Prospect The Delta Agribusiness group of companies
FOR FARMERS IN THE KNOW
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IN THIS ISSUE: Cover Story
Master craftsman cracking the whip
Historic woolsheds captured
The O’Brien family’s growing legacy
Advice from industry experts
elcome to the first edition of Prospect for 2013. Hopefully all readers have had a safe and relaxing festive season and are looking forward to the coming year. Our thoughts and best wishes go to those unfortunate people who were affected in the bushfires which have been so widespread. While we are being conditioned to the heat of a normal summer with a prolonged dry spell, we can also take time to reflect on the efforts of the last 12 months.
The harvest, while variable was buoyed by good prices for many of the commodities grown. Livestock, wool, cattle and other industries have seen price reductions on the back of diminishing feed and some market uncertainty but in general these industries have positive outlooks. January 2013 has persisted with hot dry weather with most areas hopeful that a good rain is not far away. This is particularly the case for those in summer crop regions or where livestock fodder is rapidly disappearing. We are hopeful that the forecast for “average” rainfall across the Eastern states at the time of printing prove to be correct for the coming season. Delta Ag was again recognised in the BRW Fast 100 Award list for the fourth year in succession, which is testimony to the dedication of our staff and tremendous support from clients. This award could also be seen as a result of our commitment to keep both staff and customers at the cutting edge of rural technology which will reward the farmer with increased production and profit. We also take the opportunity to welcome our new clients at Yerong Creek and its surrounding district, having recently acquired the Yerong Creek Rural Centre from Milton and Bev Kennedy who had successfully owned and operated the business for 30 years. We are pleased that Milton will be making the transition with us for 12 months to assist branch manager Dan Kimber and the wider management team with integrating this new centre into the Delta group. This edition of Prospect will again demonstrate the huge variation of farming enterprises, farming personalities and lifestyles. There is an article demonstrating the history of a large well run grain farm, another showing how even within one farm business other opportunities can present themselves… There is an insight into caged bird medicine production, a great article on the power of hope, plus a number of other features discussing industry news and developments. Members of the Delta advisory team will again present information on what is currently happening in the paddock and how best to deal with some of the issues discussed. We would like to wish you all well for 2013 and for all our clients, may the coming year prove to be a safe and prosperous one.
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On the Rail
News from across the agricultural landscape
Kim “Spanner” Pattison
Delta Ag Sales Manager, Burren Junction
The author and motivational speaker shares her
advice and hope for a prosperous 2013
Lachlan Fertilizers Rural Grenfell Agronomist/
Cover Story Master Craftsman
Murringo farmer and leather worker
Richard Taubman tells his story
Delta Ag Livestock Sales, Cootamundra
Andrew Chapman shares his journey
Delta Grain Marketing
Walgett’s Jim O’Brien tells us how he continues
Dr Paul Cusack
to diversify amid a challenging climate
Australian Livestock Production Services
How Wagga business Vetafarm provides feed
and pharmaceuticals for exotic birds and other
animal species around the globe
Delta Ag Procurement Manager
Team Delta cycles to raise money for a cancer
To 4G or not to 4G
Around the Traps
On the radar
Events on the agricultural calendar
FOR FARMERS IN THE KNOW
Publisher Neon Media Group General Manager Dean Kinlyside Editor Rosie O’Keeffe Art Director Dean Kinlyside Contributors Pamela Lawson, Justine McGregor, Shanna Rowlands and Ruth Caskey Cover Photo Justine McGregor
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Ian Bush & his grandson Jock take stock of some of the damage done to their property on Childowla Road at Bookham. Mr Bush lost more than 700 sheep to the fire. Photo: Oliver Watson, courtesy of Yass Tribune
Hansie & Garry Armour, also near Childowla Road, managed to save most of their sheep but lost many of their outbuildings & most of their paddocks are blackened. Photo: Katharyn Brine, courtesy of Yass Tribune
A quick briefing at the Bookham staging area, before heading out. Photo: Tiffany Grange, courtesy of Yass Tribune
Depicting the severe livestock losses as part of the fire which ripped through the Yass district in January. Photo: Tiffany Grange, courtesy of Yass Tribune
Grants available to farmers affected by bushfires
• transport freight subsidies of up to 50 per cent on the carriage of livestock and fodder to help primary producers to a maximum of $15,000 per annum;
Devastatingly, many of our primary producers endured severe hardships and considerable property and stock losses when bushfires ripped through not only various parts of NSW, but across Australia, as extreme weather conditions took hold in January. At the time of printing, one of the blazes that had caused the most damage was the Cobbler Road bushfire which surrounded the Yass region. It has been reported that for this blaze alone, more than 800 volunteers descended on the district to help contain the fire. In light of the stock and property losses from the many bushfires across the state, the NSW and federal governments have declared many local government districts as natural disaster areas which then trigger access to a number of disaster assistance schemes. These disaster assistance schemes are made available by the NSW Government through the NSW Disaster Assistance Arrangements and they are supported by the Commonwealth Government through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements. A range of assistance grants are in the process of being made available including: • disaster relief grants to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household items have been destroyed or damaged; 4
• loans of up to $130,000 (subject to certain eligibility criteria), at a concessional interest rate, for primary producers and small businesses in urgent need. In addition, the NSW Government and NSW Farmers’ have teamed up to establish a fodder donation register to assist farmers affected by the bushfires. “We have already had calls of support from country NSW (farmers) offering hay and grain to those left with little or nothing on their properties following the fires,” NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, said in January. “At this point authorities estimate some 10,000 stock, mostly sheep, have perished or have had to be put down. In the worst cases properties have been left without a blade of grass to feed livestock – this register is one way of helping farming families recover from this devastating event.” NSW Farmers’ President Fiona Simson said the central fodder donation register will be located on the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) website (www.dpi.nsw.gov.au). To register fodder donations contact 1800 814 647. More information about natural disaster declarations can be found at www. attorneygeneral.gov.au. Continue to stay up to date with the bushfire situation by checking www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to your local radio station or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
Canola harvest captured Photographer Travis Wilson snapped this candid harvest image on property “Wasley” which is located just east of Henty in the southern Riverina area of NSW. The photo was taken of the Case 7120 header belonging to ENP AG Contractors. Eron and Penny Thompson and family have been committed to assisting farmers with their harvest for five years. The paddock of canola captured in the photograph yielded an average 2 tonne/hectare.
In 2010-11 just over half (55 per cent) of Australia’s farms had an estimated value of agricultural operations of less than $100,000 and 6 per cent of large farms have in excess of $1 million which reflects diversity from family farms to large corporate ownership. A third of farms cover less than 50ha and a similar proportion between 50 and 500ha, while 100 farms occupy more than 500,000ha which is more than twice the land area of the ACT. In the three decades to 2010-11, the value of Australian farm exports increased from $8.2 to $32.5 billion – an average increase of 5 per cent per year. Of the total value of farm exports in 2010-11, 54 per cent came from crop exports including wheat (17 per cent) and wine (6 per cent) while 46 per cent came from livestock exports such as beef and veal (13 per cent) and wool (9 per cent). The majority of Australia’s farm exports go to countries in Asia. For more information about the study and for other figures visit www.abs.gov.au.
Dry conditions impact crops The NSW winter crop production is expected to be down about 10 per cent on last year’s crop, according to the Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) December Grains Report. The report estimates production at 10.16 million tonnes with canola the only crop expected to have an increased yield by about one-third on last year. “Overall yields for all crops have been variable, with crops on well-maintained fallows and those sown on time performing above expectations given the lack of late winter and spring rainfall for much of the state,” DPI Technical Specialist Oils and Pulses Don McCaffery said, also adding that low protein in cereals was universal across much of NSW. Mr McCaffery said good rainfall is needed to allow the bulk of the forecast sorghum crop to be sown and for further sowings of sunflowers and mungbeans, and early summer crop plantings struggling under moisture stress also need relief. Current estimates for the NSW summer crop are for the sowing of 534,700 hectares, not including rice, which is down 4 per cent on the October forecast – and 12 per cent down on last year’s harvest area of 606,794ha. “Any dryland crops sown in late September and early October have continued to struggle, with many having patchy establishment and now lower than ideal plant populations,” he said. “Dryland cotton area is down 76 per cent on the 2011/12 crop.” DPI’s NSW winter crop production estimates (‘000 tonnes)
Stats show fewer farmers but longer hours… The number of Australian farmers has fallen 40 per cent in the last 30 years. Figures recently released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that between 1981 and 2011 the number of farmers decreased by 100,000. There were 19,700 fewer farmers in Australia in 2011 than in 2006, a fall of 11 per cent over five years. The statistics which have been discovered using 2011 Census data also showed that half of Australian farmers work long hours of 49 hours or more a week with the median age of farmers standing at 53, and 1 in 4 farmers aged 65 or more.
