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Weathering the drought

“I don't think agricultures ever been as good as it is right now.” It’s an opinion that may seem surprising to some given the climate conditions Australian farmers have been dealing with for a long time, but for James Male, co-owner of Elamville, preparation has been key to their success.


“The farm is effectively on loan to us for the next generation so we want to make sure we leave it in better nick for them.” - James


A sixth-generation farmer, James and his brother run the mixed-farming property in Yerong Creek, just past Wagga Wagga on the Victoria/New South Wales border. “The farm is effectively on loan to us for the next generation so we want to make sure we leave it in better nick for them.”


“But the only way we can do that is to remain profitable so we want to make sure that we run it as efficiently as we possibly can.”

James acknowledges that farming has changed so much from when his dad was a boy. “[Then], it was changing over from horses to machinery to what is now with auto-steer on all the machinery,” he explains. “Everything we do now [has] the same goal of producing as much as we can off the acres we've got.”


ANZ Agribusiness Manager, Brett Millar, says Elamville is a very modern and mixed farming enterprise. “It's done on scale so their ability to adapt to changing seasonal or market conditions definitely provides them a competitive advantage.”


James credits using experts such as agronomists and agents have helped them stay on top of challenges such as the drought.


“I reckon farming is instinctive and we've got a lot of confidence in both agriculture and in our own ability to generate a profit regardless of the season and what gets thrown at us.”


“There's always going to be an element of risk but it's calculated.”


Lachlan Spark is Multimedia Editor at ANZ


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