By Craig Bignell, Southern Dirt Chairman

Harvest is now in full swing in our region and so far the weather has been extremely kind. We have had warm days, few harvest bans and balmy nights. This has meant most are well ahead of there usual hectares covered at this time and hopefully thinking of holidays ahead.

Yields, I am hearing, are overwhelmingly positive. I have heard of averages for canola upwards of 2.5t/ha and cereal’s upwards of 5t/ha. These are outstanding and anyone averaging this should be rightly proud and the rest of us should be asking how and what can we learn from these results.

Thankyou to those that contributed when contacted by Southern Dirt to ask for your input for our direction. Management are collating this and will present it to the committees to help with our strategic planning and future direction. If you missed out on a call please phone the office to offer your suggestions. I’m sure driving headers you may have come up with some more questions as to why this canola did or did not average 2.5t/ha and if you have a specific idea please phone it through. The most valuable learning is from our peers.

In the last month I was lucky enough to meet the state agriculture minister Alannah MacTiernan on your behalf to thank the state government for their contribution to our flax trials. Thankyou also to Ray Harrington for making the trip to push our cause. I couldn’t help but feel we were caught up in an episode of Utopia but I couldn’t find Rob Sitch. It did demonstrate to me that she is an incredibly busy lady and if we want her audience we have to be very organised and know exactly what we want and how to say it.

I’m very pleased to welcome Garret Piper to our executive committee and board. Garret comes to us from an accountancy and business consultant background with skills and fresh thinking that will be most valuable to us into the future. Welcome Garret.

A somewhat rushed chairman’s report as thankfully for us the harvester has hardly stopped. I hope the season has treated you well and you are able/must take that well earned break through summer. Stay safe over the festive season have a merry Christmas and we look forward to your involvement in Southern Dirt’s Tenth year in 2020.