Jun 15

Destination South Australia

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Friday, June 15, 2018

Three days touring South Australia’s Adelaide, Tanunda, Salter Springs, Riverton and Kadina districts covering a wide variety of topics relevant to mixed farming in Southern NSW – including ryegrass resistance, ag engineering, soil sampling, work health and safety, machinery, hay production, cropping and moisture probes - is the aim of this year’s FarmLink Winter Bus Tour.
The tour will begin in Adelaide early on Monday, August 13, with the first stop being a tour of the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus research facilities, then on to Australian Precision Ag Laboratory. From there, the bus will head to Tanunda for the night. Day 2 will involve on farm visits at Salter Springs and Riverton then on to Kadina/Wallaroo for the night. The final day will begin with a visit to the Viterra Grain Handling Port and farm tours as we return to Adelaide that afternoon.
While FarmLink is organising all elements of the three-day bus tour, participants have the flexibility to find their own way to and from Adelaide, some already indicating they will stay on in the Adelaide region for a holiday break after the tour.
At this stage, we already have interest from a number of potential participants. Numbers will be limited, so anyone else interested in joining the 2018 FarmLink Winter Bus Tour can email or call the office on (02) 6980 1333, by the end of June.

Jun 07

Hear from Nuffield Scholar at dinner

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Thursday, June 07, 2018

Bringing the primary producers of Southern NSW together for a celebration of agriculture is the focus of the FarmLink Annual Dinner, and this year, in keeping with our theme of country hospitality, we’re heading to Dirnaseer Hall.
Diners at the Friday, June 29 event will hear from guest speaker John Stevenson, a Nuffield Scholar and Lockhart farm manager who spent 10 weeks overseas exploring international agriculture, and will share some of the eye-opening experiences of his Nuffield tour.
John has just presented his report “Closing the Yield Gap. Measuring plant available water in Australian Soils”. As detailed on the Nuffield Australia website, John has investigated ways to close the gap between potential grain yield and soil Plant Available Water Capacity (PAWC), with a focus on boosting productivity from sustainable dryland cropping systems.
For more than a decade John has managed large rain-fed grain production enterprises for the Warakirri Cropping business from the NSW Riverina to the Queensland Darling Downs. Crops have included wheat, canola, barley, pulses, sorghum, cotton and oaten hay (with some fallow phases).
He says the use of PAWC calculations through a range of grains industry decision-support tools is highly valuable, but there is no simple, affordable technique for growers to measure PAWC in a landscape that has highly variable soils.
“PAWC of soils is the key driver of dryland grain production right across the world,” he says.
“It leads to a better understanding of soil variability that can help growers optimise the use of crop inputs where moisture is a limiting factor or is too excessive.”
John has evaluated systems that allow cost effective estimation of PAWC.
He has also studied methods of better combining wide-ranging precision agriculture data, such as electromagnetic induction (EM) surveys, elevation data, pH, yield mapping and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) imagery. Through his scholarship he has travelled to Israel, South America, the UK, the USA and New Zealand.
While his report details the technical side of his Nuffield experience, the annual dinner will be an opportunity to hear the personal side of the 16 weeks of international agricultural travel, as well as catching up with fellow farmers and enjoying a social night out.
Chef Michele Seymour has been engaged to provide dinner, while our friends at Australian Grain Technologies (AGT) have again agreed to provide the bar for the evening. Bus transport will be available from some locations.
Tickets are $60 per person and available online at
If you would like to book a seat on the bus, please email or call the office on (02) 6980 1333.

