Mar 08

Farm Budget Masterclass series

Posted by Kylie Dunstan at Friday, March 08, 2019

Coming out of a difficult 2018 season and settling into a somewhat dry start for 2019, FarmLink has identified demand from our farmer membership base for skill development in the areas of cash flow budgeting and applying for finance.
Working with presenter Carmen Quade, FarmLink has a developed a series of Farm Budget Masterclasses, to be held pre-sowing, throughout the FarmLink region.
Most of the drought assistance available for farmers requires a budget as a part of the application process, including Centrelink assistance and both Federal and State funded low interest loans.
Many farmers, though excellent producers, are not confident in their abilities in this area and find the tasks difficult and emotionally draining.
The economics of broadacre cropping are such that many farmers will be seeking additional borrowings or having to renegotiate existing payment terms with financial institutions, in addition to drought assistance this season. The impact of the Royal Commission into banking is already being felt with tighter and more time consuming lending practices.
To meet this need, FarmLink’s Farm Budget Masterclasses will consist of five workshops for farmers on writing cashflow budgets to support discussions with their banks and also for use in applications for government loans or assistance schemes. The workshops have been secured for Ganmain, Temora, Lockhart, West Wyalong and Ardlethan throughout March.
Carmen Quade will deliver these workshops, with support from FarmLink staff. She lectures part time at Charles Sturt University in Agribusiness and Accounting. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Agricultural Commerce) and a Masters in Professional Accounting. Carmen brings a relaxed atmosphere and a sense of humour to the workshops and seminars she presents and an understanding of the complexities and challenges involved in farm finances. Her role as a partner in a mixed farming business in Tallimba, north of Ardlethan, makes her well placed to offer real life examples and create genuine rapport with the participants. She has also discussed the masterclasses with Griffith-based Rural Financial Counsellor Haidee Laycock to ensure that they address the areas of most need.
It is hoped that farming clients who have participated in this workshop will be able to more confidently engage with the services offered by Rural Financial Counsellors and financial institutions generally. This may allow them to arrive to appointments with prepared or partially prepared budgets, increasing efficiency.
If successful, the program could potentially be delivered in other areas of the state where there is a similar need.
This Farm Budget Masterclass has been made possible with a grant from Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network through the Australian Government’s PHN program and Empowering communities program. 
To ensure masterclass participants get the most out of the four-hour workshops, including plenty of opportunities for questions, numbers will be limited to 20 per event.
RSVPs are essential, either by emailing, or calling (02) 6980 1333, letting us know which event you want to attend, how many will be coming from your farming business and your phone number.

> Download a flyer via

Nov 12

Destination Canada

Posted by Kylie Dunstan at Monday, November 12, 2018


Yes, you read it right - FarmLink wants to host a tour to Canada, led by CSIRO’s Dr John Kirkegaard, in July next year – with at least 10 people already indicating they are keen to come on board.
So what’s the plan? We’re looking into visiting ...
• Calgary Stampede (optional)
• Agri-food Canada - Lethbridge, Alberta
• Research Station Visit, Grower Visit – Lethbridge, Alberta
• Swift Current Visit Station – Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
• Farm tours with Collin Rosengren at Weyburn, Saskatchewan and Derek Axten at Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Visit Redvers.
• Flexxifinger - Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
• Ag In Motion Expo - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
A focus of the tour will include intercropping and multi-species production. The tour will visit farmers in Saskatchewan who are adopting intercropping systems as a way to improve yields and revenue over monocropping. One of the farms to be visited on the tour is that of Derek and Tannis Axten who were named the 2017 Outstanding Young Farmers for the Saskatchewan region. In 2009, the Axtens ended up with an intercrop by accident after seeding lentils into brown mustard stubble on 640 acres. This resulted in an unintended intercrop – and good harvest yields from both crops. This success started the Axtens down the road of intercropping, which they have now implemented on most of their farm.
The FarmLink tour to Canada will see travelers depart Australia around July 5, 2019 returning July 18. Tour price per person will be approximately $8000 (twin share), including the Calgary Stampede, plus optional add-ons such as the Rocky Mountaineer Train Tour. The final figure is expected to reduce and travelers are urged to check the tax deductibility status of this work-related trip with their accountant.
Obviously there is quite a bit of planning for this trip, so we need to know if you are interested by January 31, 2019.
> Tell us you’re keen for Canada via an email to or call the office on 6980 1333.

Nov 01

TAIC Sticky Beak Day

Posted by Kylie Dunstan at Thursday, November 01, 2018

In an effort to share all the wonderful things happening with FarmLink at Temora Ag Innovation centre - we're hosting the inaugural TAIC Sticky Beak Day - an opportunity for the public to come and take a look behind the gates.
WHERE - Temora Agricultural Innovation Centre
WHEN - Thursday, November 15, 9am-11am
WHO - Everyone!
Take a look around the unique facilities which have been developed at TAIC, creating a hub for agricultural research and innovation right here in Temora.
Enjoy morning tea and jump on the FarmLink bus for a quick tour around the farm featuring new infrastructure additions such as the 100 megalitre irrigation dam and Trefle Exhibition shed.
RSVP for catering

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