Cropping

Hoping for a strong season

By Country News

For Violet Town’s Calum and Michael Gleadow, it’s going to be a tough feat to beat last year’s silage season.

Dry conditions and frost damage meant many farmers were forced to abandon crops and cut them for hay and silage.

And for the silage and hay contractors, that meant baling as many as 12000 bales of silage across the area, much of it canola silage.

And with about 1214ha cut, mown and baled last season, it was all hands on deck.

‘‘Last year was our biggest year,’’ Calum said.

‘‘It was a tough year for the cereal guys ... the silage was good quality though.

‘‘We go from Violet Town to Benalla and Murchison area ... last year we went all the way up to Tungamah.’’

And while a month ago they may have been apprehensive about how this year’s season would turn out, things are looking up.

‘‘It’s hanging in there,’’ Michael said.

‘‘The water is starting to run but you just don’t always know (how the weather will go).’’

Standing in their machinery shed, as light rain falls around them, the brothers’ hopes seem to be growing.

‘‘It could be shaping up to be a good season if it keeps going like this,’’ Calum said.

‘‘It’ll be a strong season (with lots of people looking for silage) because no-one’s got anything in storage after last year.

‘‘The end of August we’ll start to think about getting ready to go and just seeing how it all pans out.’’

And with all hands on deck come spring, the brothers say there’s another key team player — Bertolis Shepparton.

The machinery business, which has ‘‘been there since the start’’ according to Michael, has always ensured their large contracting and farming business keeps ticking over.

With two Massey Ferguson tractors, two mower conditioners, balers and wrappers, the brothers have been loyal customers of the brand for a number of years.

‘‘They offer us really good service which is always key,’’ Michael said.