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At a glance

Who: Kit Leake

What: 3 properties run independently – 9735 ha total, with 8458 arable ha.

Where: Central Wheatbelt in WA (North Kellerberrin, Bruce Rock & Ardath)

Can you tell us about your property?

The core of the home property in North Kellerberrrin “Nanyanine” has been in my family since 1868, and we are the oldest farming family in the district. It is now run by my daughter and son in law. We are leasing the Bruce Rock property “Wandergil” to my other daughter and son in law. I am now leasing the Ardath property “Hooley” to a young neighbour who I help with for seeding and harvest.

All crop with a sustainable rotation with the ph at the ideal range, and we use all information available to make the operation as profitable as possible, but sustainable at the same time. I have just put in my 49th crop.

What first got you thinking about climate change?

Possibly 35 years ago, CSIRO did considerable work on and near “Nanyanine” on flora & fauna, as well as the rising water table etc. One profound thing they told me was that our springs would get hotter and colder which has proved correct. I considered it a fact of changing climate.

How has climate change impacted your farm business?

It hasn’t as we have adapted.

What are some of the climate-smart strategies you’ve been employing and how successful have they been?

We have employed dry sowing, playing the season with inputs, using new varieties incl. GM canola. All very successful.

Do you use renewable energy on your farm? 

One windmill for spray water.

If you could send a message about climate change to the Federal Government what would it be?

Don’t make farmers the scapegoats just because we are at the beginning of the chain, Recognise and reward what we have done in the past eg. top soil improvement, revegetation of unarable areas, tree planting and the fact that we supply export income to Australia and feed the world. Don’t cut off the hand that feeds you.

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