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JUNE 2019 EDITION NO.16

Cotton season wraps up

MIXED RESULTS FOR FARMERS THIS YEAR WITH DRYLAND AND IRRIGATED COTTON, PAGE 3


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chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

Editor’s welcome INNOVATION is key to any industry surviving in this day and age - and farming is no different. We’re seeing this throughout the Surat Basin, where innovative technologies are used and ideas are put to work with landowners reaping the benefits. This could not have been more clear for Macalister farmer Mitch Seis who spoke to the Western Downs Farmer about the varying results in yield from his dryland and irrigated cotton farms. Irrigation has been key for Mr Seis to produce a good harvest this season, but as he said, “that’s only if you’ve got the water to do it”. Agriculture and farming industries are resilient in the toughest of times, but as you will see in the pages of this edition, there’s plenty of landowners who are making a name for themselves through innovative ideas and technologies. - Jordan Philp, Editor

COVER IMAGE: Mitch, Georgia and Olivia Seis.PHOTO: NICOLE MCDOUGALL

contact us EDITOR, Jordan Philp Phone 07 4120 1017, Email editorial@chinchillanews.com.au ADVERTISING (CHINCHILLA NEWS) Jodie Williams, Phone 07 4672 9930, Email jodie.williams@chinchillanews.com.au ADVERTISING (DALBY HERALD) Nicole McDougall, Phone 07 4672 5502, Email nicole.mcdougall@dalbyherald.com.au GENERAL MANAGER Erika Brayshaw, Phone 07 4672 9921, Email Erika.brayshaw@apn.com.au All material published in Western Downs Farmer is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission for the publisher. DISCLAIMER: The information contained within Western Downs Farmer is given in good faith and obtained from sources believed to be accurate. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. The Chinchilla News or Dalby Herald will not be liable for any opinion or advice contained herein.

TOP TUCKER: The John Kilroy Cha Cha Char Grand Champion Branded Beef of Show

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Hat-trick of best steak titles for Darling Downs wagyu STOCKYARD’S Wagyu Kiwami has won the battle of the beef for the third year in a row, taking out the title of Australia’s best steak at the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show (RQFWS) Branded Beef and Lamb Competition Awards at the Brisbane Showgrounds today. The premium wagyu brand, produced at Jondaryan on the Darling Downs, steaked the coveted John Kilroy Cha Cha Char Grand Champion Branded Beef of Show trophy over 49 other entrants. Chief Judge Elaine Millar said the balance and length of flavours were extraordinary. “The flavour profile excited with both the delicacy of young roasted hazelnuts and the richness of bonito flakes and field mushrooms - perfect for Japanese cuisine or treated with respect on any open-coal Australian barbecue,” she said. The Darling Downs also stood out in the hunt for Australia’s best lamb, with Queensland raised lamb winning a medal for the first time in the competition’s 10 year history. Karbullah at Goondiwindi claimed a bronze

medal in the Restaurant Trade Branded Lamb class for their lamb entry fed on saltbush. “The judges were impressed with their free-range, hormone free, Old Man Saltbush grazed merino entry and I hope to see Karbullah lamb on many more menus in the near future,” Ms Millar said. The medals are usually dominated by Tasmanian and Victorian bred lamb, so it was no surprise when Woodward Foods Australia’s HRW Tasmanian Lamb was named Australia’s best. Tasmanian produced lamb has won the award the past three years, with the HRW Tasmanian Lamb brand also taking out the title in 2017. Chief Judge Elaine Millar said it delivered sublime delicate flavours and fine textures that worked harmoniously together. “Although the flavours of pureed almond, butter beans and pale cereal were delicate, the length on the palate was outstanding,” she said. A record 73 entries were received in the

Branded Beef and Lamb Competition this year - an increase of more than 20 per cent on last year. The entries were judged by a team of 11 food experts over two days this week, including Chief Judge Elaine Millar and Stokehouse Executive Chef Richard Ousby. Some of today’s award-winning beef and lamb will now feature on the menu at the Royal Queensland Steakhouse presented by JBS at the Royal Queensland Show (Ekka).

The flavour profile excited with both the delicacy of young roasted hazelnuts and the richness of bonito flakes and field mushrooms.

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Cotton wrap-up Olivia Seis on one of her family’s cotton bales, wrapped pink for breast cancer education. PHOTO: NICOLE MCDOUGALL

HARVEST: Macalister farmer Mitch Seis has been busy harvesting his irrigated crop and said he was pleased with his yield but dryland crops had suffered.

