Ground Cover West : Ground Cover 049 April-May 2004 - West
Planning farm succession as a family NEWS 28 APRIL 2004 TALKING AGRIBUSINESS By DENNIS GAMBLE and STEPHEN BLUNDEN When conducting farm succession workshops, farmers were observed giving precedence to strategies such as re-structuring their business, minimising tax and protecting the farm in the event of divorce, without having frst understood the needs of all the family members farming together. Subsequent surveys with 154 farmers (eight succession workshops) across South Australia in 2002 and 2003 revealed differences between family members in their concerns, values and communication patterns. It highlights the need for farm families and advisers to understand and work with these differences. The results are presented in a two- part series on this issue: planning farm succession as a family and, in the June issue of Ground Cover, planning succession with advisers. The older generation’s (farming with a younger generation) major concerns were not knowing how to simultaneously fund their retirement, provide a viable farm for the younger generation, and provide a fair inheritance for non-returning children. They also worried about anything else that threatened the farm asset and their life’s work (such as the impact of divorce in the next generation). Because of the complexity of these issues, little discussion about succession has been occurring between older and younger generations. Of the older generation, 35 percent had not spoken to their successor and 45 percent had not spoken to their daughter-in-law or son- in-law. It is not surprising that 90 percent of the younger generation were concerned about being involved in major succession decisions, or at least wanted to be kept informed about decisions that affected their future. The surveys and workshops have shown that when a successor is invited into the business, older men became more focused on the farm business in terms of valuing new ideas to grow the business, hard work, team work and proft maximisation. These are values shared by other family members. Maintaining and enhancing family relationships between all existing and new family members was the highest priority of all the surveyed farm family members. There is a dramatic increase in the complexity in family relationships when a younger generation member is invited into the farm business. Older women appear to play a crucial role in managing this complex situation when they see a risk to family relationships. In comparison to older men, a much higher proportion of older women indicated they were more concerned about how to treat all their children fairly, plus the need for all family members to feel emotionally and fnancially secure throughout a succession planning process. Gender differences also showed up in the younger farming generation. Younger women (mostly daughters-in-laws) were more concerned about giving children the best possible education, actively supporting children to live lives of their choice, being emotionally and fnancially secure, and lowering the stress levels of family members who farm together. It would seem crucial from this that both older and younger women are included in the succession planning process. However, the surveys point to most farm succession discussions only occurring on a one-to-one basis and even excluding some individuals. Given the highest family priority is to maintain family relationships, it is crucial that family members work together to identify (and listen to) each others’ perspective. As a family, they should negotiate an agreement for farming together around shared values and direction and prioritising needs, which can then be addressed in a succession plan. For more information: Dennis Gamble & Stephen Blunden, School of Environment & Agriculture, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, South Penrith Distribution Centre, NSW 1797 With nearly one million Australians estimated to have diabetes, chances are that you, or someone you know, has the condition (although about 50 percent of people are unaware they have it). Nearly one-in-four people has the disease or is at risk, making it a problem of epidemic proportions. But there is now substantial evidence that people who eat two to three serves of wholegrain foods each day are 20 to 30 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes (the most common form) compared to those who do not eat any wholegrain foods. These are the fndings of Professor Jim Mann, Professor in Human Nutrition and Medicine, and Dr Bernard Venn, both at the University of Otago, New Zealand, after completing a literature review examining the fndings of worldwide studies. For people at risk, but who have not yet developed diabetes, adopting a lifestyle that includes a diet with some wholegrain foods and regular exercise can delay the progression of impaired glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes and improve insulin resistance. If you already have diabetes, includ- ing wholegrain and high-fbre cereal foods, fruits, vegetables and legumes in your diet can improve insulin sensitiv- ity and blood glucose control. The protective effect of wholegrains is not limited