At a glance
Who: Ben Dal Broi
What: Broadcare Irrigation farming
Where: Benerembah, 20km west of Griffith NSW
Can you tell us about your property?
We have a 440ha irrigation farm in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Our main crops are cotton and wheat, though we have also grown sunflowers, canola, faba beans. While our existing production system is mechanised and conventional, I am seeking ways to incorporate practices that increase soil carbon and biology levels, farm biodiversity and resilience to climate change.
What first got you thinking about climate change?
I can’t remember when I started thinking about climate change, it’s been so long. Two resources that have helped clarify and put into perspective the science, politics and history of these issues have been “Dr Karl Kruszelnicki’s Little Book of Climate Change Science” and ABC Listen’s “Australia, If You’re Listening” with Matt Bevan.
Has climate change impacted on your farm business?
Climate change has and will continue to impact upon my farm business through frequency and severity of droughts both through rainfall on farm and the availability of irrigation water in the Murray Darling Basin.
What are some of the climate-smart strategies you’ve been employing and how successful have they been?
To date we’ve invested heavily in our on-farm irrigation systems to increase our water use efficiency. This includes for example precise landformed terraced and furrowed fields with a drainage water recycle system and storage dam. In future I will consider automated irrigation scheduling and drip technologies when they become economically feasible. I am also building up my soil water infiltration and holding capacity by increasing soil carbon levels and structure, and doing this through minimising tillage, retaining crop residues and introducing cover crops.