PHOTO: NICOLE MCDOUGALL

Mixed results for farmers across the region as irrigated crops far outperform dryland plantings THE cotton season has wrapped up once again with mixed results for farmers across the region. Macalister farmer Mitch Seis had both dryland and irrigated cotton this season. “For dryland it was the worst that we’ve had for a long time, if not ever, but the irrigated stuff it’s been an irrigator’s delight – if you had the water.” Mr Seis spoke to Western Downs Farmer while he was in the process of harvesting his irrigated crop. “Our semi-irrigated stuff did really well, like nine and a half bales off two waters, and the fully irrigated stuff’s really got some good potential but, you know, that’s

only if you’ve got the water to do it.” For Mr Seis, having enough water to finish his irrigated cotton meant running short on water for his sorghum and corn crops. “You’ve got to make a hard choice somewhere,” he said. “But all in all, even the sorghum for only getting one water, it still did really well. “At the end of the day it’s probably a season I do want to put behind me.” For his dryland crop, Mr Seis was hoping to average two and a half bales per hectare. “But it’s looking like it could be a bit less, and then getting severe dockages as well,” he said. “Length and strength issues, I’m looking

at nearly $120-a-bale dockages on that, which just really rubs salt into the wound.” Irrigated cotton was certainly a happier topic for the grower, with Mr Seis hoping for 11 bales per hectare. “I think I might even do better than that. “Considering it’s metre-and-a-half rows and I didn’t quite finish it off on full watering, I’m really happy with that.” Mr Seis has supported the McGrath Foundation again this year with his use of pink wrap from Tama Australia on this year’s harvest. Tama has been working alongside the McGrath Foundation since 2014 selling various pink products to its clients including silage film, net wrap and silage covers.

Tama added a pink cotton wrap in 2018 with 50c from each item sold going to the McGrath Foundation. So far the fundraising total for Tama’s pink products sits at $140,000. Tama Australia general manager Jason Amos said women played integral roles in the contracting and farming businesses Tama worked with but they seldom got the attention and recognition they deserved. “We are also aware that rural women do not have the access to the health care and information that women in our towns and cities have,” Mr Amos said. “We wanted to do something to change this and the pink RMW and our other charity products is our way of supporting breast cancer awareness.”

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chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

FROM THE SEA: Port of Brisbane delegation pays a visit to the Drought Angels depot in Chinchilla during a recent tour.

PHOTOS: SHANNON HARDY

Brisbane Port heads west Delegation tours dry Chinchilla, visits Drought Angels’ warehouse and delivers a $30,000 gift

THE work of our Drought Angels is continuing to reach beyond our region, this time catching the attention of the Port of Brisbane. A contingent of volunteers from the Port of Brisbane visited Chinchilla on May 24 and 25 to learn and lend a hand. Upon arriving in Chinchilla, the group stopped at the Drought Angels’ warehouse for a tour and to give their $30,000 donation to the charity. Drought Angels founder Natasha Johnston said the visit was important because it showed city people were aware of the struggle that was happening out in rural Australia. “They’re showing an interest in where their food comes from and that our farmers do need to be looked after to be able to keep them on the farms,” Mrs Johnston said. “I think that it’s wonderful because that’s where all the money that has been donated is

coming from; its all of our city cousins that’ve been doing all the fund raising for us because a lot of the bush is already hurting so trying to fundraise in the bush is a bit difficult.” In addition to their donation the Port of Brisbane staff also visited a couple of local farms to help with odd jobs and learn more about what goes on in the life of a farmer. “Some of these people have never been out to a property,” Mrs Johnston said. “It was just wonderful to have them here and share the Drought Angels experience and journey with them. “I think it’s important for people to actually see where their money goes, what their fundraising efforts have done and where they’ll go and what they’ve helped us to achieve with that money.” Port CEO Roy Cummins said every year the team of employees at the Port of Brisbane supported a charity and he couldn’t think of a worthier group for 2019 than Drought Angels.

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“The Port of Brisbane works with the farmers and logistics companies from across regional Queensland every day, working together to export goods to overseas markets,” Mr Cummins said. “We know they’ve been doing it tough, which is why its timely we lend a hand through this donation.” The staff at the Port of Brisbane are heavily involved in choosing what charities to support and in raising money or volunteering. “I’d like to pay tribute to the staff of Port of Brisbane who have run fundraising events and dipped into their own pockets to support this initiative,” Mr Cummins said. “We also know that the best way Queenslanders can support regional economies is to visit them and spend money there, which is exactly what this visit will achieve.”

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Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

Farmfest ’19 gives back

Bitter wind fails to chill mood of vendors and visitors to 3-day event Shannon Hardy

HAPPY VENDORS: Luke Muller and Pat O'Brien from Dom Distribution rugged up against the cold at Farmfest 2019.

PHOTOS: SHANNON HARDY

RIGHT: Texas Longhorns featured at Farmfest. ABOVE: Farm machinery lane was a drawcard. “I think it’s good for morale for everybody to encourage each other and share ideas. “I find it great for networking. “It’s actually good to catch up with all the farmers in the region, everyone’s in a little bit of light party mode. “There’s a lot of communication via technology these days with email and phone calls which are wonderful technology but face to face is still a lot better.”

