Podcast: Did we make ‘Better Frost Decisions’? – Issue 3 December

Tanja Morgan with Peter Hayman, Naomi Scholz, Jess Koch, Adam Morgan, Michelle McClure

We have multiple guests on the show as we take Issue 3 of the Better Frost Decisions newsletter to the air waves.

Tanja Morgan talks Spring temperature and frost events with Peter Hayman, SARDI Climate Applications. We also take a trip to the regions with an update from the Tooligie frost demonstration with Naomi Scholz; Jess Koch, PA Consultant from Breezy Hill Ag Services talks about frost mapping in the Upper North; we interview Southern SA Mallee farmer Adam Morgan as he talks about how frost impacts his farming system and we finish off with Michelle McClure, Southern Farming Systems, to talk about a new frost economic scenario calculator for growers and advisors.

For more information, including an update from Birchip Cropping Group, check out Issue 3 of the Better Frost Decisions newsletter online here

Video: How do I identify sub-clover cultivars?

This video helps you develop basic skills in sub-clover cultivar identification and narrow down what sub-clover cultivars are growing in your paddocks. Not being able to identify problem sub-clover cultivars means up to 30% winter production could be forfeited if growing outdated varieties or oestrogenic sub-clovers that impact on sheep reproduction go unrecognised.

More info www.sfs.org.au or  office@sfs.org.au


With all the talk about climate change have you ever wondered what it might mean for your farming business?  What impact will there be on crop yields, pasture growth and farm profit?  If I need to be prepared, what changes should I be thinking about?

Southern Farming Systems have received funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund to conduct analysis on 32 crop and livestock farms in South West Victoria to understand the likely impact of different climate change predictions.

For more information watch this short video

To register your interest contact Tahlia Ferguson SFS, E: tferguson@sfs.org.au, M: 0418 462 967

Podcast: Country Today AgriFocus Interview

Gina Kreeck, SFS Operations Manager

Southern Farming Systems in Victoria's South West has taken its popular AgriFocus field days online, due to COVID restrictions. Southern Farming Systems Operations Manager Gina Kreeck told Will Boddington, the sessions have been surprisingly successful.

Video: Healthy Soils Webinar – Session 3 Soil Organic Carbon

Presenter Dr Susan Orgill, NSW DPI addresses the following scenario: Carbon, it’s all that’s talked about. My kids want me to do something to help the environment and there seems to be lots of benefits in improving soil carbon and I don’t want to miss out if there is money to be made from carbon trading. But I hear it’s tricky to tell if you are actually making a difference and to do this you need to monitor over a long time or test carbon fractions. I’m not sure that my carbon levels are even that bad and that its worth lifting them. How do I even tell and if I do try and improve, what’s the best way to improve soil carbon? The neighbours are putting on compost and I have heard about special pasture renovators and even biological stimulants to increase soil carbon.

Video: Healthy Soils Webinar – Session 2 Soil Acidity

Presenter Dr Jason Condon, Charles Sturt University addresses the following scenario: Some of the soil experts are saying that our current liming topsoil pH targets are much too low and won’t stop subsurface acidity from forming. But liming is expensive and producers/advisors are unsure if they can justify spending money on more lime, especially when lime is not the only limiting factor. Plus, it doesn’t look like the lime is moving, so is it worth it? Are these new targets just for “good country,” and protecting sown pastures, what should producers do about poor pastures or hill country? If producers already have acid subsoils, should they just live with it or try to fix them. Plus aren’t soils naturally acid anyway, is it such a big deal?

Video: Healthy Soils Webinar – Session 1 Fertilisers

Presenter: Dr Mark Farrell, CSIRO addresses the following scenario: Healthy soils are the foundation of a productive and profitable grazing system. In the past the focus on achieving a healthy soil and pasture has been meeting sufficient levels of available nutrients by fertilising. However today some producers are querying the response they are getting from their traditional fertilisers given the money they spend; fertiliser just doesn’t seem to work like they used to. Understandably many question if they are getting good value for the fertiliser investment. When combined with recent discussion around achieving balanced soil condition, holistic soil management, feeding the soil bugs and ‘natural’ fertilisers, it is not surprising many of us are wondering what’s the right way to go.

Video: Predicting wheat and barley flowering time in Australia

Dr James Hunt talks about optimizing wheat yield through selection of variety for its optimal flowering time in the HRZ.

Video: Women On Farms: PayDirt Workshops

Video: Risk

Australian farming is one of the riskiest businesses in the world because of climatic conditions, prices and our reliance on export markets. This video explores concepts around risk in farming. It explains volatility, the limitations with using averages to understand risk, correlations between yields and prices and how to frame the odds to inform risky decisions. It also shows ways of presenting information so the risk can be appreciated.

Video: Rules of thumb

We commonly make decisions without thinking too much about them, using previous ‘rules’ to guide the choices we make. But are these rules always the best to follow and could they be leading us to make poorer decisions? This video explores the concept of Rules of Thumb and how to test if they are appropriate for the next big decision you are going to make.

Video: Decision matrix

Many decisions in farming are complex. There are often multiple factors to weigh up but may not be of equal importance. We also know complex decision are influenced by our head, heart and gut. This video steps through a simple process to help make more informed decisions using a seven-step process called a decision matrix.

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