Episodes
What is the plan for ensuring reliable connectivity in regional and remote Australia? Connectivity in regional and remote Australia has always lagged behind the cities, yet the growth in digital and robotic agriculture demands the same access and speeds as urban business and industry. Host Chris Russell speaks to Federal Minister for Communications, Minister Paul Fletcher, about his government's plans to meet the connectivity needs of the bush. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy...
Published 05/16/21
How can Australia make better use of its vast underground water storage? The practice of water banking injects excess surface water into underground aquifers during wet times, to be used during dry times. Host Chris Russell speaks to postdoctoral research fellow in groundwater management at the US-based Environmental Defence Fund Andrew Ross about the feasibility of water banking in Australia and what would need to happen to make it a reality. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy...
Published 01/06/21
Australia is the second most urbanised country in the world after Singapore and the distances to bring food from the regions to the cities are huge. How can we bridge the increasing geographical and psychological gap between Australian producers and the urban consumers who buy their produce? One solution is peri-urban agriculture and the practice of growing food on the fringes of capital cities. Host Chris Russell speaks to CEO of Urban Ecological Systems Andrew Bodlovich about the...
Published 12/30/20
Are plant-based "milks" better for you than dairy milk? A 2020 study from the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council found that the nutrients in plant-based milks aren’t an adequate substitute for dairy milk, in spite of popular perceptions. Host Chris Russell speaks to Nutritionist and General Manager of the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council Sarah Grafenauer about the perceived health benefits of plant-based milks compared to the reality. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy...
Published 12/23/20
Is Australia a major player in global food production? Or has it, or should it, take advantage of its unique provenance story and become a specialist supplier of niche products to a growing global and affluent middle class? Host Chris Russell speaks to former President of the Australian Lotfeeders Association Kevin Roberts about the growing popularity of Australian grain fed-beef overseas. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/16/20
How can farmers make informed production decisions based on food trends? For farmers looking to expand their production to include value-added products, it can be hard to distinguish between legitimate trends and marketing spin. Host Chris Russell speaks to Founder and CEO of New Nutrition Business Julian Mellentin about how they predict food trends and how Australian farmers can take advantage. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Published 12/09/20
How do farmers in remote communities socialise when their closest neighbour might be hundreds of kilometres away? In the eyes of most Aussies - living in the bush and mateship seem to go together – but is it the reality in modern farming? Active Farmers is a non-profit organisation using group fitness classes to build stronger, fitter and more resilient rural communities. Host Chris Russell speaks to Acting CEO of Active Farmers Marliese Heffernan about the mental and social benefits of...
Published 12/02/20
The response to a natural disaster, as planned by state and federal governments, have been implemented, tried and tested during the 2020 bushfires...but how did they go? Our agriminder is the appointed Scientist responsible for the Dairy industry Response in NSW is Dr Neil Moss and he speaks to 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...
Published 04/15/20
Published 04/15/20
Our animals and wildlife have been devastated by the fires, and for those that have survived, the aftermath of having dead and injured animals on our lands also poses a significant risk. Host Chris Russell speaks with former Commonwealth Inspector General of Biosecurity and NSW Chief Vet, Dr Helen Scott Orr, about how we can manage this effectively and sensitively. 
Published 04/08/20
What can we learn about bushfires and the management of our land from our Indigenous  people, who have managed bushfire with bespoke methodology for 40,000 years? Our agriminder Soil Scientist Phillip Mulvey returns to discuss the use of fire as a land management technique in Australia with host Chris Russell, what effect the 2020 bushfires have had on our soil and  the opportunity we have to start again, collaboratively, as the soils have effectively been sterilised by fire.
Published 04/01/20
Fire looks random but there is a scientific dedication to understanding how it behaves. Host Chris Russell speaks with leading Fire Scientist and former forest fire-fighter, Dr Thomas Duff, about his studies into how bushfires behave in hot, dry climates. Our agriminder  Dr Duff explains how we can use this information to predict where and when areas might be affected and what the best way is to limit loss of life and property.
Published 03/25/20
Should we have predicted the severity 2020 bushfires? Our Agriminder, Former NSW Fire and Rescue Fire Commissioner, Greg Mullins says that they did predict it. Greg explains to host Chris Russell why the 2020 fires different from the bushfires of previous years, the cause and effect of these types bushfires and what can we learn from that to help us plan for future bushfire events. 