Wheat Barley Oats Triticale Canola Chickpea Faba bean Field pea Lupin
2012 6,384 1,463 489 326 961 278 121 56 75
2011 7,353 1,734 638 382 722 173 63 59 108 5
atherine DeVrye gives her advice for prospering in 2013 and shares some of her strategies for keys to success. Catherine is the author of the #1 best seller Good Service is Good Business, Hot Lemon & Honey, Who Says I Can’t? A memoir and Hope Happens! She is a past winner of the Australian Executive Woman of the Year Award, and whilst she lives in Sydney she speaks internationally on managing change, customer service and turning obstacles to opportunities. For more information visit www.greatmotivation.com
Words of wisdom to give hope for prosperity
“A leader is a dealer in hope.” So said Napoleon Bonaparte before his death in 1821. Nearly two centuries later, we need hope more than ever in our work and our home lives as we embrace the start of a new year. Have you ever lost an important business deal? Or, more importantly – lost a loved one or friend? Are you worried by lost health or wealth; loss of job or loss of perspective? Whether that loss is temporary or permanent, you need to dig deep for courage to get on with getting on, to find hope in seemingly hopeless situations. When you’ve lost whatever is important in your life, it’s important to find hope and to help others find hope within themselves. My father was a wheat farmer in Canada and I never could have imagined that I would move to Australia and years later, address the World Airline Entertainment Association in Brisbane on 11 September, 2001. I felt sickened by global events and also by bronchitis, when a friend phoned to say her mother had died of cancer. Certainly, she shared compassion with thousands of people on the other side of the globe, but the loss of one life weighed far heavier on her mind. To her, talk of the “world changing” was more than a media cliché – the world always changes – but her own life 6
had tumbled and changed irrevocably with the death of the one person who had always been central to her world. As I sat despondently at the airport, I couldn’t help but think that, undoubtedly, global tragedy impacts on us all in various ways, from the personal to the economic. Yet, ultimately, the everyday, nonpublicised tragedies cause the greatest grief, wherever we live around the globe. My thoughts were interrupted when a vibrant young woman introduced herself and said she had been inspired by one of my presentations, had since moved to London and took only six books, including Hope Happens. “Whenever I’m feeling down, I delve into that book and magically find just the right words of inspiration and encouragement,” she enthused. “Oh, what chapter was that? I could do with a little inspiration myself at the moment!” I asked, before smiling at the irony. More recently, a senior executive, one of my corporate clients, called – ostensibly just to say hello. “How’s things, Bill?” “Oh I’m fine,” he replied but something in the tone of his voice implied that he wasn’t. “Hmm. You don’t sound your normal self.” I ventured. “Well, uh, my father died this afternoon and I’m feeling kinda flat.”
One should never feel too proud to ask for help from others who have walked that rocky road. People often ask how I coped when my folks died when I was 21. What choice did I have? Cope or crumble -- and, I had no intention of crumbling. Since those early dark days, I’ve been privileged to meet world leaders, sports stars and music icons and was surprised to discover that, at times, they all share the same sense of loss and uncertainty as my next-door neighbour or a stranger on a plane. Behind the facade, no life is perfect and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. It never has been. It never will be.
The following is a modified excerpt from Hope Happens! words of encouragement in tough times • Hope is what happens when you first see a light Just a distant, small star in the darkest of night. • Hope is what happens with the first buds of spring When dawn touches the sky or a bird spreads its wings.
But today, and every day, we need to keep our dreams alive and not be swamped by nightmares of negativity and despair. Hope helps us cope with tough times.
• Hope is what happens when a burn starts to heal Whether skin deep or soul deep, you begin to feel real.
Help… others, and never be too proud to ask for help yourself.
• Hope is what happens when you’re poor but not broken There’s a goldmine of dreams -- just not yet awoken
Optimize… opportunities. In every business or personal problem, there is always an opportunity, so remain optimistic. Persist… no matter what. Tough times don’t last and tough people do, so never give up in order to move from a victim of change to a victor of change.
• Hope is what happens with the smell of fresh rain When your long drought of dreams is renewed yet again
Empower… others and give yourself permission to be empowered to take time out for yourself, as you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.
• Hope is what happens long after the pain Hope is what happens -- again and again.
There’s no better time to get some hope happening in your life. Whether it’s the beginning of the calendar year or financial year…today is still the first day of the rest of your life!
“i usE zolvix BEcausE it Prolongs thE lifE of all thE othEr drEnchEs on this ProPErty” . tim BowEr
kills >99.9% s of worm 1
zEro rEsistancE zolvix®. worms don’t stand a chancE. “You could lose 50% of your production due to the impact of worms. To combat against resistance, you have to rotate your drenches. I will be using ZOLVIX in my rotation with confidence.
We tested fourteen days after using ZOLVIX onto this new country and it was zero zero all the way, it was very good. With ZOLVIX you get better production, more cut per head, it’s all plus, plus! We are very happy with it and it’s money well spent. ZOLVIX definitely works.” • Kills ›99.9% of worms,1 even resistant worms. • Prolongs the lifespan of older drenches.2 • Boosts farm productivity.3 www.zolvix.com
• Revolutionary, easy to use drenching system. • Impressive safety profile.
EvEry flock, EvEry yEar
References 1. Kills >99.9% of barbers pole, small brown stomach and black scour worms. A pooled analysis of the efficacy of monepantel, an amino-acetonitrile derivative against gastrointestinal nematodes of sheep. Hosking et al., Parasitol Res (2010), 106: 529-532. 2. Minimising the development of anthelmintic resistance, and optimising the use of the novel anthelmintic monepantel, for the sustainable control of nematode parasites in Australian sheep grazing systems. R.J. Dobson et al., AVJ (2011), Vol. 89, No 5. 3. The production costs of anthelmintic resistance in sheep managed within a monthly preventive drench programme. Sutherland et al., Vet Para(2010), 171:300-304. ZOLVIX contains 25 g/L monepantel, a member of the Amino-Acetonitrile Derivative (AAD) class of anthelmintics. ZOLVIX® is a registered trademark and OPTIMUM™ is a trademark of Novartis AG, Basel, Switzerland. For full product details contact NOVARTIS CUSTOMER ADVISORY LINE on 1800 633 768 TOLL FREE between 8.30am and 5.30pm E.S.T. Monday to Friday. Novartis Animal Health Australasia Pty Limited, ACN 076 745 198, 54 Waterloo Road, North Ryde NSW 2113.
A MASTER CRAFTSMAN Richard Taubman has had many successes, not just in running his farming enterprise near the township of Young in southwest NSW, his talents at making leather stockmen’s goods has meant he has been invited to plait for the Queen of England and the King of Tonga along with various other dignitaries over the years. But instead of just accepting praise for his own fortunes, Richard continues to pay tribute to the late Syd Bayliss, a man who despite having been 60 years’ Richard’s senior, taught him a lot more than leatherwork skills, through plenty of yarns shared. Article | Rosie O’Keeffe Photography | Justine McGregor
I thought I’d only want to make one whip but I’ve made around 7000 whips since then.
Richard Taubman, Murringo farmer and leather worker
ith one crack of Richard Taubman’s handcrafted 66-foot whip, stockmen stand up and take notice.
The Murringo farmer and talented leather worker has had a wealth of “once in a lifetime” opportunities from mustering cattle in stock camps on horseback and in helicopters in the outback to fishing in tucked away waterholes, to new friendships made with stockmen on cattle stations, to travelling extensively amongst the earthiness of rugged Australian bushland – all of which have come about from a unique marketing pitch (cracking his giant whip at the gate) to sell his collection of handmade leather stock whips, belts, pock knife pouches, hats, saddlery gear, and even plaited walking sticks. It was through Richard’s desire to create his own stockwhip as an impressionable young teenager – aged just 13 – that he came across Syd Bayliss. And after 40 years since their first meeting, Richard still feels he owes all of what he knows about his craft to this “burly bushman” from Tumut. “Being brought up on the land I’ve always been keen on bush gear, that’s what started it. Some of the blokes on the property had whips and I decided to order some leather from a shop in Cowra and I read a book about how to do it, which then inspired Mum and Dad to get Syd (who they had employed to shoot kangaroos on their previous property at Batlow) to come down from Tumut to show the local school kids and me some plaiting during the school holidays… I thought I’d only want to make one whip but I’ve made around 7000 whips since then,” Richard marvels one evening after finishing with his farm work. “Syd had a big influence on me and I just wanted to try and do as much as he had done and those 10 years after our first meeting I spent as much time as I could with him and he taught me everything from roo shooting to cutting the wattlebark, the tanning process and the plaiting. And then I went and worked on
Leatherwork on display - whips, belts & walking sticks
cattle stations and was a hawker selling the gear. It’s a great industry to be involved with and I’ve been very fortunate to have been shown the processes from start to finish.” Richard certainly hasn’t looked back and although admitting there are many talented whip makers around, he can’t keep up with orders for his products, which is also a good thing considering he spends the majority of his “spare” time creating his leather products, revealing he has hooks hanging in several rooms ready for his next project, even quipping that after our interview (late in the evening) he would be returning to his leatherwork. And all crafted in the exact same way Syd taught him all those years ago. “I take a little bit of pride in trying to do everything the old way, my tools are all made myself the way Syd taught me – cutting out with a thumbnail or a pocket knife, using a piece of pine timber as a gauge, and an awl or fid for splicing,” he tells me. Richard reveals that most of the kangaroo skins used in the making of his leather goods comes from either roo shooters or processors, or he orders the skins in a pickled state (de-fleshed and pickled in a mixture of various chemicals including sulphuric acid) so they can be then tanned with wattlebark. “I order two to three times a year and get up to 1000 skins at a time. It takes up to three months from when the order is made until it hits the table so I need to have an idea of what the market is going to do not only in numbers but the types of skins and the colours I will need. There are 85 varieties of kangaroos and wallabies in Australia and we only commercially shoot three types in large quantities – the eastern and western grey kangaroo which have the best leather for belts and the red kangaroo which has a fine grain which is best for whips,” Richard says, also revealing that he now sells leather and his products to more than 20 overseas countries and across Australia. u
Richard Taubman cracking the big whip www.deltaag.com.au
“There are far more kangaroos than there ever has been so it’s a very unique industry, they’re everywhere, and we should be using them, it’s a fantastic product – not only the skins but the meat too. “My gear either goes to stations, to those in country areas, people who have been involved in country life or would like to be involved in it. We don’t necessarily travel to do a lot of stations anymore, we try to just keep it to a couple of big events each year in the Northern Territory – even to go straight up and back from there is around 6000km, it doesn’t take long to burn the miles up.” One of Richard’s proudest moments with Syd was when he was able to show him a 50-foot whip he had made, just like Syd’s, which took him 24 hours to plait. “The big whip was a very special thing for me and it was a very proud moment to show him even though he was bedridden at that stage, he still got to see the big whip before he passed on,” Richard recalls. Richard and his wife Leah live at “Spring Valley”, a 2600-hectare property, predominantly breeding Hereford cattle and Merino sheep. “Dad had a Hereford stud after starting out in the Snowy Mountains, and about four to five years ago we deregistered the stud, mainly because it was getting more difficult to keep up with the rules and regulations that go with studs. So we are now running 350 breeding cows and all up there is about 1000 head of grass-fed cattle, and we have about 5000 Merinos on the place,” Richard says. “We grow a bit of oats for our own use and we put that back for the stock when needed. We make a lot of hay and make sure we have a couple of years’ worth on hand, some we also sell. We had floods a couple of years ago, which carried away 800 round bales and 40km of fencing, so we’re slowly getting things back up and running again. We are pretty lucky to have creek frontage and we have about 120ha of lucerne country on the place.”
