MEET Leigh Fuller, mixed cropping and sheep farmer who sure knows how to farm!
Alongside his father and uncle, Leigh Fuller manages a 3800ha mixed cropping and sheep operation in Koolunga, SA.
Leigh’s favourite thing about the farming lifestyle is being able to share the journey with his family.
“They help me switch off and put everything in perspective,” he says.
“Whether it’s checking the sheep with my kids or taking them for a lap around the paddock in the tractor—it’s great to have my family involved.”
He also appreciates the genuine nature of country communities.
“There’s always someone who is willing to lend a hand in times of need,” Leigh says.
“I think when country communities are faced with a problem, everyone does their bit to help out.”
Located in the Mid-North, their various properties are diverse when it comes to soil type, topography and productive capacity—but the average rainfall is around 400mm each year. From this, the Fullers grow wheat, durum, barley, faba beans, lentils and vetch pasture.
Last year, Leigh looked to Allied to help him reduce costs and increase output through investing in a grain storage system.
“Our profitability is driven from reducing our costs and trying to increase our output whilst remaining sustainable,” Leigh says.
“As margins in the industry get tighter, we need to work smarter and think outside the square to stay ahead of the game.”
Leigh was facing challenges familiar to most growers; heavy reliance on contractors to freight grain, a slow and risky harvest due to unforeseen weather events, and downgrading of grain when found outside the quality specs.
“We knew by choosing the right grain storage system custom built for our business we could do better.”
“The new silos allow us to add value by blending or optimising it with other grain to lift its quality and price,” Leigh says.
“We’re now finding niche markets domestically and internationally that pay a premium for good-quality stored grain.”
“We’ve also increased our efficiency at harvest time.”
Leigh now uses his own trucks and has reduced the need of expensive contractors.
Leigh has run the numbers, and there’s no denying that on-farm grain storage has been a value-adding investment.
“It makes sense as opposed to delivering it to the bulk handler,” he says.
“The silos mean we can reduce costs and increase output, which helps to strengthen our bottom line.”