At a glance
Who: Jane Kellock
What: Sheep and Grain Producer
Where: Farrell Flat, South Australia
Can you tell us about your property / enterprise?
We are family-owned and operated mixed farmers growing grain – wheat, barley, oats, vetch, and beans and unmulesed merino sheep in a self-replacing flock, with a focus on meat and wool.
We are a farm that has focused on our landscape, our soils, and our animals. We are an accredited Responsible Wool Standard farm.
What are some of the opportunities you see for your business/property in coming years?
I think we have the real opportunity to improve our business with a focus on systems and technologies to become more efficient and productive through holistic measures that align our production with our customers. We need to measure and react to send a positive message about our landscape, our people, our markets, our animals.
I also see the opportunity to collaborate with private sector with bigger renewable energy, to create an opportunity to lower our risk re climate variability.
And what are your main challenges now, and into the future?
Climate variability in our region is the major factor that impacts our business. Frosts have created a real challenge to our viability, and these seem to be increasing substantially.
Pasture management and species to survive drought – replanting pastures after drought in a mixed farming situation is a huge cost to producers.
I also believe that our markets and our customers have expectations on the agricultural sector – these will increase – we need to ensure that we have strong leaders, good policy, and support mechanisms in place.
How has climate change impacted your farm business?
Climate change is impacting us, drought, frost, wet!! We have changed the way we think about farming, how we do our production and the impact over the whole business.
We are more focused on our customer, ensuring that we meet the expectations of our consumers.
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?)
Mixed species pastures have made an impact, as well as improvement in our genetics to improve reproduction performance. Investing in our soils, minimum till, ground cover, containment feeding animals, biological fertilisers, liquid inject and foliar spray fungi and bacteria on to pasture and broad acre cropping.
What are your hopes for Ag in Australia, into the future?
To be proactive and doing the best that we can for the animals and crops that we produce to feed the world. That we have a focus on our consumers and their expectations and we continue to have the faith of those consumers that we will take care and enhance this amazing country that we farm on.
I really want strong, forward thinking leaders speaking about the proactive adaptations that we are doing to ensure that we are world leaders in the area of sustainability – but also profitable and resilient. We will need to be future focused on our environment, our animals and our people.