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Hi everyone, I’m Tim Eckert from Meningie, South Australia. I farm around 7800 hectares with my partner Laura, mum Gwenda, dad David, and my brother Matt and Matt’s wife Megan. I also can’t forget to include Matt and Megan’s almost one-year-old daughter, Rosie.

Of the 7800 hectares we farm, we usually put around 4000ha into crops such as wheat, barley, canola, beans and oats. On our end, the soil types on the farm vary widely (as they do on most farms) but on the Eckert farm our soil consists predominantly of sandy loams to sand, with the average annual rainfall sitting at around 400mm.

The season so far has been very dry, with dad saying it’s the driest start to a season he has ever seen and some locals claiming the records will show the driest start in 100 years.

For us, we’ve just finished off the seeding for 2024, with about three quarters being sown dry.The farm received 10 to 17 mm just this week which is the first real rain we’ve had, with only 3 to 5 mm falling a few weeks ago.

The challenges I see for growers includes the availability and price of inputs and of machinery and equipment. I see opportunities for farmers in developing technology, but I know this can also quickly lead to a challenge, given the costs of new machinery. In saying that however, I’m proudest about the ability of farmers to be able to adapt to different difficult situations and continue to produce sustainable crops for the world.