agriculture - Tasmania Talks

'Kubota' word of the day for Total Ag Solutions

 Kubota LA302 light utility tractors

Yesterday they were labelled as ‘robot salesmen’, today they are continuing the trend  by talking about the latest and greatest Kubota equipment.

The guys from Total Ag Solutions join Brian Carlton for day 2 of Agfest, where they talk about their fantastic range of Kubota products – and the great, ‘Agfest-only’ prices they are offering!

You can find Total Ag Solutions at site M29 – M35 on Main Street.  

By Greg Goebel from Loveland CO, USA (Yvkub_2bUploaded by High Contrast) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

‘Need to make agriculture sexy again’ says TFGA, as they discuss all things agriculture at Agfest

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There is a need to keep young people interested in agriculture, and to ‘make agriculture sexy again’, says President of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Wayne Johnston.

Joining Brian Carlton live at Agfest, Mr Johnston speaks about a range of topics - including the current dry season for farmers, the introduction of new technology in farming, and how farmers are faring this year.

Listen to their wide-ranging chat below:

‘Nice to wake up… and not have this hanging over my head’ – Tasmania now fruit fly free

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After a gruelling 15 months, Tasmania is now officially fruit fly free.

The biosecurity scare severely affected many farmers across the state, particularly on the North-West Coast. Spreyton farmer Brett Squibb says that the industry was ‘unbelievably close’ to losing it all.

Brett talks to Martin Agatyn this morning about the state being fruit fly free, and says that it will be ‘nice to wake up… and not have this hanging over my head.’

‘We’re here for the long haul and we’re here to invest’ – Simplot announces $51 mil investment in Ulverstone plant

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Simplot are in it for the long haul in Tasmania, announcing a $51 million investment in their Ulverstone

Helped with $12 million from the Federal Government, the investment will help to upgrade production areas and increase the versatility of the plant.

Nigel Cowan, Simplot Ulverstone Plant Manager, talks to Fairsy this morning about what this investment means for the plant and for the region.

‘We’ve got some difficult times ahead of us’, says Poppy Growers Chief Executive

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Tasmanian agriculture is booming, but things aren’t necessarily greener on the other side for poppy growers at the moment.

An effective US crackdown on codeine drugs has caused some challenging market positions for Tasmanian poppy farmers, many of whom are looking to get into other markets just to stay afloat.

Chief Executive of Poppy Growers Tasmania, Keith Rice, says that the next 12 months are critical for farmers. However, if the market keeps going the way that it is, Mr Rice warns that it may become unsustainable for poppy growers in Tasmania.

‘What a disappointment for us’: Tas honey industry wants review into study which suggests not all Tas honey is ‘pure’

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 A study released this morning suggests that not all Tasmanian honey is pure.

A month ago, there was a scandal when it revealed not all Australian honey was ‘real’. This prompted calls from people to buy Tasmanian honey, dubbed by the President of the Tasmanian Beekeeper Association, Lindsay Bourke, as being the ‘best in the world’.

Today’s study suggests that 22% of all Tasmanian honey (or around 1 in 5 jars), is not pure honey.

Mr Bourke joins Brian Carlton this morning to discuss the impact this study could have on Tasmania’s honey industry, and says that he would like to see more tests done on this subject.

‘Why is firearms legislation held up as a sacred cow and not allowed to be touched?’ asks Shooters Union

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The Shooters Union of Tasmania is determined to see the parliamentary inquiry into reforming Tasmania’s gun laws continues.

The latest Parliamentary Cabinet shuffle saw Committee Chair Mark Shelton moved into a ministry, therefore causing further delays to the enquiry as a replacement for Mr Shelton is made. Lobby groups and the Opposition called for the inquiry to be dropped, but the Shooters Union says that this is a key election promise that needs to be fulfilled.

Alistair Shephard, President of the Shooters Union of Tasmania, speaks to Rick Fontyn about the proposed gun law reforms this morning. He says that shooters are often demonised, and asks ‘why is firearms legislation held up as a sacred cow and not allowed to be touched?’

‘World’s best honey ale’ award cherry on top for Australian Honey Products

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Australian Honey Products (AHP) has been named as the world’s best honey ale.

Brian Carlton spoke to Lindsay Bourke, Owner of AHP, last week from Montrealabout the several medals his honey won at the Apimondia 2019 World Beekeeping Awards.

However, the best was yet to come.

Lindsay joins Rick Fontyn from San Francisco this morning to discuss winning the title of world’s best honey ale, which was the cherry on top for AHP at the awards.

Image: supplied.

$12.5 million could see forestry in Tas out of the woods

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A $12.5 million investment into nine regional forestry hubs could reinvigorate the Tasmanian forestry industry.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was in Somerset on Saturday to announce the new funding, which will see four pilot hubs established in Northern Tasmania, NSW, Western Australia and a joint hub in South Australia/Victoria.

Liberal Senator for Tasmania, Richard Colbeck, speaks with Brian Carlton this morning about the program and how it will work.


800 tonnes of carrots won't go to waste

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A cancelled order of 800 tonnes of carrots will not go to waste.

Last week Brian Carlton spoke to Stowport famer, Allison Rawlings, about an order of 800 tonnes of her carrots that had been cancelled. She had no idea what to do with the produce, but just didn’t want it to go to waste.

This morning, Allison joins Brian to deliver some good news about the excess produce.