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A COLD start and freezing winds did not deter people from heading out to Farmfest 2019. While vendors were happy to see warmer temperatures on the second and third days, the freezing winds did little to dampen moods as buyers and sellers mingled at Kingsthorpe on June 2. Ben Otto and the rest of the team from CRT Dalby Rural Supplies were greeting regular and new customers from their stall, surrounded by their suppliers. Mr Otto said it was great to have all their suppliers on site with them again this year. “We like to support the suppliers and in turn they support us to put on a site like we’ve got here which showcases their products best,” Mr Otto said. “We do work as a team throughout the year and we work as a team at Farmfest.” CRT continued their relationship with Lifeline at this year’s Farmfest stand by running a competition to win a laptop with proceeds going to Lifeline and by hosting Warren Davies, the Unbreakable Farmer. Mr Davies said Farmfest was a good place for the Unbreakable Farmer to present because of the rural connection and the connection with farmers. “It’s probably a good place to create those conversations,” Mr Davies said. “People are off their farms, that’s probably the hardest part. “Isolation’s a really big thing that helps, I suppose exacerbates, that spiral with mental health, especially for farmers. “Off the farm is neutral territory [to] come along and listen and hopefully pick up some strategies and some stuff they can take home that they can implement in their own life to keep their mental health and wellbeing in check.” Pat O’Brien from DOM Distribution said the exhibitors at this year’s Farmfest were looking strong. “We’re feeling the market confidence is surprising considering the season we’ve had,” Mr O’Brien said. Innovation and new options were the topics of discussion at many stalls with Mr O’Brien saying they were speaking to customers about options to hire equipment instead of buying gear. “They’re looking for something new and new flexible options with hiring as opposed to buying and the benefit of shifting from hire to buy in our business with all of our product range; [it] helps with their cash flow,” Mr O’Brien said. Mr O’Brien also said Farmfest was an opportunity for people in agricultural industries to get together.


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chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

Australian cotton industry finalists THE 2018 Darling Downs Cotton Grower of the year recipients have shown they are not slowing down after being named as finalists in the Australian Cotton Industry Awards. James Traill and Ashley Tunks from One Tree Agriculture have been listed as finalists in the AgriRisk High Achiever of the Year section. Those nominated for the AgriRisk High Achiever of the Year award are producers who demonstrate high achievement, excellence or innovation in their farming. For One Tree, the nomination comes after the revamp of their OHS systems and move to a paperless system for farm management. Mr Traill said One Tree had been integrating the paperless system for the past three years. “For Ashley and I as managers it’s great to be able to keep a record of all that and I guess have full traceability and accountability across the whole farming system,” he said. Mr Traill said their staff was another asset. “We’ve got some fantastic staff. It’s not just about Ashley and I, it’s the whole team here. “There’s no ‘I’ in team, there never is, and these guys are just doing a sensational job. “As much as we’re getting recognised for this, all the fellows underneath us deserve it too. Mr Trail said he thought it was important for any industry to have awards like the Australian Cotton Industry Awards. “I think there’s a lot of great people in this industry and other industries that are really championing their own industries and very

NOMINATED: Ashley Tunks and Jamie Traill from One Tree Agriculture. quietly doing it in the background,” he said. “I think these awards just recognise those people that have been chipping away and been toiling away and have done some great things.” Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said each finalist had been recognised for the significant contribution they had made to many areas, including best practice farming, research and development, innovation and advocacy.

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Mr Kay said the Australian cotton industry had demonstrated how resilient it was during what had been a tough season. “The cotton industry is not immune to this devastating drought. Despite this season’s challenges, our industry continues to operate at a very high standard,” he said “The 2019 finalists are excellent role models and advocates for our world-leading agricultural industry.

PHOTO: MARY O’BRIEN “ They continue to work for a brighter future for all in our sector through leadership, education, and research and development. “The annual awards program is an important opportunity to recognise the hard-working, innovative and dedicated members of our cotton industry.” The Australia Cotton Awards are scheduled to take place in Griffith, NSW on July 24.


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Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

Left unfazed by reshuffle Minister Littleproud vows to help drought affected farmers Emily Bradfield

KEY FOCUS: Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says his new portfolio would allow him to provide assistance to people living on the land. PHOTO: MICHAEL NOLAN the Murray Darling by basin states in the Commonwealth. “So I continue to build on that and deliver the plan in a sensible way and understand the impacts it has and is having on regional communities.” Mr Littleproud’s former ministerial role will

be filled by Bridget McKenzie – Australia’s first female Agriculture Minister. The reshuffle marks a record number of women on the Coalition frontbench – seven. Mr Littleproud said he was glad to see female leadership drive change in the agricultural industry.

“It’s a fantastic thing that we’ve got two women leading agriculture, the National Farmers’ Federation president is a female as well,” Mr Littleproud said. “One of the wrongs that needed to be righted in agriculture is that we’ve excluded 50 per cent of our intellect out of it for far too long.”

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ASSISTING drought-affected farmers will be Maranoa MP David Littleproud’s key focus as he begins work in his new portfolio after a major ministry reshuffle. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his new minister on Sunday, including shifting Mr Littleproud from Agriculture Minister to water resources, natural disasters and emergency management. The Maranoa MP was elected to his second term at the May 18 federal election and said his new portfolio would allow him to provide assistance to people living on the land. “The drought is one of the biggest challenges, one rain event doesn’t break a drought, we are going to need two or three average seasons as a minimum to get our farmers back up on their feet,” he said. “We’ve got some work to do continuously and be agile around delivery of support now and recovery into the future. “Making sure the recovery is ready and we are there to support the communities that haven’t got out of the drought yet, making sure that is streamlined as well as and making sure into the future around our responses to natural disasters are streamlined one with all levels of government.” Mr Littleproud told the Dalby Herald he was proud of the legacy he created with the Murray Darling Basin and would continue to deliver the project to the benefit of farmers. “This is the biggest environmental program our nation’s history and, for the first time, we’ve got agreement on the management of


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chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

GREAT EFFORT: The Dalby State High School cattle team at the Toogoolawah Show.

PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

Dalby State High cattle team dominates Toogoolawah Show

Hard work pays off for school as their cattle claim first place in all classes ONCE again, the Dalby State High School cattle team have shown they have what it takes to make the winner’s circle. This time it was the Toogoolawah Show cattle ring where the team made their mark. Senior student support worker Sue Burrowes accompanied the team to Toogoolawah on Friday, June 7. “Our cattle placed first in all of their classes with follow-ups of seconds and thirds in some,” Mrs Burrowes said. The DSHS team put a final feather in their caps with their cattle earning the team Champion School Led Steer or Heifer and Reserve Champion School Led Steer or Heifer. Students from the cattle club were also

successful in the Toogoolawah Show’s young judges sections. “We had Charlie Salter who won the 15–20 year prime judging age group and also overall champion judges and he seconded stud judging,” Mrs Burrowes said. “Matilda Salter won the overall junior champion and she also got first in her age group and second in prime judging. “She went well in parades as well.” Mrs Burrowes spoke highly of the Dalby State High student’s efforts. “It was a great effort. They’ve been working really hard, so hard work pays off at the end of the day.” Toogoolawah Show Society vice-president Paris Granzien said they had a lot of schools attending their young judges again this year.

“We had a lot of speakers,” Ms Granzien said. “It actually ran well into the evening. I think it was about 7 o’clock by the time everything was wrapped up. “When it starts to run that late you know you’ve got a lot of kids there.” Numbers in the cattle ring were good, with around 250 head between the dairy, led steers and stud cattle. “Lots of good quality cattle being exhibited and a lot of young ones doing it, leading the classes and things,” Ms Granzien said. Ms Granzien has been heavily involved in the Toogoolawah Show for three years and she said one thing she has seen coming through in the ag industry is a lot more youth. “It’s nice to see when you’re at the show,” Ms Granzine said.

I always love the prime young judges because you actually get to see some of the quality on show with the kids and it’s amazing how well some of them speak.

— Paris Granzien

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Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

WESTERN DOWNS FARMER 9

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chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

Connection woes a curse Restricted internet access in regions is holding farmers back Emily Bradfield LIMITED access to internet could be holding Australian farmers back with research showing improvements to internet and phone services could increase national agricultural product up by $20 billion. Technological advancements in agricultural equipment gives farmers the opportunity to increase productivity and output by reducing manual labour, but a local farmer said a decent internet connection was hard to come by in regional areas. Dalby grain and cotton grower Kim Bremner uses a private internet provider to check water levels at his two properties and operate overhead irrigators remotely using his tablet. Mr Bremner said these technological advancements in agriculture have made greater efficiency achievable but the required improvements in connectivity did not match. "Precision farming technology can make our land many times more productive while improving environmental outcomes, but we need internet in the bush to be as good as it is in the city," Mr Bremner said. "Modern farm machinery like irrigators, sprayers and harvesters have on-board technology that can customise the treatment of each individual square metre of paddock, maximising the productivity of our land while reducing water usage, use of farm chemicals, run-off and erosion. Such an investment in the

economy, employment and sustainability of agriculture would pay dividends." Mr Bremner is calling for the establishment of a national "tech hub" to provide information and education for rural people on how to connect to the internet and make the bast decision for their area. "Both Labor and the Coalition promised, if elected, to fund a ‘tech hub’ to provide independent information to help support people to build up the skills to solve their telecommunications issues," Mr Bremner said. "We are pleased that both sides of The House appreciate the critical need to close the digital skills gap between urban and rural Australians. "It’s not about rural families being able to stream Game of Thrones or their Spotify favourites; this is about encouraging innovation in agriculture by providing industry-specific advice about the internet and digital applications that will drive productivity gains." Mr Bremner said he welcomes the Black Spot Program but the government needed to ensure it is being established in the right places. "We’re calling for a lot more investment, they’ve done the towns in most of Australia now they need to do the highways and byways so that people on farms can have that same connectivity that people in the city do."

