ORANGE may be better known for its orchards and vineyards but Huntley wheat farmer Brian Locke says it is also good as a wheat-growing region.
Mr Locke was at Friday’s cool climate wheat growing field day in Lucknow to introduce farmers to new varieties that were designed to cope with our climate.
“We have some of the best soil in Australia and good rainfall,” he said.
Mr Locke has sown his first new variety and says it looks good so far.
At just 35 acres he is a small operator, but keen to continue with wheat.
“These new wheats grow very good yields,” he said.
Field days consultant and plant nutritional advisor Richard Stone said there was a lot of potential for wheat growers in the Orange region.
“Wheat is a worldwide commodity. It’s wanted all over the world, it’s tradable,” he said.
Mr Stone said new varieties of wheat such as the Forrest Wheat Seed were suitable to the Orange climate.
“It’s a pretty safe bet and a good return on investment,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity for young people to get in and do something.
“We are sitting on really good land.”
Mr Stone said wheat farms in the area would lead to further employment and economic opportunities.
He said about 30 years ago there were numerous wheat, pea and cropping farms, however, that changed over the years.
“So much of this fantastic ground is taken up by hobby farms,” he said.
Seednet territory sales manger NSW Robert Gill said the Forrest Wheat Seed was bred for this area.
“You get more tonnes because it suits this area,” he said.