Broden Holland is a 3rd generation farmer located 30km north-west of Young, NSW. Alongside his Mum, Dad and two fulltime employees, they manage a mixed enterprise that spans across 4,800 hectares.
With 3,800 of those hectares dedicated to growing wheat and canola, the family also run 4,500 merino sheep. The farm started with Broden’s Pop decades ago, and although retired now, he still lives on the farm with everyone.
Broden’s favourite part about his job in ag is seeing the results at the end of the year.
“Even if we don’t get good results, just seeing our management and what we put into something come to fruition is really rewarding,” he says.
“We can’t control the rain, but as long as we manage all our other inputs as well as we can that’s really satisfying.
“Especially last year, we pretty much did everything bang on right and we were rewarded with that. We had very favourable rain, but we also had very good management of our nitrogen and fungicides and everything.”
Like many eastern grain growers, harvest 2020 was the family’s best year yet by a tonne to the hectare.
“We averaged about 6T to the hectare in wheat, hitting 10,000T for the year – it was the biggest we’ve ever had by a large amount.”
Allied Grain Systems installed 3x 2000T grain silos on the farm just as soon as the team was getting the crop off.
“The silo storage came JUST in time for the harvest. The boys would have had all three silos up if a severe windstorm hadn’t hit. We knew it was going to be a tight squeeze, but it all came together in the nick of time.”
What is the most challenging part of the job for Broden?
“Finding time to get it all done! When I was younger, we used to get a bit more time off and have lower stress, but it all seems to mash in together now – summer seems to be just as busy as winter and spring.
“We’ve got a lot more technology and tools to fight our problems these days, though, so it’s a very exciting time to be in agriculture.”
How have advances in technology impacted Broden’s farm and the way his family works?
“We are pretty heavy into variable rate now and last year we spread all our nitrogen variable rate,” explains Broden.
“We’ve been doing pH off-grid sampling since 2016. Last year, all that came together and we spread the most we’ve ever spread because of the year we’d had.
“We put it all in the right spot and I think that’s what gained us the extra tonne to the hectare.”
He also says the integration between the tractor cab, computer and phone makes things a lot easier – no more running around with that USB!
“Even the Allied Grain silos come with an aeration control. I turned it on when we first put grain in it, and I haven’t detached it since – it’s been so easy.”
What can Broden rely on his mates for in the grain industry?
The biggest thing in the last five years for Broden with stepping up to manage the farm more, is having genuine relationships with people from all areas of ag.
“For example, the local businesses in town such as Delta, Allied Grain Systems and many more. – we all help each other out when we need to in order to make things work.
“Especially in years like this where things are getting tight due to COVID restrictions, it impacts things like shipping and we just have to find better ways to move around it and make it work.
“Having those relationships with your suppliers and our end-users is really good for reliability. When things change, we can just make a plan to get through it all.”
Broden and his family recently purchased Allied Grain Systems silos and grain handling equipment to improve their farming operations – read his case study here!