Glenn’s 16 hectare farm in the Lockyer valley, between Brisbane and Toowoomba, seems surprisingly small in comparison to the holdings of many of the other farmers who grow for Kialla.
However, the fertile black soils of the valley, laid down by volcanic activity millions of years ago, are able to produce high returns per hectare. Last year he harvested about 5 tonnes of maize per hectare, and about 3 tonnes of wheat. He also grows popcorn, a relative of maize, as well as barley and soy beans.
Glenn grew up in the area and went off to become an OHS officer in the mining industry. About 15 years ago he bought the land and decided to try his hand at farming as a sideline to his OHS career.
He grows yellow maize, soy beans and popcorn in summer and, because the soil is fertile enough and the year round rainfall means high soil moisture, he also plants wheat in winter. He also rotates his fields with organic soya bean crops to boost the nitrogen content of the soil. He has even been known to grow a few organic vegetables.
The type of wheat he usually plants is Rosella, a variety that has low protein making it perfect for baking cakes. It’s commonly known as ‘soft wheat’ and we mill it into cake flour. Many people aren’t clear on the difference and Gillian Bell explains it in her blog post.