Richard & Leah Taubman
I’m making sure the trade is not lost and as a matter of fact it’s really going from strength to strength.
Richard has tried to include some new ways of farming into his enterprise including direct drilling, not overworking the land, and the stubbles are no longer burned to try to then work that into the country. “With lucerne you can’t just direct drill all the time, you’ve really got to work the country properly. With oats a lot of it is direct drilled. We get reasonably good results from the cropping side of things for what our requirements are,” he says. Richard explains that with his own input and that of two longstanding employees, the farming enterprise is run smoothly. “We often get contractors in instead of using our own equipment. It seems to be a more practical way and economic way of running things, it’s a team effort. Years ago we had up to five employees but the returns in the rural industry just aren’t what they used to be.” Richard expects that his and Leah’s children will eventually run “Spring Valley” but for now they are gaining their own life experiences elsewhere. Scott is working as a mechanic, pilot and a stockman on a large cattle station in the middle of the Northern Territory. Adam is working for a heavy machinery parts company in Sydney. Amanda was a governess on a cattle station in northern Queensland, and now works as a dental nurse in Mt Isa, and Ashlea is married with Leah and Richard’s first grandchild, Ruby, and now lives with her husband Matthew Berridge on a property at Monteagle. 10
Richard Taubman, Murringo farmer and leather worker
Richard & Poppy checking the mail
Not to be sold short of a yarn about the Taubman family history, Richard reveals during our conversation that his grandfather and great uncle established the business Taubmans Paints in the 1920s.
busy developing a museum to house memorabilia through restoring the old store at Murringo which is believed to have been built in the late 1850s. The museum is expected to be opened in late 2013.
“It was not only a supplier of household paints, varnishes and lacquers, but industrial paints too, a lot of which was used by the military in World War II. After the war the company was bought out and Taubmans moved on, but my uncle and his mate (the chemists working for Taubmans) went out on their own in the mid-1960s and invented water-based paint. So when you buy paint that can wash out in water my uncle and his mate were the chemists who invented that. It was a sideline for them but it turned into something that is still widely used today. They have all since passed away and Taubmans are not involved in the painting game anymore though. In fact, I can’t stand painting,” he chuckles.
Richard also explains that a couple of times a year at least he runs whip making schools at “Spring Valley” as he’s keen to pass on his knowledge, and already he has put 150 people through his courses with participants ranging in age from 12 to 73 years. “I’m making sure the trade is not lost and as a matter of fact it’s really going from strength to strength. I’m more than happy to pass it on to whoever wants to learn. Back in Syd’s day and in the early 1900s during the Depression, whip making and other crafts were very much a guarded secret because (the craftsmen) needed to survive and they didn’t want anyone else to learn the tricks of the trade so to speak because they may have then lost that income. Times have changed now though, and just about any whip maker I think is happy to tell people how they do their job to help anybody.”
Richard himself is not only widely renowned for his leatherwork, he actually published a book in the early 1980s One of the Last as a tribute to the late Syd and the incredible influence he had on Richard. The collection of tales of Richard and Syd’s mateship is now coming up to its eighth edition with more than 8000 copies having been sold. “I’m still paying him back for what he’s done for me and the book was certainly done so his story is recorded and not forgotten. I have also been able to get him into the Stockmen’s Hall of Fame and Stan Coster who wrote a lot of songs for Slim Dusty recorded a song I wrote, called Syd the Plaiter,” he tells me. Richard’s latest tribute to Syd is coming via his wife Leah who is
His next whip making school will be at Easter time, and will be a special three-day course with participants to make a kangaroo hide stock whip, plaited belt and key rings. Just proving he will still be paying tribute to Syd in his own special way for many more years to come, and there’s no chance Richard will be leaving his much loved rural countryside for some time yet either. “It’s a beautiful spot to be out here, and I think to be involved in rural industry, is something everyone on the land understands and has a special feel for, it’s certainly an enjoyable and satisfying way of life.”
If you would like to get in touch with Richard or purchase a copy of his book One of the Last, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org www.deltaag.com.au
22/01/13 5:35 PM
Photography | Andrew Chapman
Historic woolsheds through the lens
Whether bustling with the hive of activity as shearers take to the stand and roustabouts rush around as fleece hits the table, or as dark and silent buildings, the durable construction and everyday workings of the woolshed have become synonymous with life in rural Australia. Rosie Oâ€™Keeffe speaks to photographer and author Andrew Chapman about his latest book Around the Sheds which showcases the faces and rich history of some our most iconic structures. u
Images reprinted with the kind permission of the author and publisher
t’s not very often that shearing is compared to that of a well- time, ‘they show the mark of time’,” Chapman says. choreographed ballet, but that’s how photographer Andrew Chapman sees the somewhat ordered chaos of a working “Even through floods, droughts and violent winds that have come woolshed. up against them, they’ve mostly stood the test of time, but things have happened to some sheds… and a number of them haven’t And he should understand the inner workings of the wool industry been photographed and have since disappeared which just having travelled more than 25,000km by road in less than a year to reinforces why you do something – to try and provide a record for photograph images for his recently released glossy photographic the nation and what was an important part of life in the early part book Around the Sheds, a follow-up to his best-selling publication of the previous century. Woolsheds. “Woolsheds are like living museums.” He reveals that a highlight of his journey included camping in front of crackling bonfires and sleeping in swags, all while he captured Chapman believes the wool industry itself has been the most the essence of these often isolated outback shearing sheds from significant in Australia’s history providing yarns for clothes in Europe the tools and structures, to the shearers, farmhands, woolgrowers, and the United States during the Industrial Revolution, uniforms for roustabouts, stock agents and cooks, who all have many a tale to wars, and while other industries like gold and synthetics are now tell… and even the trusty working dog gets a mention. booming, he says that wouldn’t have happened without wool. “I found a lot of new friends. It’s a bit of a cliché to say country people are hospitable but it’s so true and I think if you come in and are doing something other than farming then they want to talk to you because otherwise all they talk about is farming. They’re really interested in what I’m doing and they’re very proud to show their patch of dirt off too,” Chapman says. “It’s a real odyssey what I do, to wander through the landscape and just pick things up along the way. There’s no suspicion of what I’m doing, (the property owners) have all got a deep respect for the wool industry and its place in history in Australia and they’re only too happy to help which is great. “I just wanted to document the sheds and the way it was, I didn’t really think about an audience or anything like that. I just did it because I was interested in it and if someone else was interested in it too then that was great, but I guess as I’ve gone through it I’ve discovered who the audience is and it’s been very interesting to find that so many women reacted strongly to it. I just thought it’s really such a blokes’ subject and when I had women saying ‘oh, I read your book and just loved it’ it was a big surprise for me.”
“The past 30 years have been the hardest in the Australian wool industry’s two centuries of existence… yet many farmers have hung on, just as a punch-drunk boxer always manages to get off the floor and go another round,” he enthuses. “Shearing also fostered the fierce camaraderie that gave rise to workers’ unions, strikes and industrial labour reforms. And it is really the last of the physical jobs. I can’t think of another job where you’re burning that many calories per day, day in and day out, fitter than ever. (Shearers) make good money and have an interesting life but it’s hard work.” Chapman says woolsheds fulfil different roles from being a working shed, to housing old wares and tools, or being the local venue for social gatherings in the local community. He says not only do the sheds carry distinctive smells of countless shearing seasons and lingering dust, dirt, oil, sweat and lanolin, but there are vast differences in each individual structure too.
“I’ve seen barn owls flying around in old sheds, and the odd mouse or rat, they’re quiet places, and the light and detail becomes so Chapman admits he was amazed at the workmanship of the important in that shed, whereas if it’s a working shed you’re looking sheds, especially those built in the late 1800s and early 1900s at the people, the work going on, it’s a different skills set in the that are still withstanding despite extreme weather conditions. photography,” Chapman explains. “You are seeing these old timbers that have just been shaped with an axe, it’s rough but incredibly sturdy bush construction and there’s no nails, often there’s just wooden pegs through the holes. They’re beautiful buildings and I have a saying I use all the
And if only the walls of these woolsheds could talk, one could only imagine what insights we would have, and be even more able to weave the rich tapestry of what has cemented these bush buildings into our farming culture today.
