Agriculture a career that should be attracting all the talented people

As mentioned in a previous post I have joined a global leadership academy. As part of my onboarding process I was invited to do a DISC profile.

And wow the four hour debrief process with Doug McCrae  was extraordinary.

I learnt, not surprisingly for all who know me, I am a high D. I also rated very highly on the Intellectual scale. This doesn’t mean I am smart.  It means I have a high thirst for fact-based knowledge.

I am confident this is one of the big reasons I love working with the Young Farming Champions.  I learn so much from young people in other farming industries

The science and technology on Australian farms today is quite extraordinary and quite a bit of that science and technology is driven by farmers and their advisors

I got very excited when I saw this blog post  Its planting season – our Young Farming Champions have got their big toys out to grow the food that feeds us. from the Young Farming Champions today

This video from Onus Agronomy on the biggest air seeder in the world just blew my mind

I remember as a newly married very young pharmacist who suddenly found themself a dairy farmer’s wife driving up the road to Clover Hill. It was soooooo steep they didn’t even have a tractor ( or a horse) and planting seed meant doing it like they do in developing countries dispersing it by hand.

Our family changed a lot of things on Clover Hill. We started that process by teaming up with the best in the business and thanks to dairy pasture guru Dr Neil Moss we became trailblazers in pasture utilisation and getting the best nutrition outcomes for our cows which meant consumers got the most delicious, nutritious milk we could supply.  If you want to read some of our story you can see some of our research trials here .

It is seven years since I was part of the team that made decisions on what to plant in planting season at Clover Hill so I reached out to Dr Neil Moss to see what progressive dairy farmers on the south coast of NSW are planting.

This is what Neil had to say

South Coast Dairy farmers are continuing to lift the bar with their choices for pastures as they move into winter. We are seeing continued uptake of improved ryegrass genetics as farmers work to improve both early season pasture yields and late season pasture quality where required. There has also been increased uptake on some of the older techniques used to increase early season yield including co-planting ryegrasses with one combinations of winter cereals and short term brassicas giving low cost options for shifting the feed curve “to the left” while not compromising spring pasture growth or yields.

The ever-persistent challenge of farming with, rather than against, kikuyu has seen a variety of techniques used to improve early over-sowing outcomes including low dose chemical suppression, use of heavy mulching or pre-cutting of silage and increased use of disc planters. Early results with the good season have been encouraging to date.

Gumboot Test

We are also seeing increased use of forage herbs such as chicory and perennial legumes again to improve the pasture mix while also increasing warm season feed quality. 

We learnt a lot in the early days. We learnt for example the power of language. Things like it was smarter not to call your trials Zero Grass and instead call them Salad Bowl Mix trials.

I am super excited that Neil and our South Coast farmers are setting the standard for high quality pasture for South Coast cows to produce safe, affordable, nutritious milk for Australian families.

Speaking of Neil he was most recently the appointed Scientist responsible for the Dairy industry 2020 Fire Recovery Response in NSW and in this podcast he speaks to Agriminders host Chris Russell about how farmers have been aided by these plans in the immediate aftermath of the devastating 2020 bushfires, as well as the lessons learned  along the way to help improve the government’s response in the future.