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Technology plays a huge part - Warracknabeal Farmer Matt Lang

  • By: Farm Tender "Prime"
  • Nov 02, 2017

Farming 8km east of Warracknabeal on the family farm ‘Warrandah’, Matt Lang with the assistance of wife Jess, father Peter and staff member Trev, manage a mixed farming enterprise. The sheep add to the rotation of wheat, barley, canola, lentils, beans and vetch.

Matt returned to the family farm after studying civil engineering at university in Ballarat, and spending five years in Melbourne. Now not only farming full time, Matt still consults to engineering firms in the city.

Two-year-old son Harry, also keeps the family on their toes.

Technology is becoming more prevalent, what technology are you using currently?

Technology plays a huge part within farming and is only going to become more advanced and accessible in years to come.

Our farm uses a variety of different technology tools such as GPS in all tractors which allows us to inter-row sow, control when spraying, and collect yield maps/data from our header.

We also use Back Paddock to maintain all farm records, Yield Prophet® for assisting with nitrogen decisions and electronic ear tags for sheep.

How important is livestock in your business? Have you considered becoming a sole cropping enterprise?

Sheep play an important part in our business by adding diversity and fitting in well with our cropping rotation.

We breed cross-bred lambs and sell throughout the year which helps with cash flow.

We utilise our sheep by grazing the vetch paddocks during the winter period and stubbles post-harvest.

We have had success in the past and it is something we look to continue heading into the future.

Have you experienced any frost damage any other issues affecting your crops this season that haven’t been an issue in the past couple of seasons?

Luckily, we got through the frosts this season with no major damage.

However, we have had significant mice issues which hasn’t been so bad in past. We have dealt with this through ongoing monitoring and baiting of crops to reduce numbers.

Paddocks have been baited anywhere from once up to four times. So hopefully we have done enough to get through harvest with no significant losses.

Now that we are heading to the business end of the season, have you thought about your harvest weed seed management strategy?

We desiccate all legumes crops prior to harvest to stop weeds setting seed.

We will use narrow windrow burning in any problem areas in the legume crops, which we have done in the past with some success.

We also do a couple of paddocks of vetch hay and vetch brown manure as part of our rotation to help reduce weed numbers.

The season is looking quite good at the moment, and with other areas regions not having the best run, how are you tackling grain marketing?

We try to market our grain all year round and work on an average price through on-farm storage and selling ex-farm, warehousing, and more recently utilising Clear Grain which enables us to set a price.

We also use a grain broker who helps with all sale decisions.

Picture - Matt, Harry and Peter Lang