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PAGE 2â&#x20AC;&#x201D;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Farming Extra Springâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, 2020
â&#x2013; Jason Neutze, pictured right and in action above, has been an aerial ag pilot in the Southern Riverina for almost 20 years.
Passion for flying becomes a career Coleamballyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jason Neutze has been soaring over the Southern Riverina for nearly two decades, as one of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aerial agriculture pilots. Having spent his childhood in New Zealand, Jason found his love for agriculture while working with his father on the family farm. He broadened his horizons overseas in the agriculture industry at the age of 17, after the farm was sold. Ten years later, back in New Zealand, he started flying and achieved a private licence and then returned to Australia in 2000 with a new skill under his belt. It was in 2000 that Jason came to Coleambally, and he joined MAS Agwork as ground support crew shortly after. Within a year he obtained his aerial agricultural licence, and joined the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flying team. By 2005 Jason purchased half the busi-
ness in 2005 and in February 2018 took over the business completely. While it took Jason 27 years to start flying, he said it was a goal he had set himself in his early years on the farm. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;As a kid I was always interested in ag pilots,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he said. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pilots used our farm in New Zealand as a runway, so I spent many years eagerly watching them work.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; The fun of flying is why Jason loves his job, but he said thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s much more to it. He said pilots must maintain concentration at all times, regardless of how many years they have spent in the cockpit. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You certainly feel alive when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re up in the air and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very rewarding job, but it is very tasking on your senses,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he said. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;When you first start out it feels like youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going up and down in a roller coaster. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;As you gain more experience you need to ensure you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get complacent in the air.
â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You may know how to do it but you need to remain in a relaxed state of alertness. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the type of job where you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t relax completely until youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re back on the ground. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of those jobs where kids stop and watch, just like I did when I was young.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; MAS Agwork has been working with farmers, local councils and government departments for 20 years. It offers safe and effective spraying services, and the experienced pilots use the latest GPS and weather equipment. The fixed wing aircraft can be used for services tailored specifically to your property and task. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We provide every type of aerial work, including herbicide spraying, pesticide spraying, seeding, pest control and fertiliser spreading,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Jason said. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;MAS also offer ground applications with Goldacre G4 and Miller Nitro Self Propelled
sprayers. We offer shielded spraying with tractors in orchard type farms. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Aerial application gives farmers the ability to spray and fertilise in rugged and wet terrain, offers better coverage, fast and efficient application and no soil compaction. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;If you want the best service possible we are the experts at low drift applications. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Our use of the latest GPS equipment allows us to apply your product precisely where you require it. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Whether your product is liquid or solid, we can deliver variable applications. We place what you want, where you want it, and in the amount you need. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Our reputation for providing only the best products and service has been earned over two decades, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m proud to be a part of that.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;
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Feral pigs are a major pest across the Murray region, especially in areas around the rivers and creeks that flow to the west, and in the high country in the east. Murray Local Land Services regional pest animal coordinator John Nolan said favourable autumn and winter rains have provided excellent surface water and feed for feral pigs. And because they are opportunistic breeders, he said these good conditions will also have allowed for breeding to occur. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sows can breed from six months of age and produce two litters of four to 10 piglets each year,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he said. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Feral pigs are highly destructive and can cause significant damage to crops, as well as prey on newborn lambs, stress livestock, damage wetlands, foul water, prey on native wildlife and damage infrastructure. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;They are also a potential vehicle for the
spread of exotic diseases such as foot and mouth disease and African swine fever, as well as carrying other diseases that can harm people.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Mr Nolan said Murray Local Land Services can help landholders manage feral pigs and reduce their numbers. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;There are various control options that we can help with, such as baiting and trapping. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We encourage all landholders to report any feral pig activity they see and to work with us to develop a management strategy. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Contact our invasive species team to get involved in controlling this destructive pest, and, if you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t already, ask about joining our Feral Fighters pest groups across the region.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Call 1300 795 299 to contact your Local Land Service office, or go to www.lls.nsw.gov.au for more tips and advice.