Apr 26

Lisa Anderson at the helm of FarmLink Board

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Thursday, April 26, 2018

Reflecting on and looking forward to ongoing change, growth and innovation was a strong theme coming out of FarmLink’s Annual General Meeting held at Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre (TAIC) on Monday, March 19.
Retiring Chair of the Board, Darryl Harper reflected on the results of 2017, which included a profit of $126,529 and the ongoing implementation of good governance and processes.
“FarmLink is also continuing to build and manage beneficial relationships with stakeholders. We are entering a new phase with a new partnership with Hutcheon and Pearce which will take us down the path of precision agriculture, disc seeding, minimum till and controlled traffic farming, which we see as a new opportunity for FarmLink and TAIC,” Mr Harper.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Donald Coddington and sons for their excellent work in the past at TAIC and wish them well in the future.”
Mr Harper went on to explain that with the new Hutcheon and Pearce partnership, FarmLink had assembled a group of farmers on a steering committee to assist in the transition to using the new machinery, technology and farming system, which will assist in working through any teething problems which may be encountered.
He went on to thank the FarmLink staff and CEO Cindy Cassidy. “It has made my role as chair so much easier and less stressful by having an excellent CEO and staff,” Mr Harper said.
He also thanked the volunteer board members for their commitment and professionalism.
The AGM brought with it a change of personnel on the FarmLink Board of Directors.
Lisa Anderson was appointed the new Chair of the Board, while vacancies left by the retirement of both Mr Harper and Robert Patterson will be filled by new board members Jenny Thompson and John Stevenson. Rob McColl will continue in the Deputy Chairman role, with continuing board members including Ron Heinrich, Bernard Hart and Michael Sinclair.
Incoming Chair Lisa Anderson then presented the 2017 Annual Financial Report on behalf of Ron Heinrich, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee (A and R) and noted her thanks to him for his expertise in that role. She also noted the contribution of Mr Patterson as a member of the A and R committee who was passionate about financials and had great attention to detail.
FarmLink has delivered another operating surplus and has built up good equity over the past four years. The governance and financial position of FarmLink is sound. Mrs Anderson noted FarmLink is going into 2018 forecasting a loss, but hopeful that projects picked up during the year will offset this. Irrespective, the business can withstand a loss if incurred.
Mrs Anderson also announced the appointment of a new Senior Agronomist, Eva Moffitt, who will start work with FarmLink in April. She too thanked staff for their contribution.
CEO Cindy Cassidy presented the 2017 Research Report, an annual summary of research carried out during the past 12 months which will now be distributed to members.
Mrs Anderson also had the task of presenting a gift of appreciation to Mr Harper for his contributions to the board, particularly in his role as chair and the time and efforts he dedicated to the job. In doing so she also thanked Darryl’s wife, Christina, for supporting Darryl and FarmLink.

Apr 26

Eva joins the FarmLink team

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Thursday, April 26, 2018

Eva Moffitt has filled the role of Senior Research Officer at FarmLink, an addition welcomed by CEO Cindy Cassidy.
A precision agriculture expert with a passion for agriculture which was sparked growing up on her Temora district family farm, Eva joined the FarmLink team in early April – a perfect fit considering FarmLink’s recent move to precision agriculture (PA), disc seeding, minimum till and controlled traffic farming at Temora Ag Innovation Centre and the growing interest in precision technologies across Southern NSW.
Eva graduated with a Science degree with Class 1 Advanced Honours from the University of Wollongong. She studied geosciences and biology and was the University Medallist for the Science Faculty in 2011.
“Eva’s training and experience in soil science and biology gives her a strong foundation for this research role with FarmLink.
“With her recent experience in design and application of precision technologies on farm, Eva is a wonderful addition to the FarmLink team.
“She brings with her a skill set which will fit perfectly into FarmLink, Temora Ag Innovation Centre and of course farming right throughout Southern NSW. Along with our members, we are entering a very exciting time in agriculture, where PA strategies are becoming an essential part of farming operations,” Ms Cassidy said.
“Eva is currently getting up to speed with our existing and new projects as well as joining the rest of the team in preparations for this year’s sowing.
“We’re looking forward to introducing everyone to Eva in the coming months as she settles into her new role and gets to know FarmLink members and their passion for agriculture.”
Eva comes to FarmLink from her role as an advisor with Precision Agriculture where she provided insight and actionable management outcomes for farmers across Southern and Central NSW through utilising spatial technology in agriculture.
She is also heavily involved in her family’s farming operations in the West Wyalong and Temora districts, working with parents Chris and Merran Goesch, brothers Alex and Liam,
and husband Alex.

Feb 28

AGM set down for March 20

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Wednesday, February 28, 2018

ABN 23 109 837 505

Tuesday 20th March 9am TAIC

FarmLink Research Limited (ABN 23 109 837 505) (FarmLink) will hold its 2017 Annual General Meeting at the Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre, 361 Trungley Hall Rd Temora, on Tuesday 20th March 2017 at 9am for the following purposes:

Ordinary Business

1. Annual Reports
To consider and receive the Financial Report, Directors’ Report and Auditor’s Report for the year ended 31st December 2017.