INVESTMENT VITAL: Grower Kim Bremner believes technology can make or break producers and wants a “tech hub” established to help those in the bush. PHOTO: EMILY BRADFIELD

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Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

AgForce deletes data over fears of State Govt misuse

Industry body moves to protect members in wake of new reef laws AGFORCE has deleted members’ data for fear the State Government could misuse it following the introduction of new Great Barrier Reef protection laws. The industry body “moved quickly” to delete the data acquired through the Best Management Practice programs, which more than 3000 farmers were a part of. CEO Michael Guerin claimed there was a risk the government may use member’s data “for purposes for which it was not provided” — like determining compliance for new reef regulations. “Given our commitment to BMP participants to protect their information, we have been left with no choice but to permanently remove this data,” he said. The BMP programs were developed to help producers implement best practice and improve their productivity and sustainability. “The inevitable consequence is that the BMP programs, which have done so much to improve the sustainability of grazing and grain production over the past decade, and seen Queensland agriculture become a world leader, are effectively over in their current form,” Mr Guerin said. As part of the Bill, introduced in February, data could be acquired from the agricultural sector for various reasons. “This is a heartbreaking outcome, because protecting the reef, one of our international icons, and preserving the natural environment is a primary concern of

PROTECTIVE: AgForce CEO Michael Guerin highlights fears. PHOTO: ZHANAE CONWAY-DODD agriculture,” the CEO said. “However, AgForce is now working on a strategy to implement an even more effective program to improve environmental outcomes, like reducing erosion and run-off, sequestering carbon, conserving soil moisture and increasing biodiversity. “Our Natural Capital program will form the basis of a scheme to incentivise producers to provide environmental outcomes far above and beyond those that would have been achieved by the government’s punitive legislation.” AgForce, along with other industry bodies,

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strenuously opposed the Bill. The Parliamentary Committee tasked with reviewing the laws recommended they be passed. Environment Minister Leeane Enoch claimed Agforce’s decision to delete farmers’ data flies in the face of the $70 million from taxpayers that helped industries voluntarily improve their practices. “About 80 per cent of graziers had already agreed to voluntarily share their data with the government and now the efforts of these producers won’t be counted towards the water quality targets,” she said. “AgForce’s decision to delete Grazing Best Management Practice (BMP) data ahead of the passage of new legislation flies in the face of $70 million of taxpayer dollars that has been provided to industries over the past decade to help them voluntarily improve their practices, including $11 million for the Grazing BMP program.” The industry body announced it had deleted the BMP data collected from more than 3000 Queensland farmers for fear the State Government could use it “for purposes for which it was not provided such as determining compliance with the new reef regulations”. However Ms Enoch said the Bill would not allow the Government to do that. “This data (BMP) is proof of the work that some farmers have been voluntarily

undertaking to improve the quality of run-off to the reef,” she said. “It is disappointing that AgForce decided to flush so much work and the taxpayer dollars that have been supporting it out to sea. “AgForce often claims that they are true environmentalists but this decision is not the action of a group that wants to protect the environment. “AgForce’s decision is in contrast to the recommendation of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce, that government introduce water quality regulations across all reef catchments. “It also goes against advice of the Queensland Audit Office, which highlighted the need for more industry information to support informed decision-making.”

“AgForce often claims that they are true environmentalists but this decision is not the action of a group that wants to protect the environment.”

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chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

Welcoming the 2019 cohort of the Emerging Exporters Program The Emerging Exporters Program works to educate, enlighten, and mentor agribusinesses based in the region

FOR DOM Distribution managing director Pat O’Brien, life is all about creating a future for his kids. The father of five works every day to provide a sustainable future for his children, as well as other young up-and-comers looking to break into the illustrious industry of farming and agriculture. That’s what he says is the beauty of Shell QGC’s Emerging Exporters Program - creating a sustainable future for our upcoming generation of agribusiness providers. The Emerging Exporters Program works to educate, enlighten, and mentor agribusinesses based in the Western Downs and Surat Basin. Leading experts will guide the new cohort to develop trading opportunities and chances to network with other like-minded business women and men. Shell QGC operations manager Angus Hetherington said community demand and the need for a rock-solid economy was what inspired the program. “The community said to us that they wanted a community with a very strong economy,” he

We’re also looking to help grow our professionalism and our competency to comply with our changing governing rules from our overseas compliers.

— Pat O’Brien

said. “Agribusiness is really at the heart of that economy. We want to do something meaningful that supports that. “This program supports that economic development by helping agribusiness open new markets, both domestically and abroad. “It’s a recognition that agriculture is a mainstay of the region’s economy.” Proceedings from a recent meeting included

a hearty congratulations to the 2018 cohort of emerging exporters, and an enthusiastic welcome to the new group of rising exporters looking for a leg up in their respective industries. Among the list of new exporters with a willingness to learn and grow their businesses are Mr O’Brien and his team at DOM Distribution from Dalby, The McMahon family from Haven Farming in Chinchilla, Four Daughters, Sandalwood Feedlot, Chinchira Super Reds, Hoofprints of Change, Busy Beef, Riverbend Marketing, Aussie Pork Suppliers, Aussie Land and Livestock, and Carpendale Commodities. Mr O’Brien and his team at DOM Distribution are interested in being mentored when it comes to their competency in dealing with overseas customers and changing compliance regulations. “It just gives a bit of extra unified support,” Mr O’Brien said. “We’re also looking to help grow our professionalism and our competency to comply with our changing governing rules from our


Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

Angus Hetherington from Shell's QGC, Pat O'Brien from Dom Distribution, Louise McMahon from Haven Farming, Geraldine Doumany from TSBE FLA. PHOTO: ANGE STIRLING

overseas compliers. “The rules change with every shipment that we do, so it’s just getting more professional at complying with that, but also trying to do it and not lose our nimbleness and being able to adapt quickly. “That’s the biggest challenge, is trying to stay nimble but keeping professional and ahead of the changing compliance laws.” Louise McMahon from Haven Farming has been in agribusiness for over 10 years. What started out as a hobby farm sparked from a love of farming and agriculture became a fully established family business, based in Chinchilla. Mrs McMahon hopes the program will help Haven Farming build a profitable model that will appeal to overseas markets. “To be part of the ag industry, which is obviously has so much history in the Australian economy, and then be able to group that with some of the amazing opportunities that this program is going to provide in terms of networking and mentoring with the absolutely leading edge in information and technology and industry experts... is great,” she said. “It will certainly implement change and educate ourselves in what the future is for ag and what are the consumer demands domestically and globally, and what the trends that are going to be in place in the next five or 10 years and actually be able to react to those demands.” The new cohort will spend the next 12 months collaborating with people leading the way in agribusiness, who will help them grow and diversify their businesses.

WESTERN DOWNS FARMER 13


14 WESTERN DOWNS FARMER

chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

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WESTERN DOWNS FARMER 15

Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

Meat has its place: expert Australians need to look at moderating diets for the planet Kate Dowler LIVESTOCK are major emitters of the greenhouse gas methane, but it would be unwise to simply scale-down Australia’s meat production in an attempt to mitigate climate change. This is not the view of a livestock producer with skin in the game, but that of a leading scientific expert, Climate Change Institute director Professor Mark Howden, who spoke to The Weekly Times from Japan last month. Prof Howden said reducing livestock in Australia could lead to product substitution — replacing locally-grown meat with imported food that had a heavier emissions footprint — the opposite of the aim. Prof Howden is also a working group vice chairman on the influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He said on-farm emissions, creating food, were only part of the picture when considering the vital role of food production. Emissions from production inputs also needed to be considered, such as crop fertilisers, packing, processing and transportation. “Livestock production is responding to demand … if Australia was to reduce meat production those markets would just get meat from Argentina, or some other place, and those may not meet the same standards of natural resource management … and animal ethics, that we have,” Prof Howden said. Instead, the better approach was to promote diets that had a moderate, not heavy, meat component. “I eat meat but I try not to overdose on it, I’m

REDUCE NOT REFRAIN: A climate change expert says restricting meat production in Australia just means more importing, which will not meet our standards. PHOTO: MEG GANNON a flexitarian,” he said. “You can have a very healthy diet for you and a healthy diet for the planet. “For me its not a question of meat or not meat. “If we had a policy that promoted a significant reduction in farm animal numbers that would put the profitability of many Australian farms at risk, and the capacity of those farmers to look after their land would be reduced. “A profitable farm can be very sustainable

but an unprofitable farm is unlikely to be.” He added huge areas of Australia were best suited to extensive grazing and did not have “real alternative” land uses. “If we pull farmers out of that land, we have all sort of problems with weeds, ferals, bushfires,” Prof Howden said. He said meat should not be lumped into the same boat as fossil fuels. While there was alternative energy sources to fossil fuels in renewables, when it came to meat production there “was no alternative to

food”: “Food and water are mandatory things; we also have more economic and cultural (influences) regarding food,” he said. Prof Howden said food and one’s cultural preferences was a vital part of “being human”. He said farming was part of the climate challenge, but also part of the solution. Prof Howden encouraged farmers to be proactive and work with researchers to develop practices that reduced emissions, while continuing to provide vital, high quality food for the world’s population.

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16 WESTERN DOWNS FARMER

chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

Farm adapts, changes Berwyndale Pastoral produces cotton and sustains generations Shannon Hardy FARMING is a family business for Berwyndale Pastoral farm manager Tamara Uebergang. Miss Uebergang’s grandfather originally arrived in 1948 where what is now a thriving pastoral business was still populated by brigalow trees. In the seven decades that followed, Berwyndale Pastoral was born and the business has continued to grow and change. “Some farms and some businesses are really focused on protecting their heritage and for us it’s something that we really appreciate,” Miss Uebergang said. “I desperately appreciate how important that heritage is, but I also think our heritage is change. “Our heritage is pioneering and adventuring and so we need to keep that in mind with our business decisions.” Some decisions made in the past, like maintaining a strong line of brigalow trees along the edge of their property when clearing the fields continues to benefit the family business. “Even if it wasn’t the law we’d keep them anyway because they’re an excellent windbreak and a corridor for wildlife,” Miss Uebergang said. A major change for Berwyndale in the past two decades has been the mining of coal seam gas with six wells now present on their property. “Queensland Gas Company sunk its very first exploration bore in a paddock of ours. That was in 1999 and it was two blokes in a ute on a Sunday afternoon,” she said. “From then its obviously been purchased by a number of multinationals and like any long relationship there’s been ups, there’s been downs, there’s been periods where we don’t quite trust each other. “But like anything you need to work, you need to look for those similarities and either accept what you can’t change of find what you can change and work on that.” Miss Uebergang said the gas was now just a part of their lives. “It’s not an issue anymore,” she said. “People often say ‘how do you deal with it?’ and we’ve done the dealing with it, it’s just life now. “It’s just another change, it’s just different and we’re used to it.” A major part of gas mining is that to mine the gas the water also needs to be extracted. Berwyndale Pastoral is part of the Origin Energy water to landholders scheme where residents along Fairymedow Road had the opportunity to put in a tender for the extracted water. “Our family put a tender for the extra water and we have been part of that scheme for about five years now,” Miss Uebergang said. “Origin, they give us a forecast which is similar to a weather forecast, you know, it’s not the gospel, it may happen, it may be more, it may be less, but it’s a pretty good forecast.

