Randall & Julie Wilksch
Wilksch Agriculture - YEELANNA SA
Randall & Julie Wilksch live and work on the family farm - 3,650 ha around Karkoo and Yeelanna in South Australia. The farm is faced with great variability in rainfall and soil types. Under the business name, Wilksch Agriculture, Randall & Julie continually employ new tools and management practices to improve the productivity and sustainability of their farming operation, earning their partnership a nomination into the Sustainability category.
The Wilksch’s have been working on improving practices for the past few decades. Starting with halting burning in the 1970’s, instead implementing stubble retention. Following this, they then introduced minimum till in the 1980’s, which proved to improve the soil health through applications of lime and gypsum. They now practice precision ag using yield maps to understand their productivity zones. They also use crop sensors to manage inputs, and customise input rates according to crop requirements.
The family has always been heavily involved in trial work and industry organizations (SPAA, LEADA, SARDI, SANTFA) which keep them at the forefront of new technology and management practices.
Randall is an early adopter and will often be the first in the district to trial new technology. Weather stations and soil moisture probes are set up across the properties allowing more efficient/refined/sustainable management to take place. Community and people are also at the forefront of Randall’s thinking which has been recognised by him winning a Nuffield Scholarship to investigate why there are less women in agriculture and how to best reduce the divide between rural and city people.