Annie and I, together with our son Tim and his partner Meg, farm approx. 2350 hectares in the Billa Billa district, north of Goondiwindi in Qld. Half the farm is dedicated to cropping with the other half focused on Santa Gertrudis beef cattle.Our average rainfall here is 575 mm, although to date this year we’ve only received 240 mm.
We also have two farms at Talwood, west of Goondiwindi totalling 4300 hectares, of which 800 hectares is focused on cropping on box/belah red country. It’s been a tougher season out there, with only 125mm of rain so far this year, which is worse than 2019.
Our current winter crop is coming in quickly with the warm weather and won’t be too far off harvest. We’ve only recently sold off the final few loads of last year’s wheat and chickpeas, so the silos are ready for the new crop to come in. We are looking forward to getting some rain in the next few weeks to plant sorghum, with the seed and fertiliser sitting in the shed ready to go. While it is tempting to plant in the hope that rain will water it up, we have decided to wait for now. We have 260 hectares of fallow ground with enough subsoil moisture for the crop, we just need the rain for germination. We grow mainly wheat, chickpeas and sorghum, and trialled a new barley variety this year which seemed to do well. We also grow fodder crops such as oats and multispecies pastures.
With our son now involved in the farming, we are investing in new technology including a Weed-it and disc planters to help rein in some costs, manage resistant weeds and maintain groundcover. Like many other growers I’m sure, I’ve been keeping an eye on where the industry is headed with carbon. Having other farmers who are strong in this area that I can learn from through various sources such as Twitter has been helpful to sort out just what is accurate and gives a clearer picture of where is space is headed.