“We budget on the water we’ve been able to collect from overland flow and the water that’s been allocated to us from Origin.” RIGHT: Berwyndale’s cotton farm continues to change and adapt with each generation.

CHANGE: Berwyndale Pastoral farm manager Tamara Uebergang says the business has adapted over the years.

PHOTOS: SHANNON HARDY


WESTERN DOWNS FARMER 17

Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

Care-Free Conditioner rids farm of hard water problems WATER is probably a farmer’s most valued resource, but what happens when your water source is harming your produce more than it is helping? A solution could be to add a conditioner to your water. Brad Ipsen is one of more than 100,000 Australians who have installed a Care-Free Water Conditioner to treat their water problems. Prior to installing a Care-Free, Mr Ipsen had $80,000 losses in two months due to his broccoli crop being unsalable. Now it is nil. His broccoli is thriving despite his 2,800mg/L salt water supply and the salt scald has disappeared on the soil surface. Mr Ipsen has also observed a 20 per cent crop increase since installing Care-Free. "With our salty dam water, we couldn’t afford not to have a Care-Free Water Conditioner. In fact, Care-Free is too cheap for what it does," Mr Ipsen said. The producer has now installed four conditioners. Consider for a moment your water supply: Do you experience salt scalding, poor growth, algae, scale, corrosion, leaf burn in gardens, scum on shower walls, insufficient lather or poor tasting drinking water? Three millimetres of scale on your HWS will increase your power bill by 18.5 per cent. Whatever your water problems, a Care-Free will help solve them. A Care-Free Water Conditioner will improve the efficiency and life of all domestic water filtration systems. A Care-Free Water Conditioner will prevent and remove scale build up in pipes and tanks,

lower soil salinity, improve irrigation water, and improve the taste of drinking water. The conditioner will last you a lifetime – it has no moving parts to wear out, uses no chemicals, cartridges or salt, and has a 12-month money back guarantee. You have nothing to lose except your hard water problems. If you want to know more about this remarkable product talk to your local Care-Free Dealer Tim McClymont on 0403 236 070.

ABOVE: Broccoli farmer Brad Ipsen has reaped the benefits of his Care-Free Water Conditioners: RIGHT: Carefree water conditioners. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

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18 WESTERN DOWNS FARMER

chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

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WESTERN DOWNS FARMER 19

Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

PIONEERS: Rosevale Santa Gertrudis Stud has been in the same family since 1883.

PHOTOS: SHANNON HARDY

Rosevale’s historic stud

Rosevale judge their cattle through various stages of life to determine if they are too boisterous Shannon Hardy

“As they come out from the weigh crush there’s a light beam set up (in front of) the door and there’s another one two metres out and the ones that are the fastest going out are presumably the least quiet.” It is important to only judge the

temperament of weaners against those in the same circumstance. “What you’ve got to do is only compare the animals that have had the same handling or been in the same weaning group so that you can actually benchmark the genetics against

each other,” Mr Greenup said. Rosevale’s commercial cattle have minimal interaction with people and as such can not be judged alongside the weaners that are more heavily handled. “Basically those calves see us for the first time when they get branded and for the second time when they’re weaned and on that day they get put on a truck and get brought back here. “So when those calves turn up here obviously they’re not as quiet but the ones that are genetically quiet will settle down in a few days and the ones that aren’t won’t.” If the parentage of a weaner is not known but they have been judged to have the desired temperament, Mr Greenup uses samples of tail hair for genetic testing, allowing him to keep track of the best quality lines.

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ROSEVALE Santa Gertrudis Stud has been in the same family since 1883 and now six generations have lived and worked the property with David and Sonya Greenup now working alongside their sons, Sam, Toby and Seb, and David’s parents Grahame and Peggy. David Greenup spoke to a tour group on May 3 about all aspect of business at Rosevale with one hot topic being the importance of good temperament in cattle. When it comes to breeding quiet cattle, Mr Greenup said a lot of it was in the genetics. “We can spend a lot of time on weaners and get the majority of them quiet but the ones that aren’t quiet, they will not change.” Rosevale judge their cattle through various stages of life to determine if they are too boisterous to be kept as part of the breeding herd. Animals’ flight times are also used to measure genetics.

When it comes to breeding quiet cattle, the Rosevale Stud believes in genetics.


