Tosari a grains research farm of the future

World class research to be carried out near Toowoomba


Diane and Glen Elsden, with their faithful companion, Cindy, checking over their chickpea crop.

Diane and Glen Elsden, with their faithful companion, Cindy, checking over their chickpea crop.

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Torasi ticks all the boxes for future grains research.

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When Glen and Diane Elsden hand over their farm it will be with a sense of pride and delight knowing Tosari will be dedicated to grains research.

From July 1 next year, Tosari,with it’s 740 hectares of fertile chocolate brown soils, will be developed into a world-class grains applied research, development and extension (RD&E) facility, which will be operated by the trust on behalf of Australia grain growers..

The Elsdens have owned Torasi for the past 17 years and have predominately grown cotton, along with corn sorghum, chickpea, and soybeans.

“We really had no intention of selling for a number of years, but we received a phone call,” Mr Elsden said. 

“The Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Queensland Government, through an Industry Trust (Grains and Cropping R&D Trust), had been looking at farms for two years, and we ticked all their boxes.

“So after a couple of meetings we agreed to terms and went to contract.”

Under the agreement, Mr Elsden will stay on for the next two years to share farm, and will be assisting as the research trials progress. 

Diane and Glen Elsden apply irrigation to Tosari with their lateral irrigator.

Diane and Glen Elsden apply irrigation to Tosari with their lateral irrigator.

“At the moment there is 60ha of Gregory wheat being grown by Queensland Crop Research, which is a starting point,” he said.

Next, he will plant some trial sorghum at the end of the month.

“The trial crops planted will continually be expanded as other shareholders come on board,” he said.  

Over the next six weeks the Elsdens are looking to harvest their chickpea crop. 

They planted 90ha of irrigated Seamer chickpeas and 40ha of dryland crop. 

Mr Elsden said they are hoping to average three tonne to the hectare, once harvested.

The couple irrigate by flood harvesting from the nearby Condamine River with a 1200mL allocation and  pump into two ring tanks capable of storing 1600ML on-farm.

As well they have two underground bores with 200ML nominal allocation.

“Overall we have a good water allocation from various sources and it was one of the telling points for the trust to buy the property,” Mr Elsden said.

The couple will plant 300ha of irrigated cotton this season. Their long term average yield is nine bales to the hectare.  

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