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‘Farming Extra Spring’, 2020—PAGE 3
Fendt’s new Momentum planter Fendt continues to expand its product offering, this time with the exciting addition of the cutting edge Fendt Momentum planter. For farmers across the nation, planting is a task that needs to be carried out in a timely manner but without sacrificing accuracy. ‘‘As many farmers would tell you, time is money and inaccuracy is a price they cannot afford to pay,’’ AGCO Australia and New Zealand director of marketing Fergal Meehan said. The Fendt Momentum was truly a global project and harnessed the engineering might of AGCO’s global engineering network. By utilising the design and manufacture capabilities of AGCO brands, the best knowledge was funnelled into the production process. With such a global design and manufacturing process, the Fendt Momentum is built to suit farming applications across the globe regardless of soil type and field conditions. ‘‘We have recently taken delivery of the first machine in Australia and will be testing it out across various soil types, terrain and field conditions,’’ Mr Meehan said. ‘‘For us, it’s important to have completed rigorous testing, evaluation and demonstration across the region and with a variety of crop types before final full public release. ‘‘This way we have first-hand feedback for our customers and can equip our teams across the country with the best knowledge.’’ There will be eight models of the Fendt Momentum available, with a variety of rows and spacing on offer. The range of rows will span between 16 and 48 rows, and spacing will be between 38cm and 76cm. ‘‘We believe that with the range of models available, the Fendt Momentum will be able to suit a
■ The new Fendt Momentum planter is due for release next year. wide variety of farming applications, including areas where planters may not be traditionally used. ‘‘Farmers in Australia are constantly innovating and look beyond the local markets for new technology. ‘‘As such they have been observing the use of the Fendt Momentum overseas and were keen to apply the technology to the local market, especially for broadacre crops like canola and sorghum with the potential for use with cereals in the future.’’ Regardless of which model farmers select, the Fendt Momentum is designed to plant each seed at the optimal depth and spacing using the latest available precision planting technology. ‘‘What sets this machine apart from its counterparts is the tech-
nology it harnesses, one example being the Speed Tube. ‘‘This allows for the precision planting of the seed at very high speed because if there is row unit bounce, it doesn’t affect seed spacing because the seeds are contained within a flighted belt, keeping them in place. ‘‘When seeds are under control, speed can be increased without sacrificing accuracy and enabling speeds of up to 16km/h.’’ Momentum also comes with other precision planting technology including vSet2/vDrive meters, 20/20 Gen3 Seedsense monitor system and the Deltaforce Automatic Hydraulic downforce system. The Fendt Momentum also incorporates class leading smart technology such as its unique weight-management system which
balances load across the planter, depending on the current weight of product onboard. Coupled with a staggered wheel placement complete with tyre pressure monitor, the Fendt Momentum adjusts air pressure downwards to ensure minimal compaction and allows pressure to be added for transport. Ground contact is a key component of consistent planting and this is often a challenge on undulating terrain when contact with the ground was often disrupted. The Momentum features a patented Vertical Contouring Toolbar (VCT) to counter this issue. The VCT maintains the optimum position for row units in the centre of the parallel linkage’s range of motion, level to the soil ensuring
good soil contact regardless of the level on undulation. ‘‘This is a feature that was necessary for our local environment, given the broad range of terrains we farm across,’’ Mr Meehan said. ‘‘This particular feature is assisted by a sensor controlled hydraulic system which monitors the angle of the row-unit parallel arms and adjusting accordingly to ensure the toolbar height is correct and that the arms are kept level and engaged properly with the soil. The Fendt Momentum is scheduled to be available for retail purchase in from Autumn 2021. For more information on the Fendt Momentum planter, contact Cobram Farm Equipment — your local Fendt dealer — on (03) 5872 1722.
