MFMG Study Tour to Esperance WA

6 – 11 August 2017

Felicity Turner – MFMG Project Coordinator

During August, the MacKillop Farm Management Group held its biannual study tour. This year, twelve farmers travelled to Esperance in Western Australia to look at their farming practices, systems and businesses.

The tour was a great success with all participants increasing their knowledge of the region, and identifying future opportunities for their own businesses.

We were extremely fortunate with the farmers who hosted us as they were incredibly open about their businesses and happy to share information for the improvement of the industry. A range of farms were visited varying from corporate farms, to large family farms and some smaller farm businesses. Several of our hosts were Nuffield Scholars who have implemented their findings on their own farms and brought vast knowledge back to their district where it has been shared with, and adopted by neighbours.

With no major feed grain industry locally, harvest efficiency was a key issue that all farms looked to address, and the machinery sheds reflecting that, were a continual highlight to the growers who attended the trip.

Besides the sheds, some of the other highlights included;

– Soil Amelioration in high rainfall areas

– Grain Storage, handling and drying systems

– Use of EID’s in livestock systems

– Grazing crops

– Pasture systems and their use in the crop rotation

– Reclamation of bluegum country

– Development of the pulse industry and local marketing initiatives

(As well as the whale watching and drinks in the most amazing shearing shed bar)

The next MFMG is planned for 2019 and we would encourage anyone thinking about attending to speak to those farmers who have been on study tours in the past. It is a great experience both looking outside your patch and networking with other people within the region.