Koerstz double-box wool press, Urangeline shearing shed, Lockhart NSW
Old shed at sunset on the outskirts of Mudgee NSW
t was in 1976 that Andrew Chapman visited his first woolshed, as he describes it, a nondescript tinnie in central Victoria, but its “dramatic” atmosphere had him hooked as a photographer from then on.
He’s since photographed countless woolsheds and the workings of farming properties also documented in his 2005 book The Shearers, so it proves difficult for him to choose a favourite, saying all the structures have their own stories, and he now has his own anecdotes to share after forming his own memories from visits. He did highlight two standout structures though. “One is the old Gol Gol shed at Lake Mungo in NSW which was built by Chinese labourers in the late 1960s. Any members of the public can camp within 100 metres of that shed in the national park. It is very pretty but very small. The other one is what I call the wedding cake shed – Deeargee woolshed at Uralla also in NSW – which is just beautiful, built in three sections with one being an original blade shed originally. (The owner) has really got a great respect for preserving the history of this unique building. It would take a considerable amount of time, effort and money to maintain it to the condition he maintains it in and he’s done that with respect to the architecture and the industry…”
Roustabout Joanne Crawford throws a fleece as Helen Alexander looks on, Willoughby woolshed, Barcaldine QLD Shearers’ quarters, Toorale shearing shed, Bourke NSW
Chapman reveals that one of the biggest challenges he had when photographing the sheds was the fact he was just passing through and needed to capture the sheds in the realistic forms they were in whenever he happened to be at the location.
Kinchega woolshed at Kinchega National Park, Menindee NSW
“I worked very hard and looked at the shed and where it sits amongst the landscape. I looked at whether there were any clouds around or things that vetted against me, the way the light was coming in, and getting certain objects that were in the shed to see how it all looked. I don’t use any artificial lighting, no flash or anything, which is the style I’ve decided to adopt. I just use whatever light there is on the day,” he says. “You’ve got to rely on luck, there’s some sheds that aren’t in the book that would have been great but the light wasn’t good on the day and I just left them out. And there are other sheds that are really quite plain little sheds but the light was great and they look fantastic but you wouldn’t have expected them to be in there.” Chapman reveals that the books are more than just an opportunity to document the many historical woolsheds and colourful bush characters. There is also a heartfelt acknowledgement of the medical teams at The Austin Hospital in Melbourne who assisted him with a liver transplant just two years ago and he encourages his readers to register as organ donors. Remarkably, he was still in intensive care when he penned the text for Woolsheds which was released last year.
Deeargee woolshed at Uralla NSW. Andrew Chapman believes this resembles a wedding cake
Since he has photographed every prime minister since Gough Whitlam and is interested in photography during election campaigns, he will no doubt be involved in a project as part of the federal election due later this year.
“I like to live in towns for a few months at a time and work on projects, it’s the next best thing to moving to the country and “I was doing Woolsheds when I had catastrophic liver failure in there are so many places, where would you choose? But we are December 2010 and I only had a couple of days to live when they going to live in Hay for two months this year and I’d love to live in found me a liver… I had to learn to walk again, I couldn’t stand or central Queensland, I just need to find a book project… anything, I was very weak… So doing Around the Sheds was really quite an effort and something I really didn’t think I would be able to “It all takes my mind off everything else, I’ve got no plans to retire, do,” Chapman confesses. I love being a photographer and if I am lucky enough to live until I’m 85 then I’m sure I will still have a camera around my neck – or “I am really happy with the photography in Around the Sheds though, whatever the technology is,” he chuckles. it’s as good, if not better than my other work, I’m so proud… I just love living and I am just so grateful that I was able to get it done.” And Chapman says, at the end of the day, for him it’s all about evoking the emotion of his audience. Chapman who resides in Melbourne, has had six solo exhibitions to his name, two of these in 2012, and has plenty more projects in “When people in the country say ‘that’s the way it is’, ‘you can the pipeline. Despite admitting he has probably only scratched the almost smell the shed’, ‘you’ve really got it’, they’re the best surface in capturing shearing sheds in Woolsheds and Around the compliments I could get because that’s what I intend to do and Sheds, he has decided not to do a third book, although he does that’s when I’m the proudest of what I’ve done.” reveal he has two upcoming projects that will also reflect country life. He also has plans for more road trips, and is also contributing Around the Sheds and Woolsheds are available at to a book on hot-air ballooning. www.fivemile.com.au (RRP$39.95.) 16
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All grain that goes across the weighbridge and into storages is weighed, tested and recorded so we know exactly at any given time what is in our storages and what has gone off farm. Jim O’Brien, Walgett farmer
Article | Rosie O’Keeffe Photography | Shanna Rowlands, SKW Images Through floods, hailstorms and dry seasons, Jim O’Brien’s passion for a life on the land hasn’t wavered. He explains how he has diversified, made improvements and built significant infrastructure on his property “Euroka” in north west NSW over the years despite several climatic challenges along the way.
algett farmer Jim O’Brien jokes with me that if he was able to control the weather there is the potential to grow anything on his property, and there simply would be no stopping his success.
However, unfortunately it’s an all too familiar challenge that Jim and other northwest NSW growers face each and every season – and this year will be no different. “We haven’t had decent rain since early last year. We only had just enough rain to get sowing with in April/May and we’ve had nothing this summer so it’s very dry and the outlook for this year’s crop is looking very grim,” Jim concedes as he takes a much earned break in January after a hectic harvest. “The next two months are very critical as to what happens in the next year. At the moment the profile is very dry and if we only get an inch or two inches of rain, or storms, it’s just going to grow weeds, not improve the moisture. We need five to six inches over a period of five to 10 days to start building the profile up and start filling in the big deep cracks we’ve got here at the moment.” But despite the ongoing battles with extreme weather conditions in what is very marginal country, Jim is developing new practices, improving infrastructure and diversifying on his patch of land, to remain ahead of the game. Jim and his wife Jane have been farming at “Euroka” located 16km to the south west of Walgett for more than 25 years, raising three children, daughter Caroline now aged 27 who lives in Sydney, and sons Patrick, 17 and Jack, 14. Jim and his two brothers, Michael and Dennis grew up at “Kincora” in the renowned Come-By-Chance district. Brother Michael still oversees his farming operation from the “Kincora” base, whilst Dennis farms in the Cryon district.
Jane O’Brien manages the office
Jim spent time running sheep and cattle on “Golden Plains” in the Goodooga area before relocating in 1989 to historic “Euroka” which at the time comprised 4046ha of the original station. “Euroka” is well-known as the original home of the Wolseley sheep shearing machine. He has gradually (when the opportunity arose) bought back some of the original holding, which combined with other opportunistic adjoining land purchases, gives an approximate 12,000ha aggregation. Approximately 12 years ago Jim purchased “Peri” Rocky Creek near Bingara where he runs around 1100 Angus breeding cows. Jim and Jane are very much hands on in their enterprise, with Jim managing the stock and farm programs, while Jane manages the office, movement of freight trucks, and the weighbridge operations during harvest. Their children help out during school holidays which Jim says “is the greatest opportunity for his kids to learn skills such as operating and maintaining spray rigs, sowing rigs, loading and unloading their trucks and stock work”.
Chick peas from the recent harvest at “Euroka” Walgett
The couple also oversee two staff members at “Euroka” and two at “Peri” and also employ seasonal staff as the need arises at sowing time, busy spraying periods, and during harvest. Jim runs a mixed cropping enterprise and was reasonably pleased overall with what he achieved during November/ December’s harvest with last year’s crops consisting of 4744ha of chickpeas, 1520ha of faba beans, 3240ha of wheat varieties, and 408ha of canola. u www.deltaag.com.au
Bob Cannon, Jane, Jim & Jack O’Brien
The 2012 farm harvest in action at “Euroka” Walgett 20
“We averaged 14 bags of wheat and 9 and a half bags of chickpeas, which was a great result, and about 8 bags in the faba beans,” Jim says. “We direct head faba beans instead of windrowing them and we’re finding we’re getting a much better result.” Jim, a conservation farmer, was a member of the Walgett Sustainable Agriculture Group (WSAG) which innovated and initiated no till and controlled traffic farming for many growers in the region before disbanding due to the recent dry years. Jim says it has been instrumental in allowing him to diversify in his own business. “It’s certainly helped in our farming enterprise in conserving what moisture we do get without tilling the soil. Also keeping the weeds under control with chemicals while keeping the traffic off the paddock,” Jim explains.
“Our legume country we haven’t been able to till in the summer for a few years because it’s been too wet. In 2010 we had two of the biggest crops sitting there that I had seen in my farming life and to see it go the way it did with flooding was disastrous. And we got through 2011 and then the same thing, it rained and we had to downgrade to feed value with barley. “In 2012, we didn’t have much spring rain through August, September, October, when we needed to finish the crop and bring it home but the moisture underneath with the floods at the beginning of the year helped.” Jim has been proactive in improving grain storage on “Euroka” with the complex increasing from 60 to 80 tonne silos, with the construction of a 92 x 38 x 8 metre 25000t capacity cement and iron shed completed in 2010. With a 25000t capacity this shed is used predominantly for legumes, chickpeas and faba bean storage. Other sheds, 2500t and 800t, and silos, range from 50t to 260t to a 1100t flat bottom silo. The entire complex has a 36000t storage capacity including two bunkers 6000t and 3500t.