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PAGE 4—‘Farming Extra Spring’, 2020
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AERIAL APPLICATION Servicing the Southern Riverina & Northern Victoria Phone - Jason Neutze: 0429 337 341 Operations: 02- 6954 6777 - 0499 220 981 Phone the Ofﬁce (03) 5886 1228 Email: email@example.com www.masagwork.net.au
â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Farming Extra Springâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, 2020â&#x20AC;&#x201D;PAGE 5
Finley High stages own cattle show Spurred on by the cancellation of agricultural shows because of Coronavirus, Finley High School staged its own agriculture competition on September 11. The day was supported with contributions from the Finley Show Society and the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria. About 40 students competed on the day, in various show competitions. They were split into age-group categories ranging from under 18s through to under 13s, and there were sheep show competitions and cattle handling. Attending from the RASV was director and handling judge David Bolton who, between each competition, offered the students key insights into judging criteria. He said running a standalone competition for the students was a great opportunity to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;expand the knowledge of each child to further their education in the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nice we can put this on for the kids,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he said. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The school has historically entered a lot of cattle in the hoof and hook competitions, and enter the handlersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; competitions at the Melbourne Show each year. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;So to simulate this and provide a bit of help and guidance is invaluable for the students. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;They are very professional and virtually all of them could compete at show level. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;They all knew what they were doing and it was a pleasure to judge.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Finley High science and agriculture teacher Gary Webb said vital to the success of the day was community support. He said the day was hosted to continue the learning process, and reward the students for the efforts they put in to preparing livestock for both the Finley and Melbourne shows, both impacted by COVID19. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;All ribbons have been supplied by Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria to replicate a show as best as possible,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Mr Webb said. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Getting together a competition day like this for the students is so important so they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lose that learning experience, so they can continue to hone their skills and put their huge amount of hard work into practice. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;About six weeks ago we lost the Melbourne Show competitions, so we set out on bringing this together. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We have taken about 30 to 40 children to Melbourne for more than 20 years, so we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to go a year without our students competing in something. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had such great help from
â&#x2013; Year 10 winner Hugh Burton, Year 12 winner Elle Rochford and 15 year-olds winner Caitlin Griffiths with judge David Bolton. the RASV and the Finley Show Committee. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We had about $400 in prize money donated as well as the ribbons.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Finley Show Society president Matt Mueller said COVID-19 forced them to host a virutal show this year, and said he was happy to be among the action at Finley High given it was missing from the Finley showgrounds earlier in the month. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We were very honoured to run the show with the support of the school and RASV,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he said. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We also had great support from the Bolton family and the Falls family in Blighty, and Gordon â&#x2013; 13 year-old winner Claire Ingram. Close from the show committee was also a big help with organising the event.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Show results:
â&#x2013; Dylan Taylor won the Year 7, 12/13 yearolds category.
Year 12, 17 and over â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Elle Rochford, 1; Niamh Mason, 2. Year 11, 16 and over â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Brooke Whelan, 1; Justin Lawton, 2. Year 10, 16 year-olds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Hugh Burton, 1; Shelby Hislop, 2. 15 year-olds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Caitlin Griffith, 1; Hayley Palmer, 2. 14 year-olds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sarah Bauer, 1; Shiloh Pyle, 2. 13 year-olds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Claire Ingram, 1; Erin Chesworth, 2. Year 7, 12/13 year-olds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dylan â&#x2013; Elle Rochford was the Year 12, 17 and over â&#x2013; Cheyanne Tucker of Year 7 leads a handlersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; winner. procession. Taylor, 1; Chase McNair, 2.
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PAGE 6—‘Farming Extra Spring’, 2020