20 WESTERN DOWNS FARMER

chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

FarmFest a sure crowd pleaser ANOTHER year and another FarmFest, a hit as per usual despite freezing conditions on the first day. Hundreds of companies were lined up to show guests what they had been working on since last year with new and improved products along side old favourites. The cattle ring was full again with prime examples of what producers have on offer. Many attendees enjoyed the three day event and the opportunity to catch up with mates.

Aidan Schelberg from DSHS cattle team. Darryl Hobbs, Charlie Crocker and Robert Price testing the Cloud 9

hanging chairs.

PHOTOS: SHANNON HARDY

Michael Channell and Clare Stariha.

Neil Allen from Downs Earthmoving Repairs.

Charlie Dudgeon from DSHS cattle team.

DSHS cattle team.

Ruby Young.

Jenny Jenner, Tash Johnston, Carrissa Liddle and Vicki Mayne from Drought Angels.


WESTERN DOWNS FARMER 21

Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

Feedlot is growing

EXPANSION: Randal Coggan, from Wallumba Feedlot, looks to the future.

PHOTO: SHANNON HARDY

Wallumba, with current 13,000 head, eyes expansion to meet it’s 20,000 head of cattle licence Becoming a major shareholder of Super Butcher Pty Ltd in 2012 gave MDH the ability to oversee the entire paddock to plate process in the domestic market through production, processing, and retail. General manager of MDH’s Wallumba Feedlot, Randal Coggan, took a tour group around the property on May 3 as part of the Western Downs Agricultural Leaders tour. Mr Coggan said Wallumba’s primary market is 100 day fed cattle with 18 decks of northern MDH cattle being trucked in and 21 decks being sent out for their own custom kill at

Dinmore on a weekly basis. “It’s a brahman-based herd mainly, primarily up in the cape and in the bottom of the gulf, obviously for the climatic conditions and ticks up in that part of the world,” Mr Coggan said. “As a feedlot we’re probably very fortunate with … our northern cattle, our health issues and that sort of thing, I wouldn’t say it’s a non-issue but it’s very minor compared to a lot of other places. “We’re very happy with the health of our cattle. It makes our life a lot easier.”

In their current operation Wallumba puts out 200 tonnes of feed a day to sustain 13,000 head of cattle and the property includes 2000 acres of pastoral land under pivots and irrigation to grow crops. “From our side of things probably, just getting security as far as feed stuffs, what we mainly focus on is our silage, the roughages for our feedlot,” Mr Coggan said. Wallumba Feedlot is licensed to run 20,000 head of cattle and expansions are currently being planned to increase the physical capacity to meet the licence.

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Shannon Hardy THE McDonald family has an agricultural history in Australia reaching back to 1827 with involvement in the first shipment of cattle to Tasmania. Jim McDonald brought the family inland as far as Cloncurry in the 1940s with the purchase of Brightlands Station in 1946. From there MDH was born and continued to grow into the empire it is today with 12 cattle properties across Queensland, their farming property, Nangram, and their feedlot, Wallumba.


22 WESTERN DOWNS FARMER

chinchillanews.com.au Thursday, June 27, 2019

From growing cotton to cod

Maryann and Greg Bender are not afraid to take on a new business venture Cassandra Glover

THE Chinchilla-based grain and cotton growers also run an electrical and solar business, and have recently become the owners of Queensland’s biggest inland aquaculture operation, Condabilla Fish. Condabilla Fish went up for sale earlier this year after the previous owner, Keith Bartley, 74, decided to “call a quits”. Mrs Bender said they were looking to expand their operation, and ended up buying Condabilla Fish before it went to auction. “The Bartleys could sense we were keen to keep the operation going,” she said. “They really wanted someone with a business background who would keep the business going. With all the infrastructure they’ve built, it would have been hard to let it go. “It came with fully operational staff and it was stocked with fish, and we decided it was a venture we could take on.” Despite knowing nothing about aquaculture, Mrs Bender said she and her husband were up for the challenge. “It’s a little bit of extra work, but Greg spoke to various people in that aquaculture network who said it was a good product,” she said. “I’ve tried a lot of the fish now and I think it’s excellent river fish. I’ve actually got two murray cod in the fridge ready to cook for friends. “And I have discovered the jade perch is actually high in omega-3, similar to the atlantic salmon.” Over the next year and a half, the Benders will be looking at expanding the domestic market for the three breeds of fish grown at Condabilla – the murray cod, silver perch and jade perch. The Benders will be work with TSBE’s Geraldine Doumany, to help them expand their markets. “Hopefully with Geraldine’s knowledge and expertise we should be able to expand in the next 12–18 months,” Mrs Bender said. “Production wise we could probably expand down the track if we get a bigger market. It’s like everything, you tweak one area, you have to tweak another area.”

Maryann and Greg Bender are the new owners of Condabilla Fish.

PHOTO: MARY O’BRIEN

Condabilla Fish is Queensland’s biggest inland aquaculture operation.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

It’s just small steps at the moment. We’ve only owned it about a month.


WESTERN DOWNS FARMER 23

Thursday, June 27, 2019 dalbyherald.com.au

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