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In The Paddock

In The Paddock

By Martin Murray
A look at agriculture and farming in Australia and around the world. Covering a range of topics including soil health, ag tech, farm innovation, weed management, herbicide usage, livestock management, profitability and sustainability.
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Wednesday Tec Talk: Compromise in Farming

In The Paddock

Wednesday Tec Talk: Ag in Finland
After getting some high rankings in the Finnish podcasting charts I thought I’d look a bit into Agriculture in Finland and see what they farm in such a harsh climate.
August 16, 2022
Fly The Farm with Meg Kummerow & Drones in Ag
On todays podcast we talk to Meg Kummerow from Fly the Farm on the use of drones in Sustainable Agriculture. For more on Meg and Fly the Farm go to
August 12, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Sulphur
This week we’re talking about the fourth major macro nutrient which is Sulphur, what it is used for, what deficiencies look like and how Sulphur levels can be increased.
August 10, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Potassium
Today we’re talking all this potassium, how it’s role in the plant and how deficiencies can be corrected
August 03, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Farm Biosecurity
It’s a bit of a hot topic at the moment with Foot and Mouth, Lumpy Skin Disease and Varroa mite getting around the Asia Pacific so I thought I’d dive into it. Farm Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility whether you’re trying to stop pests and diseases entering the country or stop the movement of weeds as disease around your farm. We can only influence what we control so it’s important to make sure your farm biosecurity plan is up to date. If you don’t have a farm biosecurity plan go to for a free resource kit.
July 26, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Free Living Nitrogen Fixation
Free Living Nitrogen Fixation (FLNF) is where organisms in the soil fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and make it plant available in the soil. Unlike rhizobia found in legumes these organisms aren't fixed to a plant and live freely in the soil with some producing more nitrogen than their legume equivalents. But unlike the rhizobia in legumes FLNF is mostly unknown but potentially has a large role to play in the farming system going forward as agriculture looks to reduce its carbon emissions and find more sustainable and regenerative methods for maintaining nitrogen in the farming system. Listen to todays Podcast to find out more about Free Living Nitrogen Fixation, how it can benefit you and how you can encourage it in your paddocks. Articles Mentioned in the Podcast To Fix or Not To Fix: Controls on Free-Living Nitrogen-Fixation in the Rhizosphere Nitrogen Fixation in Cereals
July 05, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Phosphorus
In this tec talk we discuss the role that phosphorus plays in our farming systems. We look at what it does, when it’s needed, where to test for it and how to apply it in order for us to keep farming in a sustainable manner.
June 28, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Nitrogen
Today we’re going back to basics and discussing the role of nitrogen in the farming system. Why nitrogen is important for a sustainable farm, how to check if it’s needed and where to get it is needed.
June 22, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Aerial Sowing and Sowing Rates
This week we touch briefly on aerial sowing with a couple of things to look out for. Along with sowing rates and making sure you’re actually sowing the right amount of seeds per metre in your paddock.
June 16, 2022
Subtropical Pastures with Bob Freebairn
We interview Bob Freebairn live in the paddock to discuss subtropical pastures and how they work in modern, sustainable and highly productive grazing system. We talk about the value of species selection and how to get your legumes working for you.
June 10, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Water Rates
This week we look at water rates and the effect they play on the quality of a spray job.
June 07, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: EPR’s
Today we’re talking EPR’s or End Point Royalties, what they are and why they need to paid. As growers we benefit a lot from new varieties and plant breeding and that’s what EPRs fund so it’s important that they’re paid.
June 01, 2022
Trofim Lysenko, The Worlds Worst Agro - A Cocky's History Lesson
Trofim Lysenko was a soviet scientist who mixed politics with his pseudo-scientific ideas leading to deaths to the deaths of 10's of millions through starvation from famine. He also managed to single handily set back the soviet scientific community in the field of biology by over half a centaury through the suppression of people and their competing ideas. He is the primary cause for many of great famines in the Soviet Union as well as the Great Chinese Famine. 
May 30, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Liquid Fertiliser
On todays Wednesday Tec Talk we talk liquid fertilisers, why you might use them and what advantages they can have in your cropping system, helping to boost your productivity, profitability and sustainability.
