AFI Forum

Welcome to the AFI Forum, showcasing what we’re up to now and what we’ve done before.

From the vault:

Published 24 Nov 2020

The AFI has been accelerating positive change by leading the farm policy discussion and promoting policy solutions that maximise the economic and social wellbeing of Australian farmers since 2004. As the policy landscape changes – now more than ever – we are making changes to help us ensure a viable…

Published 1 Aug 2018

The divide has long acted not just as a physical barrier between the thin strip of land to the east and the rest of the country, but also in a figurative sense has been a delineator between the city and the bush. Most of Australia’s agriculture occurs west of the…

Featured content:

Published 10 Mar 2021

While COVID-19 is the most prominent disruptor of trade in recent times, it is far from the only one. Geopolitical tensions, socio-economic changes, infrastructure challenges and biosecurity concerns are not merely theoretical risks but active disruptors to Australia’s export-reliant agriculture sector. What do we need to know to manage these…

Published 24 Feb 2021

Innovation is not a buzzword or a box to check on a business plan; it is a vital component for sustainable economic development. The Australian agriculture sector faces a serious and present threat in climate change, which cannot be addressed by incremental adaptation; innovative responses to this challenge are a…

Published 2 Feb 2021

RESEARCH REPORT: Managing farm-related land use conflict in NSW The Australian Farm Institute estimates $20.3 billion can be added to the gross value of agricultural production through digital technology, while the National Farmers’ Federation has identified it as one of the keys to making agriculture a $100 billion industry by…

Published 1 Dec 2020

Early in 2020 the Australian Farm Institute undertook a research project on behalf of the National Farmer’s Federation for Phase 1 of the Australian Farm Biodiversity Certification Scheme, which is a component of the Australian Government’s $34 million Agricultural Stewardship package. This project reviewed best practice management standards and collated extensive feedback…

Published 30 Nov 2020

The Federal Government has announced that part of Australia’s strategy to deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19 will be a ‘gas-led recovery’. However, increasing gas production in Australia creates obstacles to the agriculture sector’s economic viability, social cohesion, environmental stewardship and ability to meet sustainability goals.

Published 29 Nov 2020

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of travelling around NSW, and connecting with others further away via Zoom, to speak to farmers, researchers and other agri-industry people about the future of conservation agriculture in Australia. These conversations have been in preparation for our Conservation Agriculture 2030 online…

Published 26 Nov 2020

The production of dairy products is associated with environmental impacts, and these impacts have resulted in calls within the popular media to reduce dairy consumption for the benefit of the environment (e.g. Carrington, 2018; Eating Better, 2020). Impacts of current production are estimated by environmental footprints; the use of environmental…

Published 10 Jul 2019

Much of the public outrage generated by the Four Corners program ‘Cash Splash’ (which aired on July 8) has been in reaction to the perception of public funds being spent for the sole benefit of large private companies. The program investigated elements of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) and asked…

Published 21 Feb 2019

Almost 20 years after deregulation of the Australian dairy industry, Labor has flagged a potential return to government intervention in the market. If elected in May, a Labor Government will task the ACCC to assess and test the efficacy of a Minimum Farm Gate Milk Price1 and to make recommendations on…

Published 25 Oct 2018

Tomorrow the Federal Government is convening a summit to address the devastating drought currently afflicting Eastern Australia, to unite national efforts in coordinating action to support drought-affected families and communities.  January to September rainfall in 2018 has been the second lowest recorded since 1900 for the Murray-Darling Basin, and September…

Published 15 Oct 2018

This week will see a confluence of agricultural, rural and regional events being held in Canberra. These events, including the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Awards Dinner, Farmer of the Year Awards lunch, the AFI Australian Agriculture Roundtable, National Farmers’ Federation Congress and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Gala, will bring farmers,…

Published 20 Aug 2018

Last October I wrote about the European Commission vote on extending the registration of glyphosate. While the extension was granted, it has done nothing to diminish the campaigning of vocal community that oppose the use of glyphosate.  This community has had their position strengthened by a landmark case in California…

Published 7 Aug 2018

The drought has not happened suddenly, but suddenly it’s mainstream news. I have been asked to do several media interviews in recent weeks and each reporter’s focus has been the effect that the drought might have on grocery prices. Since drought is a recurring feature of Australian agriculture there is precedent…

Published 18 Jul 2018

Australian agriculture has been kicking a lot of goals in the last few years. As the biggest contributor to GDP growth, the farming sector is full of stories of innovation and success. One goal that remains resolutely un-kicked however, is that of workplace safety. There is no way to sugar…

Published 12 Jul 2018

In the world of agriculture Mark Lynas is probably best known for his high-profile change of mind on the issue of GMO’s. Originally an anti-GMO activist, some say he was even the global founder of the anti-GMO movement, Mark is now an advocate for genetic engineering, promoting the potential for…

Published 1 Jun 2018

Much is made of the ‘urban/rural divide’ when discussing agricultural policy, but two digital trends have the potential to close some of the gaps between city and country. The first is the agtech start-up boom, a trend which is bringing mathematicians and venture capitalists to paddocks and farmers into computer…

Published 24 May 2018

AgTech Takeaways – the expanded menu (part 4): In March, I participated in an Austrade-facilitated Australian Agtech Delegation to the US and wrote a blog about my takeaways with four main points of conclusion. Over the next month each of those key points – integrated systems approaches, farming practice adaptation,…

Published 15 May 2018

AgTech Takeaways – the expanded menu (part 3): In March, I participated in an Austrade-facilitated Australian Agtech Delegation to the US and wrote a blog about my takeaways with four main points of conclusion. Over the next month each of those key points – integrated systems approaches, farming practice adaptation,…

Published 3 May 2018

AgTech Takeaways – the expanded menu (part 2): In March, I participated in an Austrade-facilitated Australian Agtech Delegation to the US and wrote a blog about my takeaways with four main points of conclusion. Over the next month each of those key points – integrated systems approaches, farming practice adaptation, genomics /…

Published 24 Apr 2018

In March, I participated in an Austrade-facilitated Australian Agtech Delegation to the US and wrote a blog about my takeaways with four main points of conclusion. Over the next month each of those key points – integrated systems approaches, farming practice adaptation, genomics / computational breeding and open data – will…

Published 10 Apr 2018

Let’s be clear: mistreatment of animals is incompatible with the ethics and farming practices of the overwhelming majority of Australian farmers. Any breach of our world-leading animal welfare standards should be investigated and rectified as soon as it is known. But let’s also be clear about the reality of the…
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