Farmer in Focus – 2019 wrap from the Wimmera and Mallee

As the year draws to a close, we are looking back over the season with our 2019 Farmers in Focus. In a year of luck and promise, learning and adapting, new experiences, fishing and a baby, find out what our contributors thought.

Describe 2019 in one or two words…

  • Mixed Bag. “Whilst we are having one of the best seasons on record in the Southern Mallee, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that a large portion of the country, particularly NSW and Southern QLD, are suffering crippling drought. Seeing the reports and images coming out of these areas makes me feel very grateful for what we have this season and I hope that 2020 is a fruitful year for all of the country” (Brent Sheahan)
  • “We are lucky to have had good rain and no frosts.” (Dallas Hobbs)
  • “This year we were very fortunate to enjoy rain almost on cue so for us it was a wonderful year. We do understand drought though and are very aware of its current devastation around a lot of Australia.” (Teghan Pearse)
  • Stored water. “Our season would have been very disappointing without it.” (Tim McClelland)
  • “It had the potential to be a successful year from the start, and delivered in the end with some late challenges, with frost and wind at harvest.” (Linc Lehmann)

What was the biggest thing you learned in 2019?

  • “That things never go perfectly to plan, being able to adapt and innovate is a great skill to develop. Some of the challenges farming throws at you, you just can’t be prepared for” (Brent Sheahan)
  • “I don’t know. There are only two times to do anything in farming, early or on time. Better never than late.” (Dallas Hobbs)
  • “‘The more you learn the more you earn!’ This year my husband and I have been very intentional in learning all those ‘one-percenters‘ and believe our bottom line has increased because of the research/education we undertook. But there’s so much more to learn!” (Teghan Pearse)
  • “When you have stored water, your nutrient requirements are likely to be more than you think. Good years are great, but they are more work. Be prepared for many hours on machinery and extra time with livestock.” (Tim McClelland)
  • “The importance of going hard on summer weeds early and not skimping on rates. Marshmallow was a challenge for sure.” (Linc Lehmann)

What was the best moment in 2019, in the paddock or out?

  • “I think the best moment will be when the last paddock is harvested and the last bale comes out.” (Brent Sheahan)
  • “Best moment in the paddock was using a disc seeder for the first time. Out of the paddock probably doing a bit of fishing.” (Dallas Hobbs)
  • “Having a baby was certainly up there.” (Teghan Pearse)
  • “Well it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s not too far away. The end of harvest!” (Linc Lehmann)

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