May 25, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Varieties and Planting Windows
As every thing gets pushed later keep an eye on your varieties and planting windows so you don’t loose yield potential in the back end
May 19, 2022
Hemp, An Emerging Industry. A Interview with Tim Schmidt
Hemp is an emerging industry in Australia with hectares under crop and consumption of hemp products increasing year on year. We interview Tim Schmidt, mixed farmer, Hemp grower, and President of the Australian Hemp Council. We have a detailed conversation about growing hemp, its uses, and where the opportunities are for the industry, along with what needs to be done to get the industry moving. Its a great detailed interview you will enjoy. To try some hemp products head to The Tassie Hemp Shop and to learn more about the industry check out The Australian Hemp Council and to see the harvester in action click here
May 13, 2022
Wednesday No Tec Talk: Jon Wright, Blue - E Cattle Stud
I’m crook as a dog this week so we’re rerunning my interview with Jon Wright from the Blue-E cattle stud we’re we discuss enhancing production and reduce emissions through selecting cattle for better feed efficiency.
May 10, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Hurry Up and Wait
Hurry up and Wait, be prepared and be patient so when things are finally right to go you can go and you make the most of a situation while conditions are right
May 03, 2022
The Great Grain Robbery of 1972 - A Cocky’s History Lesson
In 1972 a trade delegation from the USSR went to the USA looking to buy just enough grain to top up their stocks and feed their livestock. By the time the deals were done they left with 10 million tons of grain and the global grain markets flying out of control.
April 30, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Compromise in Farming
Life is full of compromises and farming is no different, if anything there’s probably more compromises in farming. So when you’re making a compromise are you making the least bad decision or are you just looking for a easy way out?
April 27, 2022
Wednesday (not so) Tec Talk: Ag Politics and Policy Making
With a election coming up I thought I’d have a have a quick discussion about Ag Politics and policy making. How Ag policy is formed, how groups like NSW Farmers and the NFF work along with why it’s important to have a united voice.
April 19, 2022
Bonus: Ukraine Grain Aide
Grain Producers Australia have set up a NGR number for farmers to donate grain to in support of Ukraine. The Grower Delivery Card in the NGR is numbered 1500 4442 and registered to GPA
April 13, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: MRL’s
MRL’s and Withholding periods are part of all sectors of agriculture, whether you’re in grains, horticulture or livestock following withholding periods and not breaching MRL’s are essential to your business. So listen in to find out what they are and why it’s important not to breach them.
April 13, 2022
Boosting Production and Sustainability Through Agtech with John Fargher - Agriwebb
On todays podcast we talk to John Fargher, the co-founder & Chief revenue officer of Agriwebb about the role that Agtech can play in farming businesses to enhance production and profitability along with sustainability. We discuss the current state of livestock production in Australia, how we compare to other major players in the global beef industry and why we need to change to maintain our competitive edge, keeping markets open to Australian beef. Specifically we talk about role that Agriwebb software can play in simplifying daily record keeping while also making passing accreditation audits so much more simpler. To find out more about Agriwebb and what it has to offer or to start your 14 day free trial click the link below.
April 08, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: War and Wheat
The price is pretty good but the global price is much better. So why aren’t we getting these even better prices? In todays tec talk we have a quick overview into what is driving global prices and why the price of wheat in Australia is so far below the global price.
April 05, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: The Importance of Timing
Good timing is essential in any cropping operation but is particularly important in short season crops like Mungbeans. So tune in to why I think you need to place more importance on getting jobs done quickly but properly on farm.
March 29, 2022
Wednesday Tec Talk: Peptides in Pesticides
We’ve all heard of peptides but that’s because they end up in sporting scandals. What most don’t know is that these peptides are the future of pesticide technology due to their safe and effective technology. Listen in to find out more.
October 05, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Making your biggest gains
It’s your worst paddocks they can give you the biggest gains so tune in to think about where you can make your biggest improvements
September 29, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Mixing Chemistry and Modes of Action
Why it’s sometimes better to pay more and use multiple products instead of only applying one product at a higher rate and saving a dollar.
August 03, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: New Herbicide Modes of Action Classification
Croplife Australia has an over they’ll be changing from a lettered MOA classification system to a numbered one. So what does that mean for you as a grower/agronomist?
