Former Nuffield Scholar Andrew Freeth farms near Collie in central west New South Wales, producing wheat, chickpeas, barley and canola as well as running sheep and cattle.
The Freeth’s managed to shepherd their livestock through the worst of the drought by using their own grain, held over from previous crops, to feed their sheep and secure most of their flock for the future.
Andrew explained to us how he farmed through drought and how Inland Rail is helping farmers control costs.
“The last three years have been exceptionally dry,” Andrew said. “We have the philosophy to store fodder, whether that be grain or hay to maintain core breeding stock,” Andrew said.
“One of the best ways to manage for drought is to be profitable in the good years. “An efficient rail supply chain is a big component of reducing supply chain costs for growers, which producers farm gate returns… It allows us to prepare better for the next drought,” Andrew said.
Andrew said they are looking at a good harvest this year and, although it won’t completely erase the last three years of drought, it will go a long way to catch up.
“It’s good year’s like this that we have to focus on doing the best job we can, because that sets us up for when the next drought period hits,” Andrew said.
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