Derek is a grain grower from Uranquinty, near Wagga Wagga in NSW.
He runs a 1000ha cropping enterprise with his wife Skye, parents Lou and Jenny, and children Henry, Edith and Audrey.
Derek uses a 9 metre Controlled Traffic Farming system for optimum soil structure, and continuously crops with a double break rotation of field peas, canola, wheat and barley.
The Lewingtons are also kept busy running Hereford beef cattle on both permanent pastures and some lease country, as well as doing some contract windrowing too.
What is one thing you’re continually striving towards as a grain grower?
“Hard to name just one! Obviously financial returns are important, but I tend to value other measures such as growing clean healthy, high yielding crops. We focus on lowering the weed seed bank and conserving soil moisture. We try to maintain soil fertility by including pulse crops in the rotation which reduces our need for nitrogen fertilizer. All of these things and many more factors allow us to grow the most produce with the least inputs, the least amount of risk, and as efficiently as possible.
What is one thing you love the most about your job or lifestyle in grain?
“One thing I love about our lifestyle in grain. I get enormous satisfaction from seeing the results of our work each season and I get to involve my family in it all.”
What is one thing you rely on your mates in grain for?
“I can always rely on mates to help with the challenging decisions that arise as they are usually facing the same challenges.”