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  • Writer's pictureWayne

Coming out of idle

Since March 2020 when our sheep finance company withdrew their services, we have been trying to obtain bank finance so that we could grow. With immense gratitude to Jeff Pontifex the National Australia Bank (NAB) state manager, Finley Leach (NAB Agribusiness Manager for the Central Great Southern Region of WA), Zoe Eyles (Albany Agribusiness Manager now in Darwin NT) and others in the team, we are now proud clients of NAB. We are extremely grateful this team has put their faith in our plans.

We could not have achieved this financial package without the expert wisdom and help from Paul McKenzie (, whom I can now officially let everyone know he has been appointed as the Chairman of our Advisory Panel, along with our new accountant Dom Papaluca from Carbon Group. We are now surrounded by highly skilled people who understand what Caluka Farms can achieve and are involved in helping us reach that goal. It's been a tough 24 months, but now we can get out of first gear and get into top gear as quickly as possible.

We are now able to stop selling our ewe lambs, can buy more ewe lambs and can start fertilising. We'll be going as quickly as we can. We bought some lambs today and began spreading fertiliser.

We've actually had a very hot and dry summer so far, but as you can see in the photos, the kikuyu is growing well. There is still oodles of ground cover. Hopefully we get our average "break" to the season in March and there will be plenty of green kikuyu around for the ewes that are due to lamb in early April.

At the time of writing, I am waiting on some deep soil test results to see if I need to add more lime other than Alpha paddock - the most acidic paddock on the farm and we know still needs another 10-20t/ha of lime. I expect about 10-20% of the farm will require a few more tonnes/ha of lime.

All the photos below were taken between 3rd and 9th March 2022.

Top of Echo paddock, previously a very non-wetting hill.

Echo paddock looking up to where the non-wetting hill is. Fertiliser currently being spread when this photo was taken.

Golf paddock about to be grazed. Grazed paddock (Hotel) in the background.

Charlie paddock about 8 days after being grazed.

The little ram paddock, Romeo 6, where I double dosed fertiliser in spring. We are still seeing the effects of that extra fertiliser. We've had a lot of grazing off this little paddock.

Alpha paddock just prior to being grazed. This is still very acidic with pH 4.3 at 0-10cm and 3.7 at 30-40cm.

November paddock, a white sandy paddock coping well with the heat and dry.

The southern end of Alpha paddock looking back towards the yards.

Quebec paddock in the foreground and Sierra in the background. This is a very deep white sand seam.

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