Build­ing health­ier soil

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS - ❏ Ge­orge Smith

CHICK PEA farm­ers started har­vest­ing this week.

And things are look­ing good on Ben Jarvis’s farm with a haul of about 2t per hectare.

The Jarvis fam­ily is one of many farm­ing en­ter­prises in Monto to start har­vest­ing crops for the year.

The fam­ily’s pri­mary busi­ness is pigs but they also grow wheat, chick peas, lucerne and sorghum.

They fin­ished har­vest­ing wheat last week with an an­tic­i­pated haul of 5t per hectare across a 50ha plan­ta­tion.

Mr Jarvis said he was very happy with the har­vest­ing so far and had a pos­i­tive out­look for the sea­son ahead.

He said this year’s round of crops was the first since the soil re­cov­ered from the 2010-2011 floods.

“This is the best har­vest in eight years of run­ning the farm,” Mr Jarvis said.

“Due to chick pea pro­ces­sors be­ing full at the mo­ment, the mar­ket has dropped off but the yield is do­ing well at around 2.2t per hectare.

“We have put a lot of plan­ning into fer­tiliser, ir­ri­ga­tion, weed man­age­ment and crop ro­ta­tion.

“The con­di­tions have also been favourable with a mild win­ter.

“It has been an ex­cep­tional har­vest.

“It is a team ef­fort with our agron­o­mist, fam­ily, staff and the community sup­port of a great town.”

Mr Jarvis is one of a grow­ing num­ber of farm­ers adopt­ing a ho- lis­tic ap­proach to op­er­a­tions.

Stub­ble from har­vest is left to hold soil mois­ture and if any is re­moved it is used as bed­ding for the pig­gery and re­turned as fer­tiliser for the crops.

“It is like bricks and mor­tar on a build­ing,” Mr Jarvis said.

“The stub­ble is like the bricks and the pig com­post is like the mor­tar. It is build­ing healthy soil nat­u­rally.”

Most of their pro­duce is bound for ex­port but the pigs and lucerne are pre­dom­i­nantly for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion.

Photo: Ge­orge Smith

PRIME HAR­VEST: Chris Ab­bott, David Shulz and Ben Jarvis near­ing the end of the wheat har­vest.

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