“We find we can hold the moisture back in the soil a lot better than elsewhere (other areas) and with the legume program putting nitrogen back into the soil over the last 10 to 15 years. And due to the increasing cost of freight, especially in a remote location We don’t use any fertilizer.” like Walgett, during the past four years Jim purchased two trucks – B-doubles to add to his existing road train. “With our farming practices we’ve tried to better ourselves “My main aim is to get (the grain) off quickly and put it into storage, with zero till and conserving our moistures. Most of our principally hold onto and market the feed wheat, faba bean and pulses moisture falls in the summer months of course and then we myself, and take other grain to GrainCorp or AWB sites, freighting it rely on just a little bit of rain to get sowing with. If our profile is myself with my own trucks,” Jim says. full we only need an inch or so end of April to start the cereal winter crops. And then if we’ve got a full profile we really don’t Also on-site at “Euroka” is a certified weighbridge and equipment to test need any rain until August/September and the grain is out grain for protein, screenings, moisture, test weight and oil content for there and flowering, and that’s when we need another surge canola. of moisture. Last year we didn’t get that, but the crop came through it, with lower yields of course,” he says. “All grain that goes across the weighbridge and into storages is weighed, tested and recorded so we know exactly at any given time what is in “Where we use cereals and legumes in normal years I would our storages and what has gone off farm. This proves invaluable as a leave a paddock untilled for four to five years following a marketing tool knowing exactly what we have,” Jim explains. legume crop and then work the country… So the soil is tilled every four to five years and we run them at different angles He also says that whilst harvest is completed using contractors, they so we cross over the tram tracks and till the soil up,” he says. do their own sowing with two 12-metre rigs to complete the 11,800ha operation, complimented by two 36-metre spray rigs to undertake spraying as required. Over at “Peri” Jim is overseeing the preparation for his 10th annual onfarm weaner sale in March. He has been solely running Angus herds for the past four to five years and has also built a complex with 48 pens to enable them to yard up to 1000 to 1100 calves on sale day, for a total clearance. “We’ve never looked back since putting the complex up, this year is no different as we hope for a good sale average,” Jim explains. Over recent seasons, Jim has had to contend with ferocious hailstorms, floods and extreme dry conditions, which have all impacted on his crops, but he remains positive about the future of agriculture and his farming enterprise. Farm manager Bob Cannon in stubbles from one of the 2012 wheat crops at “Euroka”
With many evolvements to his operation, Jim has had many achievements along the way, and he’s most proud of being able to slowly put the original “Euroka” property back together, aside from 4800ha which is farmed by a neighbour. Other significant developments have included building the grain infrastructure, capping and piping the artesian basin removing the bore water drains, with water now used for spraying, and now, expanding into trucks to reduce freight charges.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done over the last 25 years or so at “Euroka” coming from 1200ha to almost 11,800ha being farmed here now – buying two blocks back to join the place together again and where it goes and what we do next, I don’t know… The world’s got to eat so we hope there will be (a bright future for the agriculture industry) and we hope our farming enterprise is still there in 20 years’ time for the next Jim O’Brien with son Jack who along with his brother Patrick gains a generation of farmers.” lot of practical experience at the farm during school holidays
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From local to global in one hop An interest in the production of animal medicine and the care of avian and exotic species led innovative veterinarian Tony Gestier to begin his own veterinary pharmaceutical company, Vetafarm, in 1990. Based in Tony’s home town of Wagga Wagga, Vetafarm now produces nearly 400 specialist feed and pharmaceutical products, many of which are shipped worldwide. Tony gives an insight into how he became successful in this industry.
Article & Photography | Pamela Lawson
Tony Gestier loves the challenge of producing specialist feed & pharmaceutical products
s a fully qualified veterinarian, Dr Tony Gestier began his working life as a mixed animal practitioner, primarily tending to the needs of production animals. But he developed expertise in caged bird medicine and management, and began Vetafarm to initially supply aviculture with new and innovative products.
PRIMARY PRODUCTS According to Tony, Vetafarm’s current ‘animal health’ product range of essential medicines and specialist foods aims to enhance the experience of animal keeping.
“Our largest turnover items are still related to our avian products, and include a ‘Parrot Maintenance Diet’ pellet feed product for “We began by designing suitable products as tools for the caged and aviary parrots and ‘Psittavet’, an antibiotic powder used management of caged and aviary birds,” Tony says. “But as to treat a disease in caged birds,” Tony explains. a practising veterinarian, I found there were few dedicated medicines suitable for more unusual or exotic pets and captive “But we pride ourselves in our ability to make specialised products. animals – most products used were pulled from production All our products have stemmed from us identifying a need or gap animals and were often not in a suitable format for use in small in suitable product availability, or we have been asked to make birds or for small numbers of animals. a specialised product by clients. For instance, we make the only ferret food available in a dry, pelletised form. “Our product range therefore expanded rapidly, and during the early 2000’s we began a feed extrusion process for birds and “The Vetafarm team is also used regularly by Australian zoos to exotic animals. In addition to animal pharmaceutical products, develop new ways to help improve zoo animal health. Their vast we now have a wide range of specialist feeds, including feeds for knowledge of animal health needs, nutrition requirements and birds, ferrets, lizards and rabbits. A new feed production facility the technical ability to make unique products makes the Vetafarm has been built on the outskirts of Wagga, which will eventually team a valuable resource for zookeepers. Products Vetafarm has house the purpose built pharmaceutical suite as well. been asked to manufacture for zoo animals have included Sea Bird tablets, Seal supplements and Elephant laxatives.” “The Bye Street Vetafarm site is licensed under the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to A LOCAL FLAVOUR manufacture pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals to the exacting Tony chose to locate his business in Wagga, not only to be close standards of the regulator. We will eventually have this facility to family, but because the area offered many advantages for a out at Bomen too, so all our production is on one site and we can manufacturing company. The most important of these include land utilise skilled labour across both operations.” availability, efficient transport and an adequate labour force. 24
“Vetafarm today has a workforce of some 30 people,” Tony says. “This includes a quality control department of tertiary-educated scientists, a dedicated research and development department, a sales and marketing group, qualified accountants and hard-working production teams.
“The very large American bird food manufacturers are creating a difficult market for us both domestically and in Asia due to the value of the dollar.”
Tony also says wage cost increases have cut into the company’s margins severely. “We need good people for our specialised “We also have a dedicated testing laboratory with a state-of-the-art production, but on top of wages and super there is Payroll Tax analytical machine for testing pharmaceuticals. My role these days and Workers Compensation Insurance, mandatory training and is as technical advisor to the sales team, director of research and OH & S compliance – these all add to the cost of having people development and strategic company development.” on the floor.” All the Vetafarm products are manufactured in the two Wagga Wagga factories. Much of the machinery used has been adapted In general, Tony’s attitude to business in Australia, in the current as needed to produce specialised products, and there is a full-time climate, is that you have to “value-add”. engineer on site. “There is no point in making product that is a commodity, nor is The company does all its own production, packaging and label there any point in manufacturing a product and hoping people printing in a dedicated print room, which allows much more flexibility will buy it because they won’t!” Tony says. in the size of print runs and creating distinguishing product labels. “Vetafarm aims to identify and supply niche markets where SOURCING INGREDIENTS there are currently product gaps. We also try very hard to supply According to Tony, all grains, meats and fibres are sourced from product, information and service to all our clients via any means local farmers where possible. “The soybeans we use generally come available, including direct contact, print, digital and video media. from the Darling Downs as the type grown locally is not suitable for Our team is committed to being the best at what we do – ALL our processing needs, but the rest of our raw feed ingredients come THE TIME.” from the Riverina,” Tony explains. “Pharmaceutical ingredients are normally imported as there are very few chemical or drug QUIRKS AND PERKS manufacturers remaining in Australia.” Despite all the challenges, Tony clearly loves his company and this line of work. His enthusiasm for being an innovator and thrill Although Vetafarm is fortunate to have so many of the raw at creating totally unique products is also clearly evident. ingredients it requires grown locally, Tony says consistency of supply is their biggest problem. When asked which products he had found most challenging to develop, Tony lists successfully creating elephant laxatives for “We do not have the capacity to hold 12-months-worth of grains, Taronga Zoo inhabitants, quail-flavoured rehabilitation powder which means we buy in a B-double load of product as needed, and for hunting falcons and designing extruded food for bearded find loads vary somewhat. The pet industry is remarkably demanding dragons as some of his most satisfying moments. of product, any change in colour, consistency or aroma of our feeds will incite a barrage of complaints. It is really hard to convince the “Formulating a food for newly hatched baby parrots was also consumer that although the colour of a feed mix may be slightly much more difficult than we thought, and a suitable food for pet different to a previous batch, it is still nutritionally ‘spot on’. Although ferrets that didn’t cause diarrhoea was not easy to manufacture,” every load is tested and formulas adjusted if necessary, it is the Tony says. slight variance in colour that gives us the most grief!” “But I have never had a job – I just do things that are fun and get paid for it!” SPREADING THEIR WINGS Today Vetafarm sells their products in Australia primarily to large distributors. These companies then move the products through the pet industry and veterinarians to the pet owner. Vetafarm also supplies products worldwide via an extensive network of distributors and resellers. “Our largest overseas clients are in the Middle East (hunting falcon product), Japan (extruded bird feed) and USA (small bird medicine),” Tony says. “But we have a large number of clients in many countries where we deliver product designed for their particular circumstances. These include singing bird pellets for Singapore, pigeon racing product for Indonesia and camel racing supplements to Dubai.” CHALLENGING TIMES According to Tony, compliance with government regulation would be the number one challenge for his business. “Because we manufacture veterinary medicines, we have a constant battle to satisfy ever increasing, ever more demanding government regulation,” Tony comments. “When 20 per cent of your workforce is taken up full-time with compliance issues, there is no room for error. The compliance costs are also crippling. “The high Australian Dollar also makes exporting very difficult, not only by increasing our product prices for overseas clients, but also because it encourages products in competition to ours to be imported.
