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In 2002 a scoping study involving 26 local grower groups was conducted to determine the level of interest amongst growers in establishing a farming systems group in southern NSW.
The study indicated widespread support for a group that allowed ‘linking’ of growers, researchers and advisers to better target and co-ordinate research.
An application was submitted to the Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) to fund the establishment of a farming systems group for this purpose.
The application was successful and funds became available in October 2003.
FarmLink Research Limited (FarmLink) is a not for profit agricultural research and extension organisation in southern NSW owned by growers and involves advisers and researchers. FarmLink’s main objective is to coordinate and communicate private, public and grower group funded research and development activities within in the region. FarmLink has been operating since 2003. There are three main parts to the business including research, communication and collaboration.
FarmLink conducts rural and agricultural research and extension activities in southern NSW and results are distributed across Australia. FarmLink’s number of research projects is rapidly growing. With more than 15 local projects, ensuring the results will be relevant to you. Projects address issues relating to water use efficiency, conservation farming, mixed farming, stubble management and precision agriculture just to name a few.
Communicating quality and timely research to farmers is a key priority for FarmLink. At FarmLink we understand how the information, support and tools enables informed decision making and a rapid adoption of new technologies and farming practices in the FarmLink region. FarmLink members receive a range of publications including fortnightly e-links, quarterly newsletters, reports and updates. Communication is not just one way. FarmLink provides training, workshops, field days and crop walks to members throughout the year.
FarmLink is about - collaboration, we work closely with a number of organisations such as CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authorities, Landcare, EH Graham Centre, agribusiness and other farming system groups across Australia. FarmLink annually coordinates a regional tour for members where other agricultural industries are explored and showcased. FarmLink manages project funds from a range of providers including GRDC. Our links with the nations leading research bodies guarantees value for local farmers.
The objectives of FarmLink are to:
(a) To improve the viability of farm businesses in southern NSW through research and development of systems that will further the environmental and economic sustainability of the region;
(b) To act as an independent regional grower and industry driven organisation that recognises and addresses the research and development needs of local communities in southern NSW;
(c) To develop, test and extend innovative science based management systems to improve profitability and protect the natural resource base of mixed farms in southern NSW; and
(d) Coordinate and communicate more widely and effectively the results of private, public and grower group funded research and development activities relevant to farming systems in southern NSW.