Owners and operators: Greg & Sarah Gibson
Presenters at the visit: Greg Gibson
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.