Next Gens Farm Visit – Mill Farm, Hagley

Owners and operators:  Greg & Sarah Gibson

Presenters at the visit:  Greg Gibson

Property details:
Total area 700 ha over two farms (Hagley & Bishopsbourne) approximately 10 km apart.
Average annual rainfall, 700mm

  • Soils, Cressy loam, Duplex (sandy loam over subsoil clay), some black cracking clay to the surface
    Water resources for irrigation:  total 1,260 ML
    Farm dam storage 600ML, allocations from Meander Dam scheme 350 ML, Cressy Scheme
  • 160ML, Tas Irrigation Bishopsbourne scheme 150ML
  • Linears (4), centre pivots (5), hard Hose irrigators (3)

Labour; Owner plus 2.5 Full Time Equivalents on the farm, 3 FTE on contacting work.

Enterprises:
Irrigated crops, wheat, canola, poppies, peas, green beans, onions (land leased to a grower), potatoes, grass seed, white clover seed, carrot seed.  Most cash crops grown for contracted supply.

Fattening lambs, 8-10,000 per year (some forward contracted), on irrigated & dryland pastures and crop residues and irrigated fodders (including white clover pastures after seed harvest)

Contracting with machinery; drainage works and cultivation

SWOT assessment:
Strengths

  • Diversified enterprises ; good for risk management, but makes management more complex.
  • Good staff
  • Soils, rainfall & climate favourable
  • Water for irrigation reliable and good quality
  • Close to markets and facilities (including expertise (agronomists etc).
  • Good management team – agronomist, bank manager, accountant etc

Weaknesses

  • Owner/manager does not spend enough time in the office (working on the business)
  • Owner/manager – ambition exceeds ability
  • Owner/managed – finds time management difficult
  • Diversity of crops
  • Water-logging of soils

Opportunities

  • Consolidate crops, reduce diversity
  • Marketing – but…
  • New crops
  • Better management of soil health; explore use of bio-fumigants
  • Further automate irrigation; use Variable Rate Irrigation
  • Improve timeliness in cropping operations

Threats

All lambs shipped to Victoria – dependent on shipping

Costs of Production – continual pressure to maintain margins

Labour  – difficult to find and retain people, particularly due to the complexity of the business.  Casuals hard to find.

 

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IFMA

The objective of the International Farm Management Association is to further the knowledge and understanding of farm business management and to exchange ideas and information about farm management theory and practice throughout the world. The IFMA is a non profit-making organisation and currently the Association has members in over 50 countries.

Congress Managers

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Photography Credits

Tourism Tasmania, Barnbougle Dunes, Ray Joyce, Health Holden, Graham Freeman, Joe Shemesh, Glenn Gibson, Hobart City Council, Nick Osborne, National Trust Tasmania, Dale Baldwin, Brian Dullaghan, Rob Burnett, Alistair Bett, Alice Bennett, Wai Nang Poon, Chris Crerar, Kathy Leahy, Flow Mountain Bike, Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service, James Bowden, Masaaki Aihara, Sean Feennessy, Bruce Irwin, Liz Knox