Vetafarm sources all grain, meat & fibre ingredients locally where possible & keeps exotic animals in the Wagga shopfront to sample products
Team Delta – Daryl Gehrig, John Fox, Kevin Holt & David Corcoran
They came, they saw, they conquered… Team Delta cycles all in the name of cancer research Article | Rosie O’Keeffe
Daryl Gehrig with two of his sons Charlie & Elliot who surprised him at the finish line
The four of us liked the challenge and after all being affected by cancer in some way, we thought we would like to help make a difference. Kevin Holt, participant in the Ride to Conquer Cancer
Cyclists gather for the Ride to Conquer Cancer fundraiser in Sydney
ot even rough steep roads and Sydney traffic could stop Team Delta from completing a gruelling two-day 200km bike ride to raise funds as part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer event in October.
“At times it was very emotional, when we were at camp and you see so many people gathered together it really hits home how many are affected by cancer. Everyone was there for a reason and with their own story.”
In succeeding in their mission, Daryl Gehrig, John Fox, Kevin Holt and David Corcoran raised a staggering $16,500 between them to go towards research at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s cancer treatment facility – the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
David Corcoran added “The ride was amazing. It was well organised, and tough, but it was a huge satisfaction to cross the line at Homebush all in a line as one. We were not Cathy Freeman but for a moment it felt as good.”
The four men were overwhelmed and appreciative of the sponsorship and donations received from across the Delta branches, family, friends, suppliers, other businesses and the wider local community, to support them in their quest. Through this generosity they well exceeded their initial fundraising goal.
None of the members of Team Delta had taken part in such a ride before and admitted that whilst they succeeded in completing this challenge, they perhaps could have benefitted with even more preparation.
“The four of us liked the challenge and after all being affected by cancer in some way, we thought we would like to help make a difference,” Kevin Holt explained the reasons behind forming a team for the event, which saw more than 1600 riders of all ages take part and a total of $5.7 million was raised. As a cancer survivor, Daryl Gehrig said he relished the opportunity to be able to participate in the event and is thankful he is capable of undertaking the ride. “With 1 in 2 Australians diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, it is the second leading cause of Australian deaths and affects almost 20 per cent of the population. That’s why I was riding, to do something BIG about cancer,” he added. Team Delta said at times the journey was a challenge; however they spurred each other on, motivated by their personal reasons of enduring the ride and the benefits their participation would have for others touched by cancer in some way. “The atmosphere was the best part. It’s amazing what happens when you get 1600 strangers together to fight for a common cause. There were cancer survivors taking part who were identified by a flag on their bike and they were exceptionally strong to be able to complete the ride. There was also a guy with a hand pedal bike who would have done it tougher than anyone!” Kevin recalled.
“The training varied between us. Some of us ride together every week and others only just started in the lead up to the event…” they said. “(As part of the ride) we travelled on highways, bike tracks, back roads, and in the middle of the Sydney traffic. We found the hot-mix surface great to ride on, it’s very smooth. There were some very steep hills and long, slow climbs, and also some quick sections as well. The ride included stops about 30km apart with food and drinks to keep you going. The volunteers who attended these stops did an amazing job and made the ride even better.” Team Delta revealed they are not ready to hang up their helmets yet, with each member now enthusiastically riding at least once a week, and apparently there’s a long list of friends who want to join in the next challenge – so we’ll all stay tuned! But for now, despite a humorous little mishap along the way when as the lead rider of about 100 other cyclists stopped at a busy Sydney intersection, John Fox fell off his bike trying to clip his shoes into his pedals; he is the one with the final word: “In regard to emotional and inspirational circumstances in my lifetime, it is certainly in the top 5! It was a fantastic experience to share with three terrific fellas, and a memory I cherish. As they say, ‘this one went straight to the pool room’!”
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ON THE RAIL WITH Kim “Spanner” Pattison
Questions I Rosie O’Keeffe
Photography I Shanna Rowlands
Delta Ag sales manager, Burren Junction
believe you were born, raised and lived in Narrabri for 44 years, what do you think has attracted you to stay in the region? My wife… I worked in the area for 35 years with GrainCorp. I met my wife, a local girl who worked for me during harvest in 1998. We married in 2000 and settled in the area. I enjoy the serenity and open space living out of town, and close to the river to sneak down for a fish every now and again. Having spent more than three decades with GrainCorp, tell us about the roles you had with the company over the years… I started in 1975 as a labourer and progressed to running a silo as site manager. I dealt with and worked in all areas of running a wheat silo – grain sampling, weighbridge, loader driver, out railing, staffing… I worked in many of the region’s silos, Narrabri, Bellata, Merah North, Cryon, Merrywinebone, Walgett and of course mainly at Burren Junction. I was the manager here (Burren Junction) for eight years until I moved across to the merchandise side – AG Plus. I stayed with AG Plus for five years until they closed, and was offered my current position as sales manager with Delta when they took over in April 2010. There would have been no doubt a lot of progression in the industry, tell us about major evolvements you have noticed. There have been a lot of changes over the years with machinery, no till farming and developments in OH&S which has been fairly significant. The length of time it takes to do anything these days is shorter. The harvest which we’ve just had is being completed in a matter of weeks – three weeks the bulk of it – whereas when I first started it was always three months or longer. The different OH&S rules that have been implemented have made things safer. The massive size of the headers they use these days and updates to 30
handling and storage has meant that now 50t are being brought in legally and unloading 400 to 600t an hour, whereas years ago you would get trucks coming in and they’d only be carrying 8 to 10t of wheat each truck. You touched on it earlier, but I believe you met your wife Jane through working with GrainCorp. Tell us about how you met and your family today. I employed Jane as a weighbridge clerk for harvest and she started turning up bringing in cakes… Things just progressed from there and I got to know her and the rest is history. We’ve got two boys, 13-year-old Tom who attends high school at Wee Waa, and Harry, 11, goes to school here in Burren Junction. They both enjoy and play lots of sport and of course fishing. Tell us about your role with Delta Ag. I work as sales manager. It’s all about relationship building and listening to what the growers want and need, I have known a lot of the growers for a long time through GrainCorp, and socially – which helps. It also helps to know the area and what is being farmed and grazed here. It’s rewarding being able to socialise with the growers in a small town like Burren Junction. What is the community of Burren Junction like, and what farming industries are there in the region? Burren Junction itself is only a small town. It’s got the RSL/ sporting club, a hotel, primary school, a post office (which only operates two half days each week). There is mainly broadacre farming in the surrounding area nowadays. There is some irrigated farming with cotton – not as much as the Wee Waa area. Years ago it used to be mainly grazing with a lot of sheep and cattle in the district, but now while there is still quite a few there is nowhere near the number there used to be. Cattle are still strong but the five-year drought we had, meant a lot of farmers and graziers sold a lot of their stock and didn’t re-stock.
I believe you are a very keen fisherman. Tell us about your favourite spots and how often you escape… Not as often these days, before I was married (laughs). I used to go for overnight trips and sometimes I’d go for a week out past Walgett and I used to love fishing up in Queensland, but these days it’s just a day and sometimes a night here and there camping with the family. The Namoi River is only 20km from where we are so we go down there. The boys love it, they love their fishing… I definitely don’t do it as much as I’d like to, but when you have weekends filled with kids’ sport and an hour and 20 minutes travel to get there, you don’t get as much time to do anything else. What’s been the most memorable moment you’ve had, or biggest fish you have caught? I went up to Queensland, back in 1986, with a family friend who was the same age as my parents and lived behind us in Narrabri, (Sammy Hardman) he was a mad fisherman… We went up there for three nights and on the second night there we caught an 84-pound Murray Cod in about 3-foot of water which was crazy. It was hard work getting him in the boat but after about 10 to 15 minutes of struggling we managed to get it in there. I’ve caught numerous big fish over the years, many tales to tell.
194 years in agribusiness banking.
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As Australia’s First Bank, we’ve backed Australian agribusiness for almost 200 years – weathering floods, droughts and recessions together with our customers. We know how to help you take care of everything from everyday
banking and insurance to wealth management. We got caught once, I went fishing with a few mates for a week and we were there the first night and it started to rain, To find out more, call Harold Bolitho, Senior Agribusiness we just decided to stay the night, but by the next morning Manager for the Riverina on 0427 244 398. it was raining even heavier, and it rained and rained… We bogged all three of the four-wheel-drives we had, so we sat Australia’s First Bank for Agribusiness. there underneath a piece of tarp for another two days until we © 2011 Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714. decided that the river was rising too quickly. We started the WRA0302_PRO walk to a farm, about 4 miles for help. The farmer came down in his tractor and tried to tow us out and we got the tractor bogged too! We then walked about 6 miles to the highway WRA0302_AGRI_PRESS_Prospect_135x95.indd 1 8/12/11 2:50:40 PM and rang some friends from Narrabri to come and pick us up DO YOU HAVE AN on the bitumen. We eventually got back about three weeks later to pick up our vehicles and all our gear - it wasn’t very ONLINE PRESENCE? pleasant.
S E T I S B E W S E T I S B E W S E T I S B E W WEBSITES S E T I S B E W S E ARE YOU READY FOR THE NBN? T I S B E W S E T I S B E DON’T WAIT... GET PREPARED NOW W WEBSITES S E T I S B STATIC S E SITEW S E T I S B E W S E T I S B E W S E T I S B F R O E M $ 1 W 950 E T I S B E W WEBSITES E T I S B E W S E T I S B E W E T I S B E W WEBSITES E T I S B E W S E T I S B E W E T I S B E W EBSITES
But there are numerous fishing tales. I could go on forever…
And lastly, I have to ask… how did your nickname “Spanner” come about? It came from Sammy (the family friend I caught the Cod with). There was never a fence between our yard and his yard. He told me I used to pinch the spanners out of his toolbox and go two doors up to where my uncle lived and smash the headlights of his car with the spanners… Thank god he was a panel beater. So that’s how I got the nickname Spanner and it’s stuck. I was only about two or three years old they said. Everyone knows me as Spanner now. I rarely get called Kim except from Mum… If you ask someone that has known me for years, and asked what my name is, there is a chance they don’t know it is Kim!