Seeding spans four generations The Dempster name is synonymous with seeding in the southern Riverina and northern Victoria, and for good reason. Four generations of the family have now been involved in the family business Dempster Seed Grading & Treating. The origins of the business were formed in Numurkah in the late 1940s by Bill Dempster. He was aided by his son Max, who went on to establish Dempster Seed Grading in Berrigan with the purchase of his own grading machine and round in December 1954. He was just 19. Max’s son Arthur joined the team in the 1980s, and is still the face of the family business today. Arthur’s daughters Emily, Chelsea and son Riley have also had a hand in the business. While the method of seeding has changed since the Dempster family entered the industry, Arthur said the commitment to
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providing the best quality local service for your seeding needs has never changed. When Max started grading, 80kg bags were tipped into the back of the machine for grading, and pickled with dry powder before being rebagged in bags sewn by hand. When he upgraded to a new Hanaford Model M grader in 1961, they were able to produce between 30,000 and 35,000 bags of seed per season. ‘‘This created seasonal employment for young men for many years, as there was normally a team of three who went out to local farms on the grader,’’ Arthur said. ‘‘Quite a few of these young men were off local family farms and needing a bit of extra off farm income.’’ The first Dempster Seed Grading shed was built in 1972, showcasing the growth of the business. Inside was the first gravity table Max had purchased, to grade soybeans grown by a local farmer. The second table was installed later in the decade and used power to grade registered seed wheat. In the 1970s seed sorghum was graded and treated through a liquid pickler and packed into 25kg bags. The business hired up to four staff to help in the busier seasons. Max sold his mobile grader in the early 1980s to buy a farm, which was his life-long ambition. In the same decade, after graduating from Finley High School in 1984, Max welcomed Arthur in to the business. By the 1990s they were grading soybeans and mung beans for export, which they continued to do until drought conditions forced them to take a step back in 2003. ‘‘The beans were sorted into 30kg paper bags, again allowing us to employ a team of young local men, usually to help pack shipping containers,’’ Arthur said. ‘‘In 2002 we built a warehouse and loading
bay to be able to load shipping containers in all weather, which still stands today. ‘‘It gave us the ability to supply export markets in Japan, but unfortunately that part of the business never recovered due to drought.’’ Arthur said continued issues with water availability, driven partly by policy rather than seasonal conditions, has presented challenges for the business. But he said ongoing research and modelling has allowed the business to adapt to the conditions. ‘‘With the whole irrigation water saga, summer irrigated crops simply can’t be grown profitably,’’ Arthur said. ‘‘We have graded and bagged a considerable amount of Shaftal clover through static plant in recent times, but dairy farmers — who are the primary users of this Shaftal seed — are unable to use it due to scarce water resources. ‘‘There has been a shift to grazing wheat, barley and oats in the last decade. ‘‘This created a need for us to be able to treat cereal seed when necessary, for seed companies and local rural stores. ‘‘Because this happens at the same time, it has been necessary for us to adapt by keeping static plant set up for small seed early in the season. ‘‘Farmers are tending to downscale summer cropping in favour for winter cereal, canola and pulses, which has created a bigger demand for on farm seed grading. ‘‘Our on farm grading truck is purpose built for quick clean outs and has the ability to move the machine from one silo to another on the same farm or to different farms with minimal fuss. ‘‘Seed laboratory testing has shown this machine offers excellent seed treatment. It can easily apply up to three different products at once if desired — normally a fungicide, insecticide and zinc. ‘‘We even have the ability to grade from
one silo to another large silo with the use of the farmer’s own auger, or simply into a truck or field bin with the machines own outload auger.’’ While growing the business, the Dempsters have also made sure to be actively involved in the industry as a whole. In November 1965, Max was one of two men to establish what is now known as Independent Associated Seed Graders. In the earlier years it was an afternoon meeting held on the Yarrawonga foreshore. It later grew into a three day conference that has been held to educate operators of developments in seed treatments, machinery and other issues that arise in the seed and grain industry as well as sharing ideas and challenges with other operators to help each other out. Arthur said one of the reasons the family business has remained successful for more than 60 years, is the importance it places on locals supporting locals. ‘‘We place high value in the importance of supporting local businesses and farmers, sourcing seed treatment products from local rural stores as well as working closely with local agronomists,’’ he said. ‘‘We do this to ensure jobs and services remain in our small local towns. ‘‘We are able to do it without any extra cost to farmers through the agency pricing system on most modern products. ‘‘By allowing us to treat your seed professionally, you only pay for the product that is applied to your seed rather than having half drums of chemical left over being wasted. ‘‘Book in early so we can have your seed treatments of choice ordered early through your preferred store and avoid being limited by stock availability later in the season.’’ Phone Arthur at Dempster Seed Grading & Treating today on 0409 852 244 to discuss your requirements.