2. General Business

By order of the Board of Directors

Darryl Harper
Chair, FarmLink Research Ltd
361 Trungley Hall Rd, Temora

27th February 2018

Dec 08

Harvest fatigue tips and information

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Friday, December 08, 2017

Roads and Maritime Services are issuing a reminder to farmers and grain transporters this harvest to take care and avoid driving tired.

When we talk about driver fatigue we are talking about driving tired and fatigue-related crashes can happen on any trip no matter how long or short or what time of day. It’s important to think about how tired you are before driving, recognise the early warning signs when driving and know what to do to avoid driving tired.

Did you know?
• Fatigue is one of the big three killers on NSW roads
• Fatigue-related crashes are twice as likely to be fatal - drivers who are asleep can't brake
• Being awake for about 17 hours has a similar effect on performance as a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05
Beware of driver fatigue this harvest…

We understand due to the threat of weather, the pressure of rapidly ripening crops and the cost of machinery and contractors, farmers have a tight window for harvesting to ensure they get the best possible returns for their business but don’t let this compromise safety…

Be alert to the warning signs of driver fatigue:
• Yawning
• Poor concentration
• Sore/tired eyes
• Restlessness
• Drowsiness
• Slow reactions
• Boredom
• Oversteering 

Here are some tips for avoiding driver fatigue:
• Get a good night’s sleep first
• Avoid driving at night or when you’d normally be asleep
• Try out
• Arrange a buddy to share the driving
• Plan regular breaks in your trip
• If you feel tired pull over for a break in a safe place (suggest 20 minutes)
• Stop for a coffee/energy drink – but caffeine won‘t help for long and it won't work for everyone
There is only one cure for fatigue. It’s sleep.

More information:

Oct 23

RCSN hosts open meetings for grain growers

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Monday, October 23, 2017

Grain growers in southern New South Wales are being encouraged to share their production challenges and opportunities through a series of open meetings, which are part of a new Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) initiative.
The GRDC recently established a Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) in southern NSW co-ordinated by Wagga Wagga based consultant Chris Minehan.
The role of the RCSN is to consult with growers and industry stakeholders to identify and understand major grain production constraints and opportunities faced by growers across the region.
Mr Minehan said a series of open meetings had already been held across southern NSW and more were organised for Beckom, Marrar and Greenethorpe this month.
“The role of the RCSN is to ensure local issues and farming systems are considered when the GRDC sets research priorities with the aim of improving farm profitability,” he said.
“These initial open meetings are about explaining how the network operates and its role within GRDC, so it is really about starting what will be an on-going, two-way conversation between growers and the GRDC.
“We want growers to share with us what gets them up in the morning and what keeps them awake at night, so the things that excite them about the grains industry, plus those issues they are concerned about.”
Mr Minehan said the southern NSW RCSN would hold at least 10 open meetings throughout the region every year to liaise with growers and gather vital intelligence about future grains research needs, as well as share research outcomes.
“Information gathered through these meetings will help inform the future direction of GRDC investments into locally-relevant research, development and extension with the aim of delivering deliver paddock-ready solutions to production challenges across southern NSW,” Mr Minehan said.
Growers, consultants and industry stakeholders are invited to open meetings at:
• Marrar, 24 October, 9am – midday (including lunch)
• Greenethorpe, 27 October, 4pm – 7pm (including dinner)
For more information or to RSVP contact Chris Minehan, Rural Management Strategies, 0427 213 660 or

Oct 12

Can you help improve animal monitoring?