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Delta Agronomy and Farm Consultancy team ready to assist farmers for the 2013 season
Hope for strong domestic and export markets
James Ingrey, LFR Grenfell Agronomist/Consultant
Andrew Adams, Livestock Sales, Delta Ag Cootamundra
t goes without saying that agricultural production is a continually evolving process, with every season presenting new exciting and challenging developments in technology, marketing, cultural practices, pesticides and machinery. Additionally, with the vagaries of agriculture, each year we are presented with a different set of challenges that we must all recognise, analyse and respond to in a timely manner. The Delta/LFR farm consultancy team comprises a total of 20 advisors across the network with around 350 years of combined agricultural experience across all facets of agricultural production. Meeting on a regular basis, the group is able to consistently share experiences and observations across the entire advisory team which can then be passed onto our clients for application in their farming programs in an accurate and timely manner. These advisory meetings which take place every six weeks throughout the year enable the group to focus on each advisorâ€™s area of expertise and allow for the dissemination of relevant and accurate information throughout the network of consultants. In an endeavour to keep abreast of the rapidly changing landscape in which we are operating, as well as the seasonal influences we are consistently faced with, the Delta Agribusiness Group commits significant resources to enable the advisory team to continually undergo professional development programs on an ongoing basis. In the last 12 months the group has undergone training in a number of fields including communication and extension, farm business analysis, planning, whole farm budgeting, and cereal disease management, just to name a few. Additionally, one member of the consultancy group was one of only 8 advisors from the GRDC Southern Region selected to undertake the GRDC Adoption and Extension program in 2012. This small example of training which has been undertaken by the group covers a diverse range of areas of expertise. This is a clear reflection of the significance of the role of the advisor in the farming process. Be it explaining a complex or sensitive concept, analysing a new business proposal, identifying and managing a pest or disease or determining a total farm nutritional program, your Delta/LFR advisor must not only have a clear understanding of each of these concepts, they must also have the ability to successfully communicate this information with their client. The Delta Group considers a focused and consistent professional development policy an essential component of ensuring the quality and relevance of information utilised by the advisory group. The challenge faced by agriculture in regards to the shortage of graduates being available for advisory services is well recognised, and it is through the level of professional development that the advisory team is continually keeping abreast of all aspects of the agricultural production process and the way by which it is disseminated to the clients, in a timely and efficient manner. With the fate of government-based advisory services now having some clarity, this strong developmental focus is even more pertinent and will have an increased bearing as this situation unfolds further. 32
enning this during silly season gives no predictability as to how things are shaping up in the New Year, but we will attempt to make some sense of what may lie ahead.
Farmers in our area had a dream run with harvest and have now probably utilised most of their clean stubbles, and are looking at feed/sale options for all their excess livestock and feeding their breeding stock to enable ewes especially, to be successfully joined in the near future. After a winter and spring that were relatively dry, we have faced a summer with limited feed. Although grain is more expensive than in the recent past, stock owners may need to feed their animals for some time yet, to capitalise on what we hope may be a return to a stronger lamb and sheep market. The market for lamb and sheep seems to have bottomed out recently, but the cattle market is on a bit of a slide at this point. We have had two and a half very good feed years since Christmas 2009, and this has kept supply and hence prices relatively stable until this recent dry (with the exception of lambs in the autumn - another story!). If we ignore the uncertainty of global finance and credit markets, our lamb and sheep market could improve a little going into autumn, especially good shorn heavy trade and export weight lambs. We believe this coming autumn will not recycle as many spring lambs as last year and so as we go into winter, lamb prices may be on the up. We must remember though that the good recent seasons has meant higher lambing percentages and so has increased supply a little. In my opinion the cattle market has been very consistent for a lot longer than I would have foreseen (given the strength of the $A)â€Ś It seems to have defied great pressures from our overvalued dollar, and may have to do so for quite a lot longer yet. Economically things look okay in Australia at the moment compared to the rest of the world, but we too will find problems going forward. The greatest of these could be the much larger, more powerful economies fighting to keep their own currencies low and competitive, hence keeping ours artificially high. In a world with less disposable income and us with a high dollar, we could be living with uncertain markets for some time. Our job though remains clear; we must keep ourselves relevant in these times by helping our clients with the right advice to assist them in their endeavours to reduce the cost of their production, hence driving their profitability, and offering them clear and decisive marketing options. All things being equal, and the season remaining good, a return to stronger lamb and mutton markets and the continuing of a reasonably stable cattle market are real possibilities for the foreseeable future. Many parts of the world enjoy our red meat products as much as we do, so hopefully maintaining strong domestic and export markets is not beyond our capabilities.
Graham Martin-Dye, Delta Grain Marketing
Dr Paul Cusack (BSc. BVSc.(hons) MVSt. MACVSc. PhD) Australian Livestock Production Services
Marketing tips for post-harvest
Exploring the benefits of grazing livestock early on stubble paddocks
hen I made the move from the city to the bush a couple years ago I was a little unsure as to how I would fit into country life socially. Although I had been visiting Harden and the Young region for the past 10 years I had never lived and worked there so it was somewhat a tad daunting. Once Delta gave me the opportunity to work as a grain marketer, and I settled into a house, I knew I had made the right choice. Not only has Delta welcomed me, but growers themselves have accepted me, which makes it extremely rewarding when working hard for the farmer and trying to achieve the best result. I had been working in various sales and marketing roles for the last 15 years, but grain marketing is quite unique in that there are so many variables influencing the price of grain such as foreign markets, weather, and supply and demand. The most common thing that is similar to all other marketing roles I have worked in is “communication”. As a marketer I have the ability to bring the grower and numerous buyers closer together as well as the opportunity to build strong working relationships built on high service levels and trust. As marketers we have the ability of keeping tabs on the daily prices which can spike or fall at any time. This is where some of Delta’s services really help the growers to capture the best result on the day. Another harvest has now come and gone, and producers have stored grain on-farm or in warehouse, so here are some marketing tips to consider when deciding what to do post-harvest: • Set Target Price Orders – now harvest has finished you probably have many other jobs to move on to, or you may be planning to take some time out. Set realistic Target Price Orders for any of your grain in warehouse with your Delta grain marketer. Buyers have a tendency to increase their prices at moments when you would least expect it so Delta can book your parcel in before the bid is missed enabling you to capture optimum pricing opportunities. Delta also has the ability to bulk up tonnes and offer firm to the buyers over their bid. • Deferred payment - buyers are aware that some growers like to spread their payments for tax purposes or to spread their cash flow throughout the year. Some buyers offer to buy your grain at today’s value and withhold payment until the next financial year plus monthly carry. This also reduces warehousing costs. • Delivered/ex-farm - if you have stored grain on your farm please make sure that you are regularly treating and testing the grain for insects. The onus is on the farmer if the grain is rejected when picked up or delivered to an end user, due to insects. Washout fees and carrier fees are then incurred by the seller which can be a costly exercise. • Next season’s crop - It is a good idea to start thinking about your marketing plan for next year. When deciding whether or not to keep old season grain in case of price spikes, you can always use these pricing opportunities to lock in some of next season’s crop. It is recommended that you only ever commit a small percentage of a conservative yield into next year’s prices, for example 10-20 per cent of a conservative yield. Delta Grain Marketing provides a personalised and individually tailored market service to clients that goes well beyond merely identifying the strong prices in the market each day. An increasing number of grain producers who are seeking a trusted business partner who can guide them with all aspects of marketing are utilising the service benefits that we can provide.
ith harvesting completed, livestock will now be moving into cereal stubble paddocks.
It appears likely that we will have a “conventional” dry summer, and in this case, stock will only grow or maintain weight and condition until they have consumed the more nutrient dense crop residues such as missed heads, spilled grain, and pasture on the borders or inaccessible portions of paddocks. In most cases the better quality residues are consumed within days of the introduction of stock, rather than weeks, and their depletion is easily assessed with a quick drive around the paddock. The remaining stubble is very low in nutrient density which has two effects on rumen fermentation. Firstly, the fibrous nature of dry residues increases the time they reside in the rumen necessary for the rumen microbes to break them down. Secondly, they provide less energy and protein/nitrogen to feed the rumen microbe population. Together, this results in slower passage and therefore lower intake of feed already low in energy and protein, which obviously results in the ruminant being unable to meet its energy and protein requirements. However, if we provide a modest amount of fuel to the microbes in the form of energy and nitrogen, we increase the rumen populations and their ability to break down fibrous feeds. This in turn leads to higher intake of fibrous feeds and their more rapid passage through the digestive tract with a corresponding improvement in animal production. This is the philosophy behind all dry feed supplements, whether in the form of liquids, blocks, or dry licks. Most liquid and block dry feed supplements are composed of urea-molasses, although some by-products such as corn steep liquor will perform the same function. With urea molasses mixes I have routinely measured growth rates of 0.6 to 0.7 kg/hd/d in weaner cattle on stubble or dry pastures, but only with a 10 per cent urea mix and this can only be fed through licker drums to prevent deaths due to urea poisoning. Most dry licks are based on protein meals with or without urea. The bulk of the effect with these is from the rumen degradable component of the meal and the urea, but they frequently provide inadequate energy to match the nitrogen supply for optimum rumen efficiency. Remember that mature phalaris is not much higher in energy and protein than straw, so the same principles of supplying energy and nitrogen to the rumen microbes to drive intake of stubbles and maintain production also apply to dry phalaris and other grasses such as fescue. The following table (over page) shows that stubble and phalaris are clearly inadequate to maintain production, but also that the inclusion of a legume in the understory can perform the same function as a dry feed supplement. Dried clover maintains much of its energy and protein (standing hay) until rain, when it rapidly deteriorates. Similarly, senesced grasses and stubble decrease in energy, protein and palatability when exposed to rain through the action of fungi.
