Farming In Focus - Spring 2022

SUCCEEDING IN DIFFICULT TIMES, GRAIN ONLY FARMING Large areas of the central west of NSW have certainly had some challenging seasonal conditions to contend with. The persistent rainfall has some zones completely saturated or totally inundated. This is a cruel blow to many grain growers and can often be a source of frustration. Other grain growers in more favourable districts are relishing the prospect of entering spring with substantial soil moisture reserves and excellent potential yields. Working with a long-term client group allows good benchmarking data, including production figures and profit margins to be analysed with the top growers identified in different seasonal conditions and production years. It is remarkable how consistent some producers are and their capacity to drive performance in nearly all circumstances. So, what sets these growers apart from their peers?


• Exceptional business, management and logistics skill base. This is largely found within the organisation’s ownership team or outsourced to hired labour or contractors. • Strong financial, budgeting, capital acquisition and marketing abilities. • A focus on long-term profitability and sustainability. This sounds very cliché, but good operators follow clear goals. • Meticulous planning and rotational sequencing. This includes reviewing new varieties and crop options to incorporate into the program. Some flexibility in final crop inclusion is also factored into the initial farm plans. This allows some amendments should the season become problematic. • Well managed procurement processes for farm inputs, machinery and labour. Acquiring goods and services early limits the possibility of supply issues. • A resolute attention to timeliness of farm operations. This is extremely difficult to achieve in a year such as this with consistent rainfall interruptions and paddocks that are at times too

A paddock that received a SpeedTiller ® working prior to sowing. This was to incorporate lime in low pH areas and to level machinery tracks (Header and Chaser bin) from the 2021 wet harvest. wet to traffic. The best growers still find a way! These growers have strong relationships with aerial contractors or other providers to maximise hectares covered when the weather permits. Agronomic recommendations are nearly always generated and are implemented within a desired timeframe. • Efficient property layout with excellent all- weather roads. • Well maintained machinery with a strong emphasis on productivity parameters such as tram track utilisation. • Land portfolios with geographical spread. This generally provides the entity some diversification in topography and soil types, inherently affording some production insurance when the weather is unfavourable.

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