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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Farming Extra Springâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, 2020â&#x20AC;&#x201D;PAGE 7
Year one tracking very well A four year research project that may change the face of food and fibre production in the Southern Riverina is on its way to a successful first year. The Finley-based research facility is comprised of about 80 hectares of experimental crops, sheds and research facilities and is run by Southern Growers. Federal Government funding committed during the May 2019 election has played a large role is securing the project. During April and May this year, the facility had a range of canola, chickpeas, durum and faba beans sown which have been strategically monitored throughout winter. In its first year of capacity for research, it has taken on four main projects. The first is a demonstration of three alternate canola hybrid seeds. Pioneer provided Roundup ready, Triazine tolerant and Clearfield canola seeds which are being sown as part of this demonstration. Second is research to be undertaken by FAR Australia, sponsored by Grains Research and Development Corporation, on the growth of durum, canola, faba bean and chick peas under different irrigation systems. Another durum trial is being run by Southern Growers, with two different varieties being grown under different nitrogen fertiliser treatments. The final project is on double cropping, testing the turnaround efficiency of harvesting chick peas, canola, durum and faba beans with sowing of rice rotations in quick succession. The facility is also conducting research on methods to water crops. Its hope is to find which overhead or surface irrigation methods are more efficient and produce the best yield. This is possible due to the sponsorship of
The SunRice Groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CopRice business has completed the acquisition of the dairy and beef business of Riverbank Stockfeeds, a leading provider of livestock products in Victoria. The acquisition includes Riverbankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feed mill at Leongatha, and extensive dairy business across Gippsland and south west Victoria, which will see CopRice, a leading producer of stockfeed and companion animal products, continue the expansion of its Victorian dairy nutrition business. The acquisition will provide an additional manufacturing facility in the key Gippsland dairy sector to complement CopRiceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existing manufacturing facilities at Cobden in south west Victoria, Tongala in northern Victoria, and Leeton and Coleambally in southern NSW.
â&#x2013; Stephanie Chappell from Southern Growers and Eagle i Machinery owner Peter Brunt with the T-L irrigator at the Finley research facility. Eagle i Machinery, and $368,000 in funding from the Commonwealth Government that contributed to the purchase of an overhead T-L irrigation system which was installed in May. SGI executive officer Stephanie Chappell said the important research undertaken at the facility would not be possible without the support itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s had. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Our four main projects would not be able to go ahead if it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t for the funding we receive, and for the help weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had from local companies like Eagle i. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve used mostly local support and local suppliers for each step of the cropping process. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Our project should help farmers see the figures of water usage and crop yield between overhead versus traditional watering. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;It will help farmers be able to maximise profitability and improve water efficiency.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;
Eagle i owner Peter Brunt said he was happy to contribute to a local project that coincides with the objectives of his business. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;It was important to me and to the company to show our support to Southern Growers,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he said. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The T-L irrigator we helped supply to the project showcases why we think it is the best in the business. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We support a lot of local clubs each year, but it was extra special to support one that is directly linked to what we provide as a business.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Double cropping will also be actively investigated at the facility, which can turn one season farmers in the region into allyear round growers. Any research data collected at the facility would be used as an education tool, and guide local farmer group discussions.
CopRice general manager Peter McKinney said CopRice planned to immediately close the Leongatha plant in order to commence an extensive upgrade project before re-opening in the first half of 2021. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We will now make a significant investment to improve the quality and standard of the site, but in the interim we will utilise our extensive manufacturing capability in Cobden, Tongala and Coleambally to maintain supply of high-quality products to Riverbank customers,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Mr McKinney said. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;For less than $10 million in acquisition costs, working capital requirements and capital expenditure on these upgrades, CopRice has acquired a fantastic asset and associated customer base in the heart of Gippsland â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one of Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier dairy regions. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;With this acquisition, CopRice has further cemented our reputation as one of the leading providers of stockfeed and companion animal products in Australia, with an extensive operational footprint and customer base that now extends across NSW and Victoria.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;
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PAGE 8—‘Farming Extra Spring’, 2020
‘Farming Extra Spring’, 2020—PAGE 9
Golden opportunity After two years of drought and low water availability, farmers like Cameron Robertson are rejoicing at the prospect of a hugely successful canola crop this year. Rain early in 2020 gave Cameron the confidence to sow 280ha of canola at his Logie Brae property near Finley. Across it and properties Cameron has in Finley and Jerilderie, he also has 1300ha of wheat, 1000ha of barley, 140ha of faba beans, 400ha of oats and 300ha dedicated to fodder. With the last two years producing little but hay, Cameron said this season has been a ‘‘big improvement’’. ‘‘It was a lot dryer in the past two years but we were lucky to cut dry level crops for hay in the area, which helped us out a lot,’’ he said. ‘‘Water is expensive but being able to cut and sell for straw made what we did use to finish crops worthwhile. ‘‘Last year we had a good start to the season but no follow-up rain, which hurt us a lot. ‘‘We had a good start with enough rain this year for it to be a good season, and we are on the verge of having decent spring rain predicted too.’’ Although Cameron remains optimistic about the potential yield of canola this year, he says it’s also important to keep your expectations in check. ‘‘You never know what yield will be until you start harvesting, but I will be happy with anything above three tonnes per hectare on the irrigated crops,’’ he said. ‘‘I might get a bit less for the dryland canola. ‘‘We will be harvesting as soon as we can, which will likely be around mid-November.’’ Finley-based independent agronomist John Lacy said it is because of decent rain in August
Funding for ‘smart farms’ Farmers, fishers and foresters can now apply for Australian Government funding of up to $100,000 to support their natural resource management efforts. Round 4 of Smart Farms Small Grants will close on October 9. There is $6.5 million available to support one to two-year projects that boost best practice sustainable farming awareness, skills and capacity. Smart Farms Small Grants is a sustainable agriculture element of the National Landcare Program (NLP). For more information and to apply, visit the Community Grants Hub at www.communitygrants.gov.au/grants.
