Letters to the Editor - September 10

Letters to the Editor - September 10

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Blueprint benefits, GM options and praise for essential workers were among this week's topics.

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BLUEPRINT TO BRING BENEFITS

I was proud to chair the SA Grain Industry Blueprint Steering Committee, which was made up of growers, plant breeders, levy-funded organisations, researchers and government representatives.

The blueprint has been well received by industry with its bold ambition for the SA grain sector to become a $6-billion industry by 2030. It takes a long-term approach and identifies new markets and niche areas of investment which will become mainstream over time.

Any progressive and bold moves toward growth will always have opposition from minority and historic views.

Anti-genetically-modified crop campaigner Bob Phelps' letter last week ('Grain industry blueprint priorities need adjusting', Stock Journal, September 3) is such an example and neglects the basic fact that responsible chemical use has enabled sustainable agriculture, conservation farming, minimum and no-tillage cropping, which in-turn conserves soil moisture and reduces direct carbon emissions.

The blueprint and the projects within it will be a critical element of our state's immediate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the profitability and sustainability of growers over the next 10 years.

Don Plowman,

SA Grain Industry Blueprint Steering Committee chair.

MAKE FAIR GM COMPARISONS

When examining canola pricing in the context of comparing non-genetically-modified varieties and GM varieties, it is important to use a methodology that compares 'apples with apples' ('GM varieties cannot compete on price', Stock Journal, August 27).

Non-GM and GM canola are traded as two different commodities, so it is misleading to compare their pricing on a like-for-like basis.

Comparing the discount between non-GM and GM in another state is not analogous to South Australian canola pricing.

The most logical pricing point to analyse is a comparison of the price of non-GM canola in Adelaide's ports, with non-GM canola in other states who grow both non-GM and GM canola.

Prices in Vic, NSW and WA are good examples.

For the week commencing September 2, it can be seen that non-GM canola out of SA (Outer Harbour) is trading at a lower price - $585 a tonne - than non-GM canola out of NSW (Port Kembla, $590/t), Vic (Portland/Melbourne, $589-$590/t) or WA (Kwinana, $619/t), clearly indicating that SA growers are not receiving a premium for their non-GM product.

The Australian Seed Federation welcomed the lifting of the GM moratorium on mainland SA and looks forward to farmers choosing the farming system that works best for them and their land.

Osman Mewett,

Australian Seed Federation chief executive.

HOSPITAL STAFF DESERVE PRAISE

While it is necessary to have the best facilities, equipment and services available for any health-related treatment, it is the personal touch that is of equal importance.

Following a recent health emergency, occurring in Ceduna and being finalised at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the health professionals who assisted me along the way were highly professional, compassionate and extremely personable.

During this short time I encountered: Donna, Ben, Shanni, Nick, Sammy, Kelly, Dave, Boyd, Tom, Angelie, Shane, Naomi, Fiona, Tim, Nick, Catt, Brigette, Alex, Janelle, Ash, Victor, Isiah, Lauren, Ella, Michael, Elijah, Kendar, Andrew, Justin, Melody, Toni, Mario, Rachel, Evelyn, Alma, Melissa, Jerome, Ainsley, Stephanie, Irene, Meghan, Jordan, Yens and Ondu.

SA is indeed fortunate to not only have first-class facilities, but also staff of the highest calibre. Keep on keeping on.

Ian Macgowan,

Ceduna.

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