to diabetes. Wholegrain foods are also clearly associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers. At this stage it is not clear what it is about wholegrains that helps protect against diabetes. Nutrients in wholegrains such as fbre and the essential mineral, magnesium, may account for some of the benefcial effect, but it is possible that eating some foods with intact grains (like mixed grain breads) may also be important. Intact grains lower the Glycaemic Index of the diet, which helps in blood glucose control. Glycaemic Index (GI), a measure of the rate of carbohydrate digestion, is a new concept gaining attention that is relevant to grain-based foods and diabetic control. GI will be the topic of the next Go Grains column. Professor Mann’s research review was commissioned by Go Grains, a joint initiative of BRI Australia and the GRDC. A brochure, Cereal grains, legumes and diabetes can be downloaded from the Go Grains website. If you would like to order a bulk quantity of the brochure for use in your community, contact Trish Griffths. GRDC RESEARCH CODE BRI 00024, program 6 For more information: Trish Griffths, Manager, Go Grains, 02 9888 9600, firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.gograins.grdc.com.au The new Go Grains E-News Service, a free monthly email, provides the latest scientifc research and health highlights compiled by Go Grains. To subscribe, visit the website. Act now to minimise threat of infection CEREAL RUSTS GO GRAINS By TRISH GRIFFITHS Reducing the risk of diabetes 1. GREEN-BRIDGE DESTRUCTION 2. VARIETAL CHOICE 3. SEED TREATMENT The fungal pathogens that cause rust diseases can only survive for extended periods on living host tissue. Fortunately, agronomic practices like minimum tillage that retain dead stubble have little effect on the survival of rusts from one season to the next. During the non-cropping period in late summer/early autumn, cereal rust populations crash because of the unavailability of living host tissue. However, self-sown or volunteer cereals that establish during the break between cropping cycles can harbour rust diseases and allow the pathogens to invade early with potential for substantial epidemic development. It is therefore important that growers monitor their felds, particularly following rainfall events on stubbles that grew susceptible varieties in 2003, and destroy any volunteer cereals either by grazing, slashing, cultivation or with herbicides. Resistant varieties = resistant crops + resistant volunteers! The added advantage of growing resistant varieties is that any self-sown cereals derived from them will have the inbuilt resistance and reduce the amount of rust surviving from one year to the next. Experiences in 2003 have indicated that several current varieties are particularly vulnerable to rust infection, including the wheat variety H45A (stripe rust), and the barley varieties BaudinA, HamelinA and KeelA (leaf rust). For both crops there are fortunately alternative varieties to these in most cases. In contrast, oat growers have very few options when it comes to rust resistant varieties because all current varieties are susceptible to stem rust, and only the newly released Volta is resistant to leaf rust. Where possible, susceptible varieties should be avoided and if grown, they will require careful monitoring and may need to be treated with fungicide if rust develops. Treating seed with fungicide is important if there is concern about signifcant oversummering inoculum, or where late-sown crops are being seeded in areas vulnerable to disease. Triadimenol ($50-$75 per tonne wheat) and triticonazole ($70-$140) seed dressings, while cheaper, provide protection to seedlings only, while more expensive treatments like fuquinconazole ($320) and fertiliser applied futriafol ($120-$250) provide longer protection. Several points must be considered: n check with local advice in regard to the registered products available for each state; n triadimenol may cause shortening of the germinating coleoptile with potential for emergence problems in certain situations: these problems can be minimised by using good quality seed in well prepared felds; n take note of withholding periods when treating cereals for grazing; the withholding period is generally 28 to 35 days; and n treat seed thoroughly. By PROFESSOR ROBERT PARK and DR COLIN WELLINGS, University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute Cobbitty. (Dr Wellings is on secondment from NSW Agriculture.) Controlling rust diseases in cereals requires an ongoing commitment by growers to stick with resistant cultivars, and to control the diseases both during and between cropping cycles with chemicals or grazing if necessary. The good news is that action taken prior to sowing in 2004 will not only reduce the risk of rust infection this season, but it will also make a signifcant contribution to rust control in 2005 with further benefts in subsequent seasons. The table shows things that growers should be doing during the late summer/ autumn lead-up to this year’s cropping cycle to minimise the risk of rust infection in 2004.
Ground Cover 048 February-March 2004 - West
Ground Cover 050 June-July 2004 - West