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Another successful TMA Conference for 2014
Over 120 delegates enjoyed the Annual TMA Conference titled “The Cutting Edge of Agriculture” held at the MCG in July. The mood is one of stability and general optimism as we head into a potentially good harvest for most of Australia. Tractor sales have been reported as generally steady across the country although the number of dealers selling the volumes was reported as down from 2000 dealers in 1994, to just 649 today. The capital requirement needed for the dealers to operate in today’s market has increased four time over the same period, making it very difficult for new players to enter the marketplace. There is some underlying concerns about the level of used equipment in the market as dealers try and move their trades to make way for new machine sales, and this is highlighted by the dramatic drop in combine harvester sales, forecasted at barely 600 units for 2014, down from 1200 two years ago.
Justin Smirk of Westpac and Simon Ritchie of KPMG both looked at the prevailing winds of Australian business and the economy and although there are few signs of dramatic upticks in activity across the country, most businesses and the Australian economy at large are in good shape in the coming years. New speaker Andrew Newall of Newag Consulting presented an agronomists view of the machinery being supplied into the Australian market, and more particularly, its impact on production and agronomy on farm. Most attendees commented on how much the machinery played an important role in Controlled Traffic Farming practices, soil compact and precision farming. Andrew did an excellent job of demonstrating his knowledge of machinery and this made many of us realise how important the role of the agronomist plays in machinery decision making. The afternoon session involved a 9 member panel including farmers, importers and dealers and discussions around everything from sales, marketing, people and time management in delivering farm machinery to the end user. This was a very enlightening session which covered almost every aspect of selling and servicing farm machinery today and into the future.
All in all we had another excellent day, culminating in the Chairman’s Dinner which included the awarding of the TMA Certificate of Appreciation to Mark Taylor of Kubota Tractors Australia, for his tireless service on the Board of the TMA for over 10 years. Planning has already begun for next years’s conference and we would welcome any suggestions for content or speakers that you would like to hear from.
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