Farmer in Focus: Dylan Moon

Janine Batters

BCG recently chased down Pyramid Hill farmer, Dylan Moon.

Can you give us a bit of background on yourself and your farm? 

I grew up on our farm at Pyramid Hill which is predominately clay loam. We grow 50 percent cereals, 25 percent wheat, 25 percent barley and then the other 50 percent is a split of canola, faba beans and vetch (my brother Ash also put some peas in this year thinking we would have a dry year). We also run some crossbreds on about 20 percent of our ground. 

Our farm is set up a bit differently. I always knew I wanted to farm but there wasn’t room for me with Dad and my brother Ash and his wife Emma already on the land. So, I decided to undertake a diesel mechanic apprenticeship in Serpentine. While still working as a mechanic an opportunity to share farm some land came up. Dad, Ash and I took the opportunity and that was my first step into farming. Two years ago, I took on some lease ground (a mix of sandy and clay loam) and this year I started farming full time. 

I do work on the main farm, mainly maintaining machinery and I currently use its machinery on my land. We work together at sowing and harvest, I’m the main seeder driver at sowing and do whatever needs doing at harvest, drive the chaser bin, move field bins, fix machinery etc.  

What has been happening on the farm recently? 

My brother has been busy spraying fungicides and broadleafs. I’m learning to spray and have been spraying channels ready for irrigation. We have also been spreading and doing some fencing. Dad and Emma do most of the sheep work.  

I haven’t been doing much lately however as I broke my wrist snowboarding a week or so ago. I haven’t been able to do much on the machines or the boom as it’s only been in a half cast. I’ll get a full cast today.  

What do you think are some of the challenges in the industry at the moment? 

Obviously input and machinery prices but also getting fertiliser at the moment. Land prices and interest rates are also a challenge, particularly for those of us who are just starting out.  

What are your long-term plans for the farm? 

Eventually I want to buy my own land, get some machinery and assets in my name and live on the land. I’m currently renting a neighbour’s farmhouse, but it’s always been my dream to live on my own farm and work on the land. Long term I’d also like to get into hay.  

What are you doing to drought proof your farm? 

We are basically trying to make as much money now while commodity prices are good, and the weather is kind. Getting into hay is also something that would help our farm not only manage weeds but spread the risk in drier years.  

Having some land on irrigation is also handy in dry years however only for the first couple of years as then water gets too expensive.  

I also still work as a mechanic in Serpentine when I can as this helps with cash flow.  

What is the best advice you’ve been given as a farmer or in life? 

Track your expenses, know where it’s going. That’s what Dad is all about.   

Who do you rely on for advice? 

Joe Fox from Swan Hill is our agronomist, I also bounce ideas off Ash and Dad, and my cousin Matt Moon too.

Interested in reading more farmer profiles? Read BCG’s previous ‘Farmer in Focus’ articles

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