Declining terms of trade a major concern says SA farmer David Malpas

Introducing David and Angela Malpas from Lucindale in South Australia


1. Summary of our business

We live in the lower South East (Limestone Coast), South of Lucindale. The farm has beautiful gum trees and it is not a heavily cleared property. We have worked over the years on implementation of corridors and the maintenance of naturally occurring scrub areas. The soils vary from red sandy loam to sand over clay.

The Malpas Family Lucindale South Australia

Angela, Anna, Sarah, Emily and David Malpas

We have a mixed farm enterprise consisting of a self replacing meat sheep flock, Poll Hereford cattle herd alongside cropping and irrigation.

I’m married with three beautiful daughters! I have lived here since 1976 having previously lived with my parents until the age of 9 at Willunga. I married my neighbour, Angela and together we have three beautiful daughters!

Sarah and Emily are at boarding school in Adelaide and our youngest, Anna is in primary school at Lucindale Area School.


Poll Hereford cattle at Lucindale South Australia

Poll Hereford cattle on David and Angela Malpas's farm


2. Lifestyle Factors

Definitely working outside and being my own boss! I have been able to work with my father for most of my life and even now although he has retired enjoy and value his ongoing support.   My children have a fantastic backyard and have grown up as part of a great community. It is a good business when a whole family can work together.


The Malpas Family Lucindale South Australia

The Malpas Family Lucindale South Australia

3. Challenges

Declining terms of trade. Cost of production rising and income remains stagnant.

Monopoly powers within grain storage and handling and ports reduce the opportunity to access the best price for lowest cost service.

Carbon tax: another tax that will not fix global warming. This is a tax to appease people concerned with global warming with little thought given to the economic viability of rural industry. Being price takers we are unable to pass this tax on to anyone else although we are incurring the costs of it along our chain of production.

Silo's on farm at Lucindale South Australia

Silo's on farm at Lucindale South Australia


4. Messages for Canberra

Consider and take time to make policy decisions with whole of industry input as political knee jerk reactions to minority groups massively impacts the livelihood of farmers.

We love the land and our livestock and we take the best care of it in production methodology that we can as it is our livelihood so it makes sense for meat production and copping to be environmentally sustainable.

Recognise the flexibility and adaptability of the rural industry to global demands as well as the national market place

Think about who is making the money if we are the price takers then where is the mark up going. The duopoly that exists in Australia does not exist in any other democratic country. How has this happened?  It is not the farmer setting the price of the lamb chop on your plate!

Walteela Park, Lucindale South Australia

Walteela Park, Lucindale South Australia


Australian Year of the FarmerThis blog is number 12 in my quest to feature 52 farming stories in 52 weeks as a part of my celebration of the Australian Year of the Farmer.

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