Ag News

Farm in Focus: Matt Ryan, Birchip, Vic

  • By: Farm Tender "Prime"
  • Oct 10, 2017

2000ha, 700 sheep and three trucks keeps Birchip grower Matt Ryan busy. Matt, who farms with his father Tony, brothers Jack and Nick (during school and university holidays) and some additional employees, sows 60 to 70 percent of his property to cereals, and the rest is a mixture of canola, peas, vetch and chemical fallow.

Technology is becoming more prevalent. What technology are you using currently and do you think technology is going to have greater benefits in your livestock or cropping enterprise?

Technology will assist our business in the future, especially now with livestock electronic identification (eID). I see eID technology really being able to assist in a feedlot operation by monitoring weight gain and feed intake to ensure efficiencies and livestock health.

When it comes to cropping where do you start?! GPS has been the big thing in recent times which we use regularly, but maybe something like NDVI when it becomes more accessible. This year we have started using an app with our agronomist which enables us all to keep notes, photos and recommendations. When someone has added information to the shared app it gives me a notification and I can access it wherever and whenever I want. It also helps when there are multiple people working on the property, because otherwise we would have it in individual diaries and notebooks.

Technology costs a lot of money, so it will really depend if you are able and want to invest in it, and there would need to be a return. With the livestock side of the business I think it would be easier to learn a lot more with technology and faster than the crop portion of the business. It is also the livestock side that I believe I have a lot more to learn about.

How important is livestock in your business?

They’re definitely great for cash flow during the season. I enjoyed working with livestock when I was younger, but we got out of having them f...
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