Published 03/19/20
Should we be using Australia’s native grasses more in our food production? Aboriginal populations harvested native grains and grasses for bread for 40,000 years prior to European settlement, yet we have largely ignored these naturally evolved crops in modern food production. Host Chris Russell speaks to Principal Consultant at Ag & Environment Consulting, Dr Peter Ampt, about the potential use of these grasses in the future of food & pasture production in Australia.
Published 11/20/19
What is behind the rise in value-added milk products? With over 11% of the milk consumed in Australia & New Zealand now being A2 milk, the A2 Milk Company is experiencing rapid growth within a struggling dairy industry. Host Chris Russell speaks to CEO of the A2 Milk Company, Jayne Hrdlicka, about the growth of their value-added products and the data supporting its popularity.
Published 11/20/19
What is the future of the Australian dairy industry? As the cost of dairy production increases and the price of supermarket milk decreases to less than that of bottled water, the future is uncertain for many farmers. Host Chris Russell speaks to former President of Dairy Australia and dairy farmer, Max Roberts about ensuring a fair return for farmers and the best ways to keep young farmers in the dairy industry.
Published 11/20/19
Is organic food more nutritious for you? Organic food is popular among urban consumers and perceived by many to be tastier and better for you. But is it really healthier or tastier? Host Chris Russell speaks to accredited dietitian and career nutrition scientist, Dr Tim Crowe about whether claims about the benefits of organic food stack up.
Published 11/13/19
What makes a farm ‘organic’? Organic farming has assumed a reputation of purity based on the use of 'organic' inputs and sustainable practices. However, this excludes the use of many fertilisers and disease prevention systems that are safe and even 'near natural'. The cost can be productivity, efficiency and food wastage due to shorter shelf life. Host Chris Russell speaks to Head of Standards and Regulation at Australian Organic Limited, Owen Gwilliam about what's permitted in organic...
Published 11/13/19
Can blockchain solve agricultural producers’ provenance problems? Tracking the conditions of production animals and paying suppliers for goods could all be covered by blockchain in the future if there is uptake of the AgriDigital program. Host Chris Russell speaks to Bridie Ohlsson, CEO of Geora, a blockchain protocol designed for agriculture, about the potential solutions it could offer farmers around the world, at every level of their production.
Published 11/13/19
How is the fruit and vegetable industry responding to the claims of exploitation of backpackers and Pacific Islander workers? Host Chris Russell speaks to the CEO of Aus Veg, James Whiteside about the industry’s dependency on exploited labour and the potential for attracting more long-term Australian staff.
Published 11/06/19
Are our horticultural industries over-reliant on overseas workers? The Australian fruit and vegetable industries arguably couldn’t exist without young backpackers and Pacific Islanders working on temporary visas, but is there a more sustainable solution to harvesting fruit and vegetables in Australia? Host Chris Russell speaks to CEO of Fresh Select, John Said about the pressure on producers to find labour and to Associate Professor in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies at the...
Published 11/06/19
Should we be eating more kangaroo meat? We cull and often ignore kangaroos as a source of food, yet our iconic animal could be the answer to a more sustainable source of meat given a more managed approach to their integration with farming and food production. Host Chris Russell speaks with principal of Australian Wildlife Services George Wilson and long-time surveyor of kangaroo populations about the potential welfare benefits as well as food & fibre resources we are ignoring by not...
Published 11/06/19
Should we farm on Mars? Will humans need to expand to other planets to keep up with demand for agriculture? American aerospace engineer and President of the Mars Society, Robert Zubrin, is researching the possibilities. Robert joins host Chris Russell to discuss how humans might grow food on Mars, attempts to simulate Mars-like conditions on Earth and how accurate the film The Martian really is.
Published 10/30/19
Are our farming methods impacting climate change? The Western Australian “Bunny Fence Project” suggests that farming itself may be an over-riding reason why droughts will increase. Host, Chris Russell, speaks to soil scientist & Founder of Environmental Earth Sciences International, Philip Mulvey, about how rehabilitating Australia’s soil may be the key to managing the climate above it.
Published 10/30/19
Are the fears around glyphosate legitimate? Glyphosate has arguably been one of the most transformational agricultural innovations of the last 50 years. However, following a recent court case in the USA, may now be under threat as a readily available tool in the hands of farmers due to cancer fears. Host Chris Russell speaks to Managing Director of Monsanto Australasia, Mr Tony May, about his company’s position on glyphosate and where he sees the current court actions leading. Chris also...
Published 03/21/19