Gooden Boys!

Gooden Boys!

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Dave Gooden Nuffield scholar 2010, with his two brothers and father just fixing the combine as it had rained between 10mm and 25mm depending which part of the farm. The Goodens are practising a controlled traffic farming on a 13.6 metre system, no till system, growing wheat barley and canola. Depending on the season due to droughts they will bale the land for hay which will enable them to cover costs in a drought year. Dave took me to a neighbours property who had built his own mobile water mixing station. Spraying at 30 lts/ha he was doing 500 ha a load. Only two tank fulls a day. We visited Delta Ag which was a supply business to farmers for variable products. Warwick one of the agronomists showed me the seed and fertiliser area and the chemical shed. It was interesting to see the same chemical like Atlantis but half the price!
Combining had come to a stop due to the rain so a good old knees up in Lockhart at the commercial hotel with a number of local farmers and there families including 4 nuffield scholars together. Julian who helped us at harvest was working on one nuffield scholars farm Brent Alexander thanks to Jim Geltch was supporting a rather porn star moustache for Mowember. I have photo evidence for his father back home on the hunting field. Dave and Heidi looked after me with the help of Isac (jr). I’m extremely grateful for there kindness and that it rained so dave and i could have a look around. Dave was naughty he got up early to wash my hire car and fill it with fuel he was concerned it looked like a 4WD, and there might be a clause to suggest that it wasn’t allowed down farmers tracks and through grass hopper swarms which where currently sticking out of the radiator.

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Trucking in OZ.

Trucking in OZ.

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I spent the day with David Cooks a entrepreneur near shepparton, where he was doing controlled traffic farming on a 9 metre system and 3.1 metre wheel track. He had successfully joined forces with a neighbour to increase there acreage and to be able to adopt new technologies. They had imported a cross slot seeder from New Zealand and was becoming one of two importers for cross slot in Australia. He took me to a paddock to show me the drills capabilities of drilling into a mass of grass without blocking. A local contractor was also employed to swath the Beans and Canola which i had a ride around with and learned how he had built his own sprayer to follow the swather and using John Deere technology not launched in the UK yet was controlling the sprayer outfit. I also learnt about sealed silos and controlling insects in temperatures 10C +.
The beast of a lorry was on Alastair Starritt’s farm which i drove carting oil seed rape from the paddock to the silos. I’m sure the boys back home would like one of these. Alastair was Combining through the night so i finally got more than 5 hours sleep. As i sat here typing this blog a random sheep was trotting around the garden which has been hiding in the undergrowth was doing its best to avoid capture from Malcolm Starritt. I thank Alastair and Beau for letting me stay and showing me around there enterprise.

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Travel light

Travel light

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Im having differculties getting my luggage around the world, excessive baggage is costing a fortune.

This was in the Tuppal wool shed which had 72 stands for shearing built in a T shape in 1901. First part of the shed was constructed in 1864. One of the largest shearing outfits in the east. The building was built by hand and was in wonderful order. The shed was the site for the famous australian painting by Tom Roberts, “Shearing the Rams”. I’m grateful to the Atkinson Family and Bernard Packer for allowing me to look around.

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Rice Seeding

Rice Seeding

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Brad Stillard took me to see pure controlled traffic farming by air. GPS controlled, applying Rice over the flooded bays. It only took 15 minutes to empty and need a refill which took place on site with a mobile fuel tanker and batch rice loader in one, as seen in the photo. Brad specialises in subsurface drip irrigation on his tomatoes. Combinable crops and an Aberdeen Angus herd. Whilst at the sheds he caught a brown snake which as he showed me it was in the top 8 most poisonous, I’m pleased not to have been bitten. I thank Brad and Jan for looking after me and organising the aerial seeding and the next days tour.

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Controlled traffic Engineer

Controlled traffic Engineer

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I went to see Trevor Postlethwaite who has been practicing Controlled traffic farming for 18 years, and with GPS controlled for 8 years. Trevor showed me his weed wiper, shielded sprayer and seed cleaner in a combat to weed management as they havent been burning rows for a number of years. Trevor had built on his chaser bin an extension to allow 12 metre tracking, which would develop and allow a solution to my own business. It was good to see how difficulties with adopting a controlled traffic farming had been overcome by manufacturing and developing GPS controls. I was grateful for the time he took on a sunday to show me around and hope to catch up with his brother who does GPS controls another day.
Jim and Helen Geltch kindly put me up and it was good to see both of them again since the scholars contemporay conference. Im extremely grateful for the support and contacts Jim has offered since my arrival in Australia. I wish them luck with the tomatoes.

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EX Pat Nuffield

EX Pat Nuffield

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I’ve found the lost Nuffield who on her travels loved australia never went back to the welsh hills of Pembrokeshire. Some say Nuffield changes your life. Im on the Smart Group Farming enterprise with three nuffields and a potential fourth in the wings. Enjoying a beer i had a fright when a Kangaroo came to join me. Little did i know when moving faster than seen in ten years that it was a tame pet, interested in beer and snacks i moved to safer quarters. Brendon offered me a ride in his plane to adeliade but my travel sickness had the better of me. I learnt about Quality Management which was a new diverse way to manage and incourage staff. The Canola harvest was underway i was driving a combine but sadly the reverse on the header wasn’t working so i blocked the front up which made me sweat.

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