Clifton farmer planting first crop

Liam's first crop planting is underway

News
Ready to roll: Liam Free, Hamilton Farm, Clifton, checking the hoses on his planter as he prepares to plant his first ever barley crop on the family farm this week.

Ready to roll: Liam Free, Hamilton Farm, Clifton, checking the hoses on his planter as he prepares to plant his first ever barley crop on the family farm this week.

Aa

It is Barley Blitz time for winter cropping.

Aa

Tractors and planters have been rolling out across southern Queensland, with farmers taking advantage of the seasonal breakthrough.

A record winter crop is expected in the ground after years of unfavourable growing conditions and there is one Clifton farmer who is feeling very optimistic about the upcoming season.

At just 18 years of age, Liam Free of Hamilton Farm, Clifton, is planting his first winter barley crop this week.

He estimates he will have his crop planted over the next five days.

Liam Free checks his seed is releasing before planting.

Liam Free checks his seed is releasing before planting.

Liam finished his secondary schooling at Clifton State High School last year.

Although he included agricultural studies in his curriculum, he said he has learned the majority of his farming skills from his father - by watching and working alongside him.

After receiving 368 millimetres of rain since the beginning of March - a good moisture profile to plant into - Liam is planting Planet barley at 50 kilograms/hectare and the Reliant variety at 40kg/ha over 370ha.

He said his country has experienced a very dry couple of years and he would plant into a failed mung bean fallow and a very disappointing barley crop fallow from last year's winter planting.

"It was really heartening to see the rain fall earlier this year, and fall straight into our fallow after not having much of a winter crop and no summer crop," Liam said.

He said as this was his first crop he stuck with barley as that is what they normally grow.

"I thought I better stick with what I know before tackling other cropping options," he said.

"I haven't thought about forward selling the crop as yet, as I will wait and see what my strike rate is."

Pacific Seeds territory sales manager for central and southern Darling Downs Bill Smith said the indications are there that it could be a record winter planting, so long as the rain arrives.

"Not all farmers have received enough rain to order seed," Mr Smith said.

"Wheat and barley are traditional winter crops; they are strong performers and are tried and proven."

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by