At a glance
Who: Jack O’Connor
What: Farmer with Oxton Park
Where: Harden, NSW
Can you tell us about your property/enterprise?
Oxton Park is a cropping, wool and prime lamb enterprise proudly family owned and run based in Harden, NSW.
Oxton park specialises in broadacre wheat, canola and triticale cropping as well as rasing non-mulesed, dual purpose, self-replacing Merinos.
This enterprise mix helps to diversify and spread risk across the business and plays a critical role in many areas including integrated weed management, drought resistance and response to changing market conditions.
What are some of the opportunities you see for your business/property in coming years?
Driven by increasing global demand and growing consumer appreciation for sustainably raised products, we are always looking for innovative ways to raise animals as organically as possible.
We are focused on using the best genetics to maximise both grain and livestock potential, and through prioritising the welfare of our animals and our people, we are able to fully realise the benefits our stunning environment has to offer.
And what are your main challenges now, and into the future?
Managing business enterprises that are at the mercy of changing climatic conditions will continue to be a juggle for us going forward. This in combination with shifting market forces both domestically and internationally.
Oxton Park will always continue to be about how to best adapt and to overcome these challenges whilst always keeping in mind its core values.
How has climate change impacted your farm business?
We are more fortunate than most in our region, with rich soils and quite reliable winter and spring rainfall. However it is always relative and each season brings with it its own new challenges.
A changing climate has made us think and plan differently year to year and we instill a range of “insurance” policies within our business to help combat the tougher seasons.
What are some of the on-farm adaptations or changes you’ve been employing in recent years and what’s driving them? How successful have they been, and what benefits have you seen as a result? (have you collected any evidence of these benefits, and if so could you share this?)
Improving pastures, alterations to farming techniques & rotations, investments in infrastructure, genetic improvements, are just some of the categories we have made some big moves, all of which we have found to be very successful in recent years.
Some are longer term plays compared to others but we certainly see the positive difference it has on both our land and our people
What are your hopes for Ag in Australia, into the future?
The Australian Agricultural community has some of the most resilient, courageous and thought leading people in the world.
I hope as a country we continue to have the faith and confidence of our end users. The only way to achieve and uphold this is to consistently emphasise the importance of the welfare of both our animals and our land. It’s a benefit we can all share together.