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Thursday, October 12, 2017

Can you help researchers in a study that aims to build farmer-led partnerships to improve animal health monitoring?
Participation involves the completion of an online questionnaire (around 30 minutes) that includes questions on animal health monitoring, preferred communication methods and information sources.
Researchers from Charles Sturt University, Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics and Sciences and CSIRO are working on this study as part of a Rural Research and Development for Profit project* aimed at improving surveillance, preparedness and return to trade from emergency animal disease incursions using Foot and Mouth disease as a model.
Thanks are extended to anyone who has already taken part in this survey. The contribution to this project is very much appreciated. If you have not, the survey will be open until October 20 and researchers would love to hear from you.
You will not be identified in any reports produces and will have the opportunity to go into a prize draw to win a $50 retail gift voucher.
Follow the link to participate …

*This project is supported by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), through funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme, and by producer levies from Australian FMD-susceptible livestock (cattle, sheep, goats and pigs) industries and Charles Sturt University, leveraging significant in-kind support from the research partners.
The research partners for this project are the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Charles Sturt University (CSU), the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, supported by Animal Health Australia (AHA).

Sep 06

$1.8 million infrastructure grant for TAIC

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Wednesday, September 06, 2017

An investment of more than $1.8 million will help to drought proof field trials for cereals, oilseeds and pulses in southern New South Wales, underpinning investment in research, development and extension (RD&E) in the region.
The Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre (TAIC) is a community owned research farm with soils and an environment typical of more than half the state’s grain producing area.
Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Chairman John Woods announced on Friday, September 1 the GRDC Grains Research and Development (R&D) Infrastructure Grant to FarmLink Research Limited, which manages the site for Temora Shire Council.
“There are currently 17 private and public organisations conducting RD&E at TAIC, which attracts more than 3000 visitors a year,” Mr Woods said.
“The project will see the construction of a 100 megalitre dam with the capacity to irrigate 100 hectares of trials. It will also upgrade administrative and sample processing facilities; and build a machinery shed to accommodate increased trial and farm equipment and allow for machinery, technology and other agricultural training activities.
“Our RD&E partners need good infrastructure and the right tools to help GRDC to deliver on its purpose of investing in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.
“Dow AgroSciences is committed to centring their wheat breeding at TAIC and is making substantial additional investment,” he said.
FarmLink Chairman Darryl Harper said enhancing the capacity of TAIC to deliver innovation will benefit grain growers across southern NSW.
“Delivering locally relevant innovation, locally, is core to the operation of FarmLink, so making the most out of the resource at TAIC is just good sense,” Mr Harper said.
“FarmLink was established by local growers and researchers to deliver long term productivity, profitability and sustainability, through innovation. We are proud to be continuing and building on that history.”
Temora Shire Council will make a cash and in-kind investment of $444,000 towards the project.
Temora Shire Mayor, Rick Firman, said the Council is proud to be custodian of the site of significant advances in agricultural production.
“Over its 100 year history, the centre has developed new wheat, oats and barley varieties, along with a range of new farming practices,” he said.
“While the research benefits growers across the whole region – not just Temora Shire – the Temora Shire benefits not only through increased agricultural production but also through the significant research investment and visitor dollars that are attracted by FarmLink.
“We are very pleased to work with GRDC to develop infrastructure at TAIC that will further enhance the value and relevance of the activities at the centre.”
The $1,822,792 GRDC Grains R&D Infrastructure Grant is part of $15 million the GRDC Board had agreed to invest in a strategy to build national research capacity.
The purpose of the grant program is to boost capacity and capability in Australian grain research and development through funding key infrastructure, and to create enduring profitability for grain growers.

Jul 21

Resistant Wild Radish common in Southern NSW

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Friday, July 21, 2017

Herbicide resistance in wild radish and other broadleaf weed populations is often considered a Western Australian issue, globally regarded as the home of resistant weeds.
While in Eastern States the focus of herbicide resistance has been on grasses such as annual ryegrass, there are trends that mirror the development of broadleaf weed resistance to herbicides in WA.
In 2017, the Crop Science division of Bayer sponsored random resistance testing of wild radish populations across Southern NSW. In total, 20 wild radish samples were collected. Peter
Boutsalis from Plant Science Consulting in Adelaide tested these for herbicide resistance. A number of FarmLink members were involved in the survey after a call went out via the eLink in late 2016. The samples were taken from locations within a 200-kilometre radius around Wagga Wagga and included locations near Young, Barellan, Lockhart, Culcairn and Junee.
Growers who participated in the testing could test against up to 4 different herbicide modes of action.

As a result of the survey, Bayer has compiled a technical note on Resistant Wild Radish, which can be downloaded as a .pdf

Resistant Wild Radish - Bayer technical note 2017