Agriculture or robot salesmen? Total Ag Solutions talk AGCO products


Brian Carlton has labelled the men at Total Ag Solutions as ‘robot salesmen’.

Managing Director of Total Ag Solutions, Tony Brooks, and Dealer Principal, Phil Hines, join Brian Carlton at Agfest to talk all about AGCO products: Massey Ferguson, Iseki and Fendt.

Brian is absolutely amazed at the technology these products now include, and says that they sound more like robots than agricultural machines.  

You can find Total Ag Solutions at site M29 - M35 at Agfest.

Aquaculture feed mill major boost for Westbury

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A $50 million aquaculture plant has been given the greenlight to begin construction in Westbury, and will be a major boost to the town.

It is predicted the plant will inject 20 new jobs into the region, and create 250 construction jobs.

Meander Valley Mayor, Craig Perkins, talks to Brian Carlton about this major investment in the region.

Bill Casimaty: a man with ‘huge energy’, big involvement in community and an icon in agriculture


Bill Casimaty may not be a name familiar to you, but his work his known and loved by millions of people world-wide.

The Tasmanian man passed away on the weekend at the age of 83, and is being remembered as an icon in the agricultural industry.

Bill studied turf farming, and founded the company StrathAyr Turf. StrathAyr turf has gone on to be used in renowned sports stadiums and tracks such as Lords in England, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Suncorp Stadium, Flemington and Sandown, as well as locally such as the Mowbray racetrack.

Bill’s eldest son Frank is now the Managing Director of StrathAyr Turf, and he joins Rick Fontyn this morning to reflect on the life of Bill Casimaty. Frank describes Bill as a man with ‘big energy’, who was heavily involved in his community.

Image: supplied.

Burnie Show kicks off agricultural show season


Roll up, roll up: it’s time for agricultural show season in Tasmania.

Kicking it off this weekend is the Burnie Show, which will take place on Friday, 6th and Saturday, 7th October.

There will be lots of fantastic interactive events and animals on show. There is everything from miniature goats to archery.

Brian Carlton chats with Vice-President of the Burnie Agricultural and Pastoral Society, Peter Broadfield, about what can be expected from the show

Image: By Bidgee (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Circular Head Mayor to watch VDL ‘closely in the future’

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Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam says he will be keeping a close eye on Van Diemen’s Land (VDL) dairy in the future to ensure they ‘make good on promises made in the past.’

Last week there were concerns from VDL employees regarding the animal welfare standards at the farm. While inspections have deemed that there is ‘no issue’ with animal welfare standards at the farm at this time, there are concerns that company owner Xianfeng Lu has not invested the money that was initially promised in the farm.

Daryl joins Brian Carlton this morning to discuss the current situation with VDL after his meeting with Mr Lu yesterday.

Codeine upscheduling may impact on poppy growers

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 The decision by the Federal Government to restrict the accessbility to codeine tablets by prescription-only could impact on Tasmania’s poppy growers.

Keith Rice, CEO of Poppy Growers Tasmania, speaks with Brian Carlton about what impact the upscheduling may have on poppy growers in Tasmania.

Concerns over JBS abattoir deal: what will happen to lamb and beef production?

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It seems as though concerns about pork production in Tasmania may be over, with a deal imminent between Tasmanian Quality Meats and JBS to continue pork production at the Devonport abattoir for at least 12 months.

However, this has left many butchers worried about where this leaves beef and lamb production, with very little options on the table.

Christine Bessell, Vice-President of the Tasmanian Meat Council, calls in this morning to share these concerns with Brian Carlton.

Culling permits about ‘finding the balance between agriculture and maintaining native wildlife populations,’ says TFGA

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Culling permits are about ‘finding the balance between agriculture and maintaining native wildlife populations', according to the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA).

An article in The Mercury this week revealed the number of culling permits allocated by DPIPWE, and for what animals. CEO of the TFGA, Peter Skillern, says that farmers must protect their crops and their farms and if the wildlife numbers get too great, then a culling permit is necessary.

He also says that farmers must report the number of actual animals culled to DPIPWE to have their permits renewed, and this may be far lower than the actual number of animals the permits allow for.

Listen as Peter discusses the issue with Brian Carlton below:

Demand for Yolla farmer’s spuds across the state

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About a month ago, a bag of Nicola potatoes was left at the LAFM reception for Brian Carlton. Yolla farmer Brett Neal had dropped them off, saying that supermarkets refused to accept them because they did not ‘wash clean’.

Several people were outraged and surprised by this, and people from across the state put in calls to buy some potatoes. To date, Brett has sent potatoes to everywhere from King Island to the West Coast to the Huon Valley.

Brian catches up with Brett this morning to get an update on the potatoes.

Devonport abattoir takeover can be a positive for farmers, says new farmers co-op

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The takeover of the Devonport abattoir can be seen as a positive to inspire farmers to take control of their businesses, according to the Chair of the new Tasmania Farmers’ Co-operative, Brad Rigney.

Mr Rigney, who is also Managing Partner of Transprodukt Tasmania, says that the partial closure of the abattoir means that farmers can band together and look to create new opportunities, such as privately funding a brand new abattoir.

Mr Rigney talks to Brian Carlton this morning about life for North-West farmers after the takeover of the abattoir, and what this new group plans to do.

Where to Listen

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