YOUNG South Australian grain producers Chad Nickolls, 33, Pinnaroo, and Ben Francis, 34, Maitland, will attend the Australian Grains Industry Conference later this month after winning Grain Producers SA’s two sponsorship positions.
The conference, in Melbourne from July 25 to July 27, is hosted by Grain Trade Australia and brings together the Australian and international grain industries to network while providing the latest information on international grain markets.
GPSA chief executive officer Darren Arney says the organisation offers the sponsorship positions annually, valued at $2500 each, to encourage participation of young producers in the grain industry and help build their skills by giving them exposure to end‐users.
“We are passionate about upskilling young producers and will be encouraging Chad and Ben to share their experiences with the wider industry through GPSA once they return,” he said.
“AGIC represents a great opportunity for young producers to gain a broader perspective of the industry’s key players. After all, they are the future of our industry and we need to start now in helping them learn more about the whole supply chain.”
Chad works on the family farm at Pinnaroo and appreciates the challenges of farming in the Mallee region on the SA/Victorian border including exporting through the Port Adelaide terminal and supplying the local feed grains industries.
“Our business has always delivered into the port system and recently started storing grain on farm to supply the feed markets and I know that we could be doing both better and more efficiently,” he said.
“By attending the conference I would hope to improve my understanding of the grains industry post farm-gate, both the domestic feed industry and particularly, the export supply chain. It would also be a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds in our exciting and ever changing industry, and pick up new ideas to take home and apply to our own business.”
Ben is involved with family farming operation Loudounbrae Farming on the central Yorke Peninsula. Changes to their farming system in the past five years including a controlled traffic cropping system and a chaff deck system have already brought benefits.
“Already in this short time, we have seen great improvements in our soil’s ability to accept water,” he said.
“This last harvest we installed a chaff deck system to our header to help manage weeds. We are still in the process of working out how to tackle these weeds in-crop.
“I am looking forward to the opportunities attending the conference will have for broadening my understanding of the grains industry as a whole which I will be able to share in the district and implement within our own business.”
Darren Arney, GPSA chief executive officer, 0448 186 707
Chad Nickolls, 0429 098 608
Ben Francis, 0427 322 645