Glenore Grove, QLD
CATEGORY: PRODUCTIVITY (GROWER)
Queensland vegetable grower Lachlan Hauser may only have returned to the family farm eight years ago but he’s had a dramatic impact on its operation.
When his father Kerry was talking about scaling back their farm at Glenore Grove near Gatton, Lachlan returned home and has since set about revamping the operation into a major player in the vegetable industry.
The Hausers are now the second biggest potato growers in south-east Queensland and have grown their plantings from 49ha eight years ago to 130ha planted this season.
It’s been a whirlwind few years as they have tackled all aspects of their business to improve productivity and decrease labour inputs.
Equipment and technology have been high on the agenda, with a seed treatment applicator for potatoes protecting seed quality; tipping bins built to improve quality and efficiency in handling potatoes, and spraying efficiency improved with crop specific spray nozzles.
Integrated Pest Management has been adopted to protect the longevity of chemicals and decrease spraying costs and the time involved.
Yet some of the biggest changes have not been to the crops he produces, but more the way he handles his soils, with cover crops now an important part of the program.
“We used to crop two and a half crops a year, and rush and push the crops through, putting a lot of strain on the soil,” Lachlan says.
“We have changed this to two to three crops every two years.”
Cover crops, which fix nitrogen and boost organic matter, include lablab and cowpea.
“We are now looking after the soil and the environment on-farm, and taking a holistic approach,” he says.