Cropping in the Mallee is always a tough gig, but none more so than the 2018/2019 season, with less than 150mm of rain falling in the critical growing season.
Northern parts of the Coorong, and neighbouring Karoonda and Southern Mallee have all been drought declared, but this hasn’t slowed the pace for local farmers, Robert and Anne Simcock.
Third generation farmers, with a work ethic to match, Robert and Anne have been farming north of Tailem Bend for nearly twenty five (25) years. ‘I have been on the tractor since 16 and seen some tough seasons with Dad, and later with Anne, my wife, but this year has really tested us out, from a cropping perspective’.
Robert and Anne run 2500ha of mixed cereal and a flock of 1000 self replacing Merino ewes. And, in late 2010, Robert moved into livestock transport carting pigs between local sites for Sunpork Farms.
‘Transport and livestock work has kept our cashflow regular during the toughest of seasons and we now employ 4 staff to keep up with the transport transfers’ explains Robert.
Further diversification of the farm saw Robert and Anne move into agistment of pigs at their property north east of Tailem Bend.
‘We have been able to run an integrated model with the pigs, supplying all of our own straw and cropping the surrounding farm and then providing transport back to the abattoir at nearby Big River Pork’ says Robert.
In 2019, Robert and Anne plan to focus on contract farming and expanding their hectares under crop, meaning that they have chosen to move away from growing out pigs.
‘We are choosing to focus on cereal production and contract work in 2019, which means that our growing sheds are now up for lease from late March onwards’ explained Robert.
Located north east of Tailem Bend, Orland Piggery is a 15 shed grow out facility for up to 5,000 head of pigs.
The site consists of:
- Sheds 1-4 with a holding capacity of 200 weaners each. (800 animals)
- Sheds 5-7 with a holding capacity of 400 weaners each. (1200 animals)
- Sheds 8-15 with a total holding capacity of 3000 animals.
More specifically, the complex features:
- Shed 1-7 and 15 are concrete floors
- Shed 8-14 are dirt floors
- Shed 11 is a three stage Eco-Shelter
- Loading ramp
A chain feeder system has been installed, together with misters and automatic watering system.
Power and mains water are available to the site.
An existing home on the property is included as a worksite/lunchroom
More information about the Grower Facility is available from Coorong Realty at www.coorongrealty.com.au or by calling the Agent: Kerry Swan 0407 412 857.