July 27, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Fungicides and Mode of Action
Just like with your herbicides and insecticides the continual use of certain fungicides can cause resistance to develop and break that group. It is essential that fungicides are rotated and mixed up to prevent resistance
July 22, 2021
Thanks for Listening
Just a short message to say thank you for your continued support
July 17, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Waterlogged
Massive rain events around the country a lot of growers are wondering what they can do to reduce water logging on their farm and how they can pick their crop back up out of water logging
July 15, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Grazing Strategy
Livestock are headers harvesting your grass and converting it into meat. If your headers aren’t functioning well you’re missing out on yield potential. How do you set up your place for the best grazing system
July 07, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Harvest Storage and Planning
With crops up it’s time to think about storage, my most expensive mistake was not having on farm on storage last year and here’s why
July 02, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Ryegrass, but not what you think this is about
Ryegrass is often seen as a problem if your west of the great divide but can we use that as a feed source for sheep and cattle and should we be sowing it?
June 15, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Inversion Drift
With sowing underway there have been multiple reports of drift from all over the country. Most of this looks to be inversion drift so today we’ll look at inversion drift, what it is and how it can be avoided.
June 04, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Residuals and Plantbacks
Herbicide residuals can be very effective in long term weed control but they can also cause you problems so tune into today’s podcast to find out what you can do to check and manage your residuals
May 13, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Pre Emergent Herbicides.
Pre Emergent Herbicides can be a valuable tool in a farms weed management system. Tune in today to discuss what they are and how they can be used in your system
May 04, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Why You Need to Inoculate your Legumes
Legumes won’t fix Nitrogen unless they are inoculated with rhizobia bacteria so it’s essential that this step is done right.
April 27, 2021
Why I Haven’t Been Posting
Bit of an apology as to why I haven’t been posting any content anywhere
April 25, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: The Importance of Phosphorus
Phosphorus is one of the key macro nutrients a plant requires. Listen to today’s tec talk to find out why it’s important and how to manage it.
April 06, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: The Importance of Waiting
Sometimes if a job doesn’t look like it’s worked or plants haven’t come up you leave it for a week or two and just need see what happens
March 23, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Mice and Sowing
Mice are a problem that can kill a crop before it germinates. Check out today’s podcast to see what you can do.
March 03, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Data Loggers and Managing Frost Risk
Frost is a ever present danger in farm, a bad cold snap at the wrong time can ruin a crop but heat at the other end can strip yield without you noticing it. To manage that risk there’s a range of tools you can use including data loggers and climate apps. For more on how to use these tools so you can hit your yield potential check out today’s podcast.
February 23, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Sowing Rate
Sowing is one of the most important operations in farming so why are we so careless with our sowing rate? To get the best result we should be targeting plants per metre but sow at kg/ha regardless of seed size. Listen to today’s podcast to find out how you can change that.
February 16, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Jar Tests
A jar test is where you batch up chemical mixture in a jar to test its physical compatibility before you batch it up in your spray rig. They help you to identify brews that will result in product falling out of suspension and blocking your nozzles, filters and lines. For more check out the video on my “In The Paddock” YouTube channel. Jar Test on Youtube
February 09, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Soil Testing
On today’s podcast we talk about soil testing and why it’s important to your farming system.
February 03, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Mixing Order
Mixing chemicals is the wrong order is one of the simplest ways to cause issues for yourself when spraying. Tune into the Wednesday Tec Talk to find out the right order and avoid having issues on your farm. Please note to always seek your own independent advice before acting on what you’ve heard here and be aware that not all chemicals will mix with each other.
January 26, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Adjuvants
Adjuvants can make or break a spray mix, so how do you may sure that you’re adding the right one to the sprays that’s you’re doing on your farm? Listen to today’s Tec talk for a basic overview of what adjuvants are and what they can do in your mix. For more check out the Adjuvant book by GRDC linked to here
January 12, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Double Cropping
We’re back up and running for 2021 after a short Christmas break. Given all the rain that has fallen over the NW it looks like there’s a fair bit of double Cropping going on so on today’s podcast we’re talking about double cropping and what you should consider when double cropping. Done right it can be great option in a sustainable farming system, but done wrong it can cost a heap of time and money.
January 05, 2021
Back On The Air
Just a quick note to let you know the Wednesday Tec Talk will be back this week and podcasts resuming as normal.
January 03, 2021
Wednesday Tec Talk: Fallow Weed Control
In dryland farming we are in the business of storing moisture and converting it into grain. The best way to do this is through running a sustainable zero till farming system where weeds are dealt with and stubble is retained. 
December 15, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Residuals
Residual Herbicides are useful tool is a dynamic and sustainable cropping system allowing you to take care of problem weeds before they become a problem. 
