Podcast: Innovation & Decision Making: How do you implement change, without betting the farm?

Kirsten Diprose
Episode 02: Innovation & Decision Making: How do you implement change, without betting the farm?
Hosted by Kirsten Diprose

Making the right decision at the right time is critical to good business and innovation, especially when you add drought or other volatile factors into the mix. So when a new opportunity arises, how do you know you’ll make the ‘right’ choice?  

This episode looks at the latest research about on-farm decision-making, as well as stories from farmers, farm consultants and agricultural entrepreneurs about how they made the decision to adopt a new technology or practice.

Farm consultant with Southern Farming Systems, Cam Nicholson shares his decision-making framework of using the ‘head, heart and gut’. Emma Ayliffe, agronomist and founder of Yacker, an app that connects farmers, talks about the value of peer-to-peer research (ie. Calling other farmers!). And Jacob Birch, Gamilaraay man, academic and entrepreneur speaks about how to be culturally appropriate in the decision-making process, especially as the native grains and other indigenous industries grow.



CAM NICHOLSON is a director of Nicon Rural Services, a consulting business near Geelong working with the grazing and cropping industries.

Cam has worked in pasture agronomy and soils for 35 years and has been involved in many farmer programs for the GRDC, MLA, Landcare and the current Future Drought Fund.  He provides consultancy advice to farmers and lectures on animal and pasture systems at Marcus Oldham College.

His most recent work has focused on understanding and discussing risk in farming businesses, carbon accounting and decision making. Cam recently helped revamp information and tools for MLA on pastures and soils.

EMMA AYLIFFE is a farmer, researcher and consultant based at Tullibigeal, NSW. After moving from South Australia to New South Wales working as a cotton agronomist, Emma moved to Tullibigeal with her partner where they bought her first 1700 acre farm with the support of Craig’s family. 

In 2020-2021, Emma was Australian Young Farmer of the Year. Emma prides herself on being an innovator pushing the boundaries and coming up solutions with farmers problems.  

JACOB BIRCH  is an academic, entrepreneur and Churchill Fellow passionate about re-awakening, and bringing into a modern context, the native grain foodways that sustained his Gamilaraay ancestors for thousands of generations. 

Jacob’s received First Class Honours for a multidisciplinary research project that investigated the nutritional qualities of Australian native grains for human consumption, and Indigenist research methodologies which give agency to First Nations voices and experience. 

Jacob led a national consultation to inform the AgriFutures commissioned Australian Native Grains Strategic RD&E Plan. 

This podcast has been created by the Victoria Drought Resilience Innovation and Adoption Hub and is funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.

Podcast: Southern Farming Systems 2022 Results Morning Play List- A Nitrogen decision making journey.

Michelle McClure

This playlist is all the presentations from the Southern Farming Systems 2022 Results Morning - A Nitrogen decision making journey for the 2022 Cropping Season.


Podcast: 2022 SFS Results Morning – Decision making & using a decision matrix.

Michelle McClure with Cam Nicholson, Nicon Rural

Southern Farming Systems Podcast with Cam Nicholson, Nicon Rural  discussing Decision Making and using a decision matrix to decide, When should I apply the greatest percentage of total Nitrogen to gain the best return for cereals?

To access the Decision Wizard https://sfs.org.au/tool/decision-wizard

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Podcast: 2022 SFS Results Morning – Nitrogen & Commodity forecasts, decisions for the 2022 Cropping Season

Michelle McClure with Wes Lefroy, Rabobank

Southern Farming Systems Podcast with Wes Lefroy Rabobank’s Senior Agricultural Analyst at the SFS 2022 Results Morning discussing Nitrogen and commodity forecasts, and decisions for the 2022 Cropping Season starting with the key drivers of supply and price globally.
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Podcast: 2022 SFS Results Morning – Nitrogen Strategies & Considerations for 2022

Michelle McClure with Jon Midwood TechCrop Services

Southern Farming Systems Podcast with Jon Midwood, TechCrop Services, at the SFS 2022 results morning discussing Nitrogen Strategies & Considerations for 2022.

View the presentation slides here...

For more information contact: Jon Midwood E: jon@techcrop.com.au M: 0400 666 434
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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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