THE highest yield award is a coveted gong at any agricultural industry dinner, and the Central Highlands one was no exception.
In the end it was Cowal Ag who took out the award, after achieving yields of 11.87 bales to the hectare at Jabiwarra, 11.18b/ha at Trawalla, and 11.07b/ha at Braylands.
General manager Chris Brummell said the award was icing on the cake after the region as a whole experienced an exceptionally challenging season last year.
Mr Brummell has been with Cowal Ag for three years, and said the winning crop was his third with the company.
”The start of the season was looking a bit dim,” he said.
“We had that huge insect pressure which I think everyone in the industry experienced from Central Queensland down to the border regions of New South Wales.
“That took the wind out of the sail a bit, we had three more insecticides than we would have used at any other time to bring that crop back which was a bit of a dampener.”
He said it was only good luck that saved the crop.
“Fortune had it that the season went our way, we had about seven or eight in-crops to get that crop home which was pretty tough on the guys but they pulled through and we ended with a dry pick which was a fantastic end to the season – it was some of the whitest crop I’d ever seen.
“It’s pretty hard to double back and do it again.”
Mr Brummell said while no one goes into the industry for awards and accolades, it was nice for “the guys” to get recognition for a season of very hard work.
“Where do you go from now?” he laughed.
“Obviously we’re doing some things right, but at the end of the day we had the luck of the weather on our side.
“For everyone in the Central Highlands it was just nice to have a dry pick for once.”
He said despite Cowal Ag now being owned by a corporation, it was still a family operation at heart.
“We try to keep it low-key and run as a family farm, even though we are run in a corporate sense,” he said.
“It’s nice for the guys to get some recognition for their hard work.”