regulated free market. I hope we don't need to experience the same sacrifices before we realise that centralised comand of ecological production is just as inefficient and equally unjust.
Posted by Perseus, Wednesday, 13 July 2005 12:42:33 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Hi all and newsroom

The book is “how to argue with an economist”

Written by “lindy Edwards”
Published by Cambridge university press (


What you are talking about is the transfer of power to the urban areas by stealth.
As you transfer the wealth from rural to urban by false means, you transfer the vote and the GDP meaning the urban areas can then dictate how land managers manage the land.
I don’t see the situation where the urban power will be wiling given up.
Remove their ability to transfer their tax bill to us, and we will have a transfer of equity ad wealth back to regional Australia.

What I can never understand, is why “agriculture” needs so called “subsidies” to survive, when it manages not only the most vital of resources, but also produce’ food.
With food, we have 2 weeks left.
Only things more important are water and oxygen, all from the land.

Leave you with those thoughts
Posted by dunart, Monday, 25 July 2005 9:03:14 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy