Geoff and his wife Shirl have a 1400 hectare farm about 40km north of the NSW border, near the small town of Thallon on the Western Darling Downs.
This is where they produce A-Grade Certified Organic wheat for Kialla. Back in 2015 Geoff began growing wheat on land that hadn’t been fertilised artificially for some years. We then sold this as ‘natural wheat’, since it was not certified organic. After the success of that crop they decided to convert some of their farmland to certified organic growing methods. Thus they has passed through the In-Conversion process where they followed organic farming methods for 3 years before becoming fully certified.
Geoff grew up on a grazing property in the same area, before starting a career outside of farming, as many do. However, unlike the majority, he returned to farming by buying his own property about 15 years ago. Several of his brothers have bought their own land in the same area. The region has the advantage of being viable for both wheat and wool production.
The sheep provide useful weed control as, when flocks graze on the fallow land, they will eat the weeds that get in the way when it’s time to grow a crop. This is a common practice among organic farmers, although most conventional farmers will choose the convenience of weed spraying. However, chemicals used for crop spraying are expensive and sheep not only provide a cheaper method – they’re also better for soil health.