17 January 2024

Greenethorpe wheat producers clinch trifecta of state wins with their top crops

| Edwina Mason
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Group of people holding a blue ribbon

The wheat growers’ night of nights last week saw Mandy and Rob Taylor of Greenethorpe take out the state title for the third consecutive year. Pictured are (from left) Jill Chapman, Brendan Munn, Mandy and Rob Taylor, Jenny Taylor, Dugald Saunders and Youseff Fare. Photo: AgShows NSW.

Greenthorpe wheat growers Rob and Mandy Taylor have achieved an outstanding feat by clinching the prestigious AgShows NSW Suncorp Bank Championship Dryland Field Wheat Competition state title for the third consecutive year.

It is the first time in the competition’s history anyone has secured a hat-trick of wins, with the McLeod family of Wallendbeen the only other operation to have won the title three times.

The Taylors secured their spot at the state finals by outperforming competitors in the central region but with their impressive pointscore of 226 for their 7.6-tonnes-per-hectare yield, they surpassed Quirindi’s Cory Behsman at Romani Pastoral Co and Cowra’s Tom Johnstone at Illinois Farm.

They couldn’t be more shocked.

Rob said he and Mandy decided they’d attend last Friday night’s (12 January) awards dinner in Dubbo in a supportive role and were dumbstruck after being announced the state winners.

“I thought there were better crops south of us, but we’re very proud of our achievement, quite surprised really, but also feel very humbled by all the attention,” Rob said.

There’s no secret to his success, he says, but he is scrupulous in his preparation and planning.

Last year he said the winning crop was stripped from a gently undulating paddock with a nice north-easterly aspect.

“It was on a beautiful bit of soil and geography certainly helped last year because we did enjoy a bit of late frost damage on a lot of our farm but that’s probably the highest paddock on the farm and better insulated from the frost,” Rob said.

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The eastern Riverina town of Walbundrie’s Mickan Bros claimed the top spot in the southern regional titles, which covers a vast territory including Albury, Wagga Wagga and Young, with a score of 222 points for their 7.4-tonnes-per-hectare yield.

They also secured the TJ Dwyer Farming Excellence Award, established in recognition of Tom Dwyer, who passed away in 2023. It’s an award Rob Taylor has also won in the past.

Mr Dwyer, a 2017 Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) Show Legend, was considered a mentor, friend and champion to many across the agricultural show movement and wider agricultural industry.

He played an integral part in the Western Districts Exhibits, Young Judges Competitions and the Annual Dryland Wheat Competition.

The award looks beyond the yield and scores of the competition in recognising producers who have implemented sustainable farming practices, sound knowledge of crop rotation, and other elements of farming that make their operations successful.

Second place behind the Mickan Bros in the southern region was awarded to Young’s Manton Pastoral, with third going to Wallendbeen’s Baldry and Sons.

Judge Frank McRae of DLF Seeds Australia said the entries selected for the regional finals were of a high standard with excellent agronomic management.

“The regional finalists’ crops were a credit to growers, their advisers and agronomists,” Mr McRae said.

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He said most crops were on good rotations with an increasing trend towards double-break crops.

“Many entries showed outstanding yield potential given the low in-crop rainfall recorded during the growing period,” he said.

“The northern region was affected by the extremely dry conditions experienced throughout the year, with many crops failing and others not being sown, and late rains before harvest affected the final yield and grain quality of some central and southern crops.”

The gala dinner in Dubbo last Friday was attended by finalists, industry participants, leader of the NSW Nationals and Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders, and Hunter White representing the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales.

Original Article published by Edwina Mason on About Regional.

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