THE NFF is keen to see SA re-enter the national representation fold, according to president Duncan Fraser.
Mr Fraser was the keynote speaker at Rural Business Support's recent annual stakeholder meeting at Adelaide Showground.
"SA was a foundation member of the NFF and our only gap in membership is now in SA," he said.
"We have been meeting with Primary Producers SA chairman Rob Kerin to keep informed on where they're going with their review into national representation.
"If we can get SA back in we'll have total coverage of all the state and territories."
NFF had 27 members, with the NSW Irrigators Council recently joining.
Mr Fraser said there were a number of key issues for the NFF, including ensuring that free-trade agreements benefitted farmers.
"Looking forward, foreign investment has been a key debate and it's a critical issue for us," he said.
"The last thing we want to do is turn away foreign investment from overseas, it's been critical since Australian agriculture started. What we're pushing for is transparency."
Mr Fraser said Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce had promised to ensure a register was set up within 12 months outlining all the foreign investment into Australia, and it was an area NFF would be keeping an eye on.
Another guest speaker, Department of Agriculture first assistant secretary –Agricultural, Adaptation & Forestry Division – Fran Freeman said that while farm debt had risen substantially since the early 1990s, it was not necessarily a cause for major concern.
According to ABARES data the average farm business debt for broadacre and dairy farmers was $200,000 in 1993.
The most recent figures showed broadacre farm debt at just under $500,000 and $700,000 for the dairy industry.
"The average farm size has gone up, so average debt levels have gone up as well, so it's not quite as dramatic as it seems," she said.
State Agriculture Minister Gail Gago told the meeting that a draft Wine ScoreCard produced by PIRSA showed improved conditions and positive trends for the viticulture sector.
"Production levels, volumes, price and demand have all increased slightly, reflecting the excellent quality of wine produced in SA," she said.
"Exports to China have also increased by 16 per cent in the past year, making it the sector's third-largest export destination."
* Full report in Stock Journal's October 31 edition.