Josiah's cropping operation receives 381mm of annual rainfall and they farm on a wide range of soil types including duplex soils, sandplain, loamy sand, and deep sand. Only 293mm of that annual rainfall occurs in the growing season. Under these environmental conditions and with the markedly different economic landscape during early 2020 due to COVID-19, his interest in farm inputs began when looking at phosphorous fertiliser pricing in June that year.
"In the last three years we have had more serious input supply and pricing issues than ever before,” said Josiah. “As a smaller cropping operation that hasn’t been used to forward ordering inputs more than 6 months in advance of using them, we have had to start securing fuel, seed, equipment, parts and consumables, electronics, chemical and fertiliser as soon as it’s available instead of ordering as we need it.”
Originally, Josiah's project for the AGLP revolved around this concern. Throughout the program, he has worked alongside the cohort of program participants and the program facilitator to channel his passion and further his understanding of the issues involved.
“I wanted to look at methods for managing supply chain disruption. While this didn’t change, through the AGLP one of my contemporaries pointed out that I was asking questions that weren’t exactly going to lead to genuine responses.”
“In one of the sessions, the AGLP group helped me develop interview techniques that improved my questions to gather more, and better information from farmers and suppliers about their purchasing activities and supply chain management methods in their businesses.”
"The project has benefited my farm business too, by making me a better organiser and has incited me to build better relationships with my suppliers, which have led to more realistic expectations on both sides."
When asked the question “where to from here?”, Josiah's answer is straightforward and community focused.