Farm scheme grows va­ri­ety of each crop

Narrogin Observer - - Observer News -

Ex­pand­ing the oper­a­tion has meant sim­pli­fy­ing the pro­gram at a Great South­ern farm now grow­ing one va­ri­ety of each crop for the first time in years.

Dur­ing the last 12 months, the Las­so­gowrie Farms scheme — which in­cludes wheat, bar­ley, canola, lupins, oats and Merino sheep — has ex­panded its foot­print at Gnowangerup.

It now in­cludes 3100ha at Cran­brook and 4559ha at Gnowangerup, 1800ha of which was leased for the first time this year.

Crop­ping man­ager Aaron Dupe said for the next three weeks, staff would be ro­tat­ing through ros­ters to make sure the seeder was whirring 24-hours a day.

“At the mo­ment we are fo­cus­ing on crop­ping, we have put in all the lupins and canola,” he said.

“Be­cause we have taken on the leased prop­erty, we de­cided to just stick with one va­ri­ety of each crop, pick­ing the ones that work well.

“We have tried a few dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties over the years in­clud­ing RR and RT canola but we are happy with the va­ri­eties we are grow­ing now.”

A quest for im­proved ef­fi­ciency means the farm is grow­ing lupins for the first time to feed the Cran­brook prop­erty’s 12,000 head of Merino sheep.

Its crop­ping pro­gram com­prises Granger bar­ley (1290ha), Bonito canola (1660ha), mace wheat (2132ha), Car­rolup oats (122ha), and Gun­yidi lupins (301ha).

Across the two prop­er­ties are four work­ers: Kelvin War­ren, who works in crop­ping, live­stock man­ager Adam Jones and all-rounder Trevor War­ren.

The farm also em­ploys ca­sual trac­tor driv­ers as needed.

Seed­ing started the week be­fore Easter and will wrap up in about three weeks. Rain­fall at Gnowangerup and Cran­brook last week meant the Las­so­gowrie farm­ers were some of many who breathed a sigh of re­lief.

Mr Dupe said con­fi­dence had picked up af­ter the prop­er­ties re­ceived about 19mm through a se­ries of 6-10mm rain­fall events.

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