Three generations finish a tough harvest

By Rodney Woods

Three generations of a Diggora family were at the business end of harvesting their crops last week, as another tough winter cropping season comes to an end.

John, Anthony and Sam Lees grow canola, wheat, barley, peas and chickpeas across 1800 ha, west of Rochester.

The family has had the equivalent of one year's worth of rain in the past two years, meaning they are planting with no sub-soil moisture.

While the season has been tough, it has meant the quality of crops is up but yield is down.

They are averaging 600 kg/ha of canola, two to three tonnes/ha of barley and wheat, a tonne/ha of peas and 800 kg/ha of chickpeas.

“We have cut 350 ha of wheat for hay and silage,” Anthony said.

“We have covered our costs with the hay savings.”

Despite just finishing Year 10, Sam was in the Case IH 8120 header's driver seat as his father Anthony drove the New Holland T8360 tractor and DAVIMAC 30 tonne chaser bin alongside.

Their grain mostly goes to GrainCorp at Elmore and Emerald.