December 09, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Stubble Cover
A bit of a rambling podcast with poor audio quality to thanks to a nation wide satellite internet outage. But we’re talking stubble cover and it’s importance in the Australian farming system
December 01, 2020
Harvest Hiatus
Just a quick heads up that the podcast will be on pause for the next few weeks as harvest gets underway. But we’ll be back up and running once harvest is over
November 01, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Grain Storage
With harvest kicking off around the country we're talking grain storage and grain storage options so your can keep your grain in top condition for sale, stock or sowing. In todays WTT we cover off Silo and Silo Bags, Fumigation of grain and seed treatment to ensure your farm keeps its grain clean. We also talk about the importance of keeping your site clean and preventing an infection of pests before they occur. If you like todays Podcast please subscribe and share it with a mate.
October 27, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: A Career in Agronomy
Today we're answering the most common questions I get asked "What do you do in agronomy?", "Do I need to go to uni?", "What's the pay like?" and "will I get training?". So if a career in agronomy interests you or you just want to know what a agronomist does and how it relates to the farmer and farming check out todays podcast.
October 20, 2020
Jon Wright: Blue-E Cattle Stud
Today we speak to Jon Wright from the Blue-E cattle stud in Woodstock NSW, the stud breeds Angus-Shorthorn Crosses with a strong focus on increasing livestock feed efficiency. We talk about why increasing feed efficiency is important and the benefits that it can provide producers with at a farm level along with the benefits it can provide the nation through reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We also talk about Jon's grazing strategy, how he uses the data he collects on farm and the decisions he makes using that data. Finally we also talk about the impact of climate change from a marketing and market access perspective and how what we as farmers do in relation to climate change and carbon management will affect what markets we can sell into. For more Click on the Link Below to check out the Blue-E Website
October 16, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Farm Biosecurity
On today's Wednesday Tec Talk we talk about farm biosecurity, why its important, how it impacts you and some simple principals you can undertake to make sure that Australia maintains its clean green reputation and more importantly ensure that your farm and business remain free of pests and diseases.
October 13, 2020
A Response to Kiss The Ground
Over the long weekend I watched two shows of TV one was Australian Story where they focused on the Monaro farmer Charles Massey and his journey to regenerative agriculture and the was Kiss The Ground on Netflix which looked mainly at farming in the USA and what makes sustainable and regenerative agriculture. This is my reply to those shows, what makes a sustainable farmer? and is that different to a regenerative farmer? In my opinion 99% of Australian farmers run zero till direct drill cropping systems and rotate or cell graze their stock, do these practices make us regenerative farmers, sustainable farmers or just flat pack stock standard regular farmers?  Some points I thought were valid, some were antagonistic but for the most part I thought we doing these things already.  Have a listen and let me know your thoughts
October 08, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Fall Army Worm
By Listener request we talk about Fall Army Worm, its one of the new and emerging threats to agriculture and sustainable farming in Australia. Since its arrival in January 2020 its settled in and made it clear that its here to stay. So we talk about what this invasive pest is, where it lives, what crops it likes and how to manage it. For more including a identification guide click on the links below and remember if you spot this pest notify your local department of Ag.  GRDC Fall Army Worm Department of Agriculture
October 06, 2020
Tyne Vs Disc Seeders
Today's short podcast is on Tyne Vs Disc Seeders and trying to determine what will work best in your farming system. We cover how a seeder interacts with the use of pre emergent herbicides, the effect of stubble or pasture and how a furrow might benefit you.
October 04, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Grubs
Carrying on from a Wednesday Tec Talk on Mice we now look at grubs and what they can do to crops. We're currently seeing them in canola, faba beans, chickpeas and lupins, they have the ability to do massive damage to crops but their are things we can do to protect our crops from them. So we talk about what these grubs are, how we find them and then how we deal with them.
September 29, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Soil Biology
Soil Biology is not a very well understood area of modern agriculture but a lot of time is spent talking about biology, particularly in organic and regenerative agricultural circles. However good soil biology is essential to farming and agriculture no matter what industry you're in so today we're taking a look at what soil biology is, why its important and what can be done to improve it.  For a basic way to test your soil biology check out the link below and "Soil Your Undies!!!"
