How Leigh Reduced Costs and Increased Output
Alongside his father and uncle, Leigh Fuller manages a 3800ha mixed cropping and sheep operation in Koolunga, SA.
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.
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.
Obviously, there are tough times in farming. Grain growing enterprises face different challenges than your average business.
“Our profitability is driven from reducing our costs and trying to increase our output whilst remaining sustainable,” Leigh says.
“One of the main challenges we face is the downgrading of grain.”
“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.”
So when it came to purchasing a grain storage system, Leigh had strict specifications in mind.
“What we considered most important was aeration and gas tight storage that met Australian standards,” Leigh says.
“We wanted to be sure of the quality and workmanship needed to complete the task.”
“Of course, we also considered the time and money needed to complete the build.”
Leigh made the choice to purchase from Allied Grain Systems (AGS) after an independent test by Kondinin Group showed their products not only met Australian standards for gas tight storage, but exceeded them. In addition, all sealed silos offered a 5 year guarantee.
Within a few months of enquiring with Allied Grain Systems On-Farm Storage Manager, Brian Smith, the 3 MFS Model 36’- 12 silos (with capacity of 1006 cubic metres and estimated storage on hard wheat of 856 tonnes) were erected.
Leigh’s new silos were fully sealed to Australian Standards AS2628-2010 maintaining quality of grain to the highest standard possible.
A fumigation and re-circulation system meant no more insect pests or mouldy grain.
A spiral staircase servicing all 3 silos increased operator safety, and provided ease of access.