Willbriggie growers Glen and Julie Andreazza said they were both shocked to receive a phone call from Sydney this week telling them they were NSW Farmers of the year.
Mrs Andreazza said she and her husband were both in the middle of a wheat harvest when her phone rang, saying they needed to be on the next plane to Sydney to receive their award at Parliament House the following morning.
“I think they were impressed with our water diversity, the way we drought-proofed the farm with access to a bore, high security and general security water,” Mr Andreazza said
Mr Andreazza said the judges were also likely impressed by his farms recently acquired capabilities in highly flexible land forming.
“We were able to change our farming very quickly this year, where the corn is now was actually rice ground and we were able to change that around in two months to put up beds for corn to be grown.
“After 36 years of rice growing it’s the first time I have elected not to grow rice.
“I was really disappointed, I did want to grow rice, but the water was too expensive and the fact that corn is using five megalitres less per hectare meant I could make more money out of growing corn,” Mr Andreazza said.
After reforming his rice fields for corn Mr Andreazza said he has been able to raise 75 hectares of the crop, 30 more than he thought possible for the year.
According to Mr Andreazza his success with corn and his new found capacity in high speed land reforming has allowed him adopt a business model by which he is able to switch between summer crops of corn and rice on a yearly basis as well as winter wheat and cereals across their 600 hectare property.
Mrs Andreazza said they achieved this new model with the hard work of her children Daniel, Laura, Brendan and Teneeka.
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