September 22, 2020
Drones in Ag with Meg Kummerow
Today we talk to Meg Kummerow from Fly The Farm about the role of drones in agriculture, we discuss who's using this technology and why. Drones are playing a larger role in farming across both the cropping and livestock industries filling various rolls including crop scouting, mustering, NDVI, spraying and more. We also touch the legislation around operating a drone in Australia and where Meg believes drone technology is going. If you'd like to know more about drones in ag or are interested in getting a drone please check out Meg's website "Fly The Farm"
September 18, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Beneficial Insects
Today's Wednesday Tec Talk comes as a listener suggestion and we talk IPM or Integrated Pest Management and beneficial insects. We talk about the types of insects in farming, what a beneficial insect is and why farmers should be trying to promote beneficials in their farming and agricultural systems. We also briefly touch on GM and how genetically modified crops have allowed farmers to use less pesticides and promote greater insect diversity.
September 15, 2020
Thank You 1000 Listens
Thank you everyone for the support we're just at 1000 listens and have people tuning in from all over the world.
September 09, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Mice
Mice have been giving us a hammering our crops and farms lately, attacking canola, wheat, barley and Faba Beans. So today we're talking about what to look for how check activity levels and what to do about them. 
September 08, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Crop Nutrition
Having the right mix of nutrients is essential to having a healthy soil and having a healthy soil is essential to having sustainable and profitable farm regardless of whether you're into cropping, grazing or horticulture. So today we're talking crop nutrition, what it is, why its important and what can be done about it. For more go to
September 01, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Liquid vs Granular Fert
Todays tec talk comes from a listener who asks whats the difference between liquid and granular synthetic fertiliser? So to answer that I've taken a brief look at the difference between liquid and granular sources of nitrogen along with the different sources of starter fertiliser.  If you would like a question answered just get in contact via our instagram page. For more go to
August 25, 2020
Subtropical Grasses With Bob Freebairn
In this podcast we talk with Bob Freebairn about Subtropical Pastures, what they are, where they grow, their place in the farming system and how to establish them. For more information on Bob and his work check out his articles for below. Some of Bob's Articles
August 21, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Seed Treatments
In this weeks Wednesday Tec Talk we talk seed treatments, what they are any why they're used.  For more go to
August 18, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Break Outs
Break Outs are when weeds, disease or pests enter and take hold of a paddock. Listen to today's podcast to find out where they come from, how they start and how to deal with them. For more go to
August 11, 2020
Robert Mackenzie: Macka's Beef
Today we're interviewing Robert Mackenzie from Macka's Beef. Macka’s is a fifth generation family run cattle business. Operating from five properties around Gloucester and Port Stephens in NSW they breed Angus Cattle for both export and domestic consumption. We talk to Robert about how he makes sure he’s producing a top quality product and how he manages to delivery a consistent high quality product for export.  Check out Macka’s website and  Robert's LinkedIn  The Smart Label Farm Online Article
August 07, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Water Quality
Good water quality is essential for a good spray. How do you know if its good and what should you look for? For more go to or check out the links below
August 04, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Water Rates
Water Rates can one of the simplest ways to increase the quality of spray job and in many situations it might be difference between a spray working or not. For more visit or check out the links below.
July 28, 2020
Cover Crops, The Why and How
Cover crops have gained a lot of interest and popularity in the few years thanks to people like Gabe Brown and the regenerative agriculture community that have promoted them heavily. Trial work in Australia has shown them to be effective but more needs to be done to prove that they are a viable and effective long term option. For More go to 
July 25, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Yield Potential
In Dryland Farming our yield potential is set by how much rain we receive during the growing season, everything else we do reduces yield. To find out more read here:
July 21, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Hard to Kill Weeds
Hard to kill weeds are a fact of farming, whether they're naturally tolerant like Windmill Grass or Feathertop Rhodes or herbicide resistant like Ryegrass or MilkThistle. Here's why and how they should be controlled. Read more here:
July 14, 2020
How To Grow Wheat
Despite its name this is really guide to growing any crop as the key to success is being organised and being prepared, setup the nutrition, control your weeds and manage your pests. For more please check out the link below.
July 11, 2020
Wednesday Tec Talk: Fungicides
The Wednesday Tec Talk is short weekly podcast on the technique nature of farming. Today's topic is fungicides, a very basic why, how and when.
July 07, 2020
An Introduction to the In The Paddock Podcast
The first of hopefully many podcasts on the business of farming and agriculture in Australia, where we'll look at how to run a sustainable and profitable farming business by discussing things like livestock management, cropping, soil nutrition, cover crops, weed management, herbicide resistance, new technology and many other topics. Please subscribe for future episodes.
June 28, 2020