Matt & Mandy Fleming Ag Contracting ■ Cameron Robertson in the canola crop at Logie Brae. that farmers are predicting a decent canola yield this year, but said September rain would be just as important. ‘‘We have high yield winter crop potential this year with what some of my farmers are saying will be their best ever canola season,’’ Mr Lacy said. ‘‘All groups reported 50mm of rain in August but we have since had two weeks without rain at an increasingly high water demand period. ‘‘We need 20mm to 25mm as
soon as possible, as soils are drying. ‘‘The key wheat moisture stress stages of head emergence to flowering are only two to three weeks away so a good rain in two weeks would be perfect. ‘‘We also don’t want any temperatures above 28°C while canola is flowering, for another two weeks.’’ This year is Cameron’s 16th season farming in the region, since returning to Finley from ag college.
He said he’s hoping to also get some summer cropping in this year, but said he would need general security water allocations to improve if he is to get rice in. Allocations in the NSW Murray Valley increased to 15 per cent of entitlement last week. ‘‘We are planning to get some corn and cotton in for summer, and are waiting a little longer to see what allocation we get before committing to rice.’’
Permits for horse movements easier Recording the movements of your horse has just become easier for recreational horse owners, with travelling stock statements (TSS) for horse movements now available online and free to download from the Local Land Services website. A TSS is necessary for tracing horse movements for biosecurity purposes, and also useful in helping the NSW Police identify stock theft. LLS Animal Biosecurity and Welfare business partner Scott Ison said the new form does not have a serial number, so horse owners can print it, share it electronically or even photocopy the form to ensure they always have a copy on hand at times like going for a trail ride, taking their horse to a riding lesson or even to see the farrier.’’ This new dedicated TSS for Horse Movement cannot be used for transporting any
other type of livestock, as it does not meet National Livestock Identification System requirements. Previously purchased TSS forms or TSS booklets are still eligible to use for recording the movements of horses or other livestock. It is also important to note if you are making a return trip on the same day you only need to complete one form. There are a number of exemptions including horses being transported for work such as mustering, horse riding events such as pony club or shows, or the transportation of race horses or harness racing horses. People are encouraged to carry proof of the exemption as they may need to present it to police on request. People are advised to use a TSS if they are in doubt. Presently there is an increased focus on
ensuring horse owners are complying with TSS requirements. ‘‘New South Wales Police launched Operation Stock Check in August 2020, resulting in more monitoring of people trucking horses and other livestock around the state,’’ Mr Ison said. ‘‘Be prepared, you are likely to be pulled over and asked by the police for a TSS for the horse you may be moving. ‘‘If you do not have a TSS with you or your horse does not meet any of the exemptions, you may be fined.’’ For more information on when you need a TSS for Horse Movement, please visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-andlivestock/stock-movements/ documentation/tss-questions-answers. To download a copy of the form, go to www.lls.nsw.gov.au/horseTSS.
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PAGE 10—‘Farming Extra Spring’, 2020
‘Farming Extra Spring’, 2020—PAGE 11
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