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