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News in brief

By Country News

Critically injured

A man is fighting for life after his legs became trapped in a feed crusher at an emu farm in south-east Queensland.

The man, aged in his 50s, was trapped in the machinery at the Coleyville property for more than two hours before being freed by emergency services just after 11am last Tuesday.

Critical care paramedics stabilised the man before he was airlifted in a critical condition to the Princess Alexandra Hospital where he underwent surgery.

The incident is being investigated by police and workplace health and safety officers.

Free-range fiasco

Eggs from caged hens may have been falsely labelled free-range or barn-laid then sold at Perth supermarkets, producers warn.

The Commercial Egg Producers Association of WA believes substitution has been happening for the past few years, given supermarkets have been selling free-range eggs at prices lower than farming costs.

Association president Ian Wilson said it was starting to have a dire impact on the WA industry.

‘‘Many of the state’s commercial egg producers are struggling to remain competitive because the wholesale price demanded by supermarkets is simply unsustainable,’’ he said.

WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan wrote to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission with her concerns and was told an investigation was under way.

The ACCC said it had a policy of not commenting to the media about any complaints or potential investigations.

In 2017, WA egg producer Snowdale Holdings was fined $750000 and also ordered to pay $300000 in court costs after it deceived shoppers by falsely labelling some of its products free-range.

Agvet course

Not-for-profit organisation Agsafe, which delivers a number of product stewardship programs for the safe and responsible storage, distribution, use and disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, is hosting an Agvet Chemical Supplier Course this week.

The course is designed for chemical re-sellers and will be run by Agsafe training expert Tanya Ginns.

The course will be held at the Aussie Hotel, 73 Fryers St, Shepparton on Thursday, May 23 from 9am to 4.30pm for those seeking first-time accreditation, and from 2.30pm for those seeking re-accreditation.

■Registrations are essential and can be made by phoning Dianne Brennan on (02) 6206 6805.

EPA seeks input

Environment Protection Authority Victoria has a one-stop shop for online advice for the agricultural community, and is taking requests on what farmers need next.

EPA executive director Damian Wells said the body was looking for guidance on how best to inform farmers about ways to minimise harm to the environment and human health.

‘‘Victoria’s $13billion agricultural sector is very broad and we want to ensure our advice meets farmers’ needs,’’ Mr Wells said.

‘‘That’s why we’re encouraging them to tell us where they need greater support.

‘‘Our Agricultural Guidance page includes a simple two-minute survey that gives farmers an easy way to ask for the environmental advice they most value.’’

EPA currently offers advice on protecting the environment and human health, and meeting Victorian law and regulations, on livestock planning, farm waste, chemicals, noise, water, sediment and dust.

■Anyone involved in agricultural activities can make a request or provide feedback via the survey, at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/EPAwebpagereview