Metabolisable Energy, MJ/kg
Crude Protein, %
Seed treatments, such as Vibrance and Dividend, have been proven to significantly improve seedling emergence, crop establishment and ultimately yields. They protect fine root hairs from disease, enabling the plant to access moisture and nutrients more readily. In turn, this improved vigour helps plants to overcome the effects of other soil-borne pathogens, such as Rhizoctonia. Replicated trials conducted throughout Australia have confirmed that Vibrance delivers a significant yield advantage over untreated crops, even in paddocks that have a low incidence of disease, and a more consistent yield advantage than Dividend. In these trials, Vibrance delivered an average yield advantage of more than 3 per cent when applied at 36 mL/100 kg seed and more than 2 per cent when applied at 180 mL/100kg seed compared to untreated crops in the absence of known disease. Other trials have confirmed Vibrance is an important tool in an integrated approach to managing Rhizoctonia. In one replicated trial conducted in a paddock severely affected by Rhizoctonia, plots sown with seed treated with Vibrance had lower severity of disease and had a 6.4 per cent yield advantage in barley and 6.3 per cent yield advantage in wheat compared to untreated seed.
Kevin Holt, Delta Ag Procurement Manager
New seed treatments on the horizon
rowers will reap the rewards from Syngenta’s new innovative seed treatments which are set to deliver significant yield benefits.
Vibrance and Cruiser Opti are the result of six years’ of research and development, according to Territory Head Australia and New Zealand Paul Luxton. Vibrance builds on the performance of Syngenta’s benchmarksetting Dividend, with a new active ingredient to provide protection for cereal crops against Pythium root rot, Rhizoctonia, smuts, bunts and seed-borne blotches. Vibrance combines three active ingredients to protect the root hairs from the yield robbing effects of these common soil diseases. “The end result is improved crop emergence and root development, leading to improved yields,” Paul said.
Vibrance is registered for the control of Pythium and a wide range of smuts and bunts in wheat, triticale, barley and oats when applied at 180 mL per 100kg of seed. It is also registered for the suppression of Rhizoctonia in wheat, triticale, barley and oats when applied at 360 mL per 100kg of seed. Vibrance is compatible with Cruiser Opti and Emerge for complete management of fungal disease and insect pests during the crop establishment stage. These treatments can easily be applied on-farm, giving growers the flexibility to select and treat the most appropriate seed variety just before sowing.
Cruiser Opti is the first ever seed treatment to protect against the three key pests in canola and cereal crops – red legged earth mites, lucerne flea and aphids. With two modes of action for control of synthetic pyrethroid (SP)-resistant strains, Cruiser Opti delivers significant yield benefits. “It’s not until you see the cutting edge research and development in action that you can fully appreciate the effort it takes to bring products such as Vibrance and Cruiser Opti to market,” Paul, who recently visited Syngenta’s largest research and development centre near Stein in Switzerland, comments. Stein’s glasshouse facilities allow scientists to simulate a wide range of climatic conditions – such as rainfall – for growing a selection of crops. Crop protection molecules showing promising activity then undergo intensive global field testing.
New seed treatments help growers budget in advance against soil disease and pests.
“As a company, we aim to think like a grower, and that means finding solutions to potential issues right from the crop establishment phase. It’s exciting seeing our research and development come to fruition with products such as Vibrance and Cruiser Opti that make a real difference to growers by protecting their crops right from the start of their lifecycle.” Vibrance is a new generation seed treatment that lifts the bar even further in providing “all in one” protection against the most economically important seed-borne and soil-borne diseases in cereal crops. 34
Territory head Australia and New Zealand Paul Luxton.
Prospect|Techno Talk Sean Sampson
Licensee Telstra stores Young, Parkes and Macquarie Street, Dubbo
To 4G or not to 4G
have been overhearing customers talking to staff in our Telstra shops saying they don’t want a 4G mobile phone as they don’t have 4G coverage where they live or work. 4G is the latest technology for high speed mobile devices and Telstra has rolled this out to the capital cities and some major regional centres along with heavy advertising which may be where the confusion arises.
Firstly, some background: G means generation and the phone companies use the “G” to market the latest technology roll outs. The first mobiles from the 1980s are deemed to be 1G – first generation and were analogue. 2G came about with Digital and CDMA with enhance capabilities such as SMS and some data. The next big leap was 3G – where early broadband speeds became available and allowed for video calling between mobiles. Telstra launched NEXT G – which is the marketing term for their national mobile network that is deemed to be 3.5G – this has a dramatically higher speed for internet applications with the latest HSDPA+ devices capable of a real world 15 megabits per second. All these networks also carry voice traffic. And now, we have 4G – which is also part of the NEXT G network – and it raises the bar for speed even further with real world download speeds of between 20 and 40 megabits per second and the network is data only at this stage with reduced congestion. However 4G is not available from every Next G tower – it’s in the CBD of the capital cities and some regional areas such as Dubbo, which means country mobile phone users are concerned that 4G mobile phones won’t give the coverage they are currently getting with their existing 3.5G Next G handset.
Samsung Galaxy III 4G
So should you go 4G? Most definitely. All the Telstra 4G handsets – like the excellent HTC One and Samsung Galaxy III 4G are what is called dual mode 4G/3.5G and therefore use the best available service at the time based on your location. Regardless of 4G and 3.5G the phones still use 3.5G for voice calls and will use 3.5G for data if 4G is not available. Buying a 4G phone is future proofing your investment (for a little bit longer) as the 4G network is expanded. And if you travel to the cities or major regional centres you will benefit from the speed of 4G when accessing the internet from your handset. In summary, any Telstra 4G handset will work as a 3.5G Next G handset for voice calls, but if you have any concerns we recommend contacting one of our stores for your purchase, where our staff have experience and can give feedback about coverage and devices suitable for regional and rural areas including Young, Parkes and Dubbo. Ph: (02) 6382 6482 or email email@example.com
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Around the Traps Quad Bike Promotional Draw Burren Junction 14 December 2012 Photography: Ruth Caskey
Kim Pattison, Bruce Oâ€™Hara, Hadley Sevil, Ash Carolan & Skye Back
Kate Slack-Smith, Felicity Carolan & Genevieve Sendall
John Harris with his young son Jock & Dale Smith
Peter Holcombe, Cameron Holcombe & James Gardner
Richard Slack-Smith, Murray Holcombe, Heather Simshauser & Erica Shorter
Beau Brummell, Gabrielle Donald, Belinda Hindle, Carol Mayoh, Tim Cameron & Peta Cameron
Richard Marshall & Mick Marshall
Eli White, Liz Holcombe, Annie & Michael McMahon, & Sam Powell
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Charlie Constable, Roger Sendall & Rodney Slack-Smith
On the Radar 12 March
Grain Gain On-Farm Condobolin Grain Gain courses provide cutting edge information about wheat variety performance, market opportunities, GM future: drought and frost tolerant variety in the pipeline. Growers will learn how wheat varieties have performed locally, regionally and nationally, how to maximise returns by managing grain quality, know which markets are best to target and they will have the opportunity to talk to leading researchers about future possibilities. www.graingrowers.com.au
Local Grain Farmer Forum Junee and Lockhart GrainGrowers invites local grain producers to join them for a free information session to discuss key local issues, receive an update on GrainGrowers latest news, current activities and strategic priorities including a review of the results of the GrainGrowers national Wheat Quality and Variety Report. In addition, GrainGrowers will provide an update on the development and outcomes of the National Farmersâ€™ Federation (NFF) Grains Policy Council. www.graingrowers.com.au
GRDC Farm Business Update for Growers Lockhart A broad range of topics will be presented such as managing the modern Australian grain farm, making effective business decisions, transitions in farming businesses, the future of grain marketing and investing in Australian agriculture. www.orm.com.au
Murray Grey National Show and Sale 2013 Wodonga The 2013 Murray Grey National Show and Sale is the 47th annual event which shows commercial and stud cattle breeders a wide range of breed genetics. www.murraygrey.com.au
Quad Bike Handling PROfarm course Trangie A course for those wanting to develop their skills in the safe use of four-wheel motorbikes. The course will assist participants to safely and effectively operate four-wheeled motorbikes and to carry out routine checks and maintenance. www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
Weed Movement â€“ Machinery Inspection and Cleaning PROfarm course Narrabri The workshop has been developed to increase the awareness of how weeds and other pests can spread through contaminated machinery and what can be done to reduce the risks of this occurring. www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
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For further information please call the Syngenta Technical Product Advice Line on 1800 067 108 or visit our website at www.syngenta.com.au. The information contained in this brochure is believed to be accurate. No responsibility is accepted in respect of this information, save those non-excludable conditions implied by any Federal or State legislation or law of a Territory. 速 Registered trademark of a Syngenta Group Company. *Trademark. Cruiser Opti, Vibrance, Cogito and Moddus Evo are not currently registered. Registration is pending from the APVMA. AD12/522