Mike, Springsure, Qld – Kialla Pure Foods

Mike, Springsure, Qld

Mike grows a variety of crops for Kialla, including white sorghum, sunflower, hard wheat (high protein wheat best for breads) and soft wheat (low protein wheat suitable for cakes).

His 2400 hectares of organic farming land in Central Queensland has been in the family since 1963. At that time his father moved up from the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, where he’d been farming wheat. Mike now lives with his wife and two daughters on the farm outside Springsure.

Maize, sorghum and sunflowers are all annual summer crops planted in January. Mike will make the decision what to plant, and whether to plant anything at all, depending on whether he’s had any summer rain.

It will take maize about 4 months to grow, and about 5 months for the sorghum, and for the sunflowers to come into flower then dry off. They’re ready for harvest when the flower heads have drooped and died.

As it dies an annual plant will release it’s seed, and thus it’s time for harvest. It must be planted anew each year.

Wheats are grown in winter in Australia, then harvested around October or November after a 5 month growing period.

White sorghum yields very well in the climate of the area.

Maize can be a problematic crop to grow as it requires high moisture as well as high nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus content in the soil. It may be that maize is not a viable crop for Mike to grow over the long-term. He has also grown white maize for Kialla in the past, but the seeds for white maize are much more expensive, and its yields can be even lower, so it’s not a favourite among farmers.

Nitrogen can be returned to the soil by planting legume crops between the major crop cycles. Composting can also help return both nitrogen and potassium, while in conventional farming this would be done using industrially manufactured products.

As an example, phosphorus was traditionally added using natural rock phosphate, whereas now conventional farming uses ‘super phosphate’ and other industrial phosphates. These appear to present long-term problems for soil, and so organic farmers returned to using the naturally occurring rock phosphate, which is, as you would expect, less ‘efficient’ than the manufactured kind.

The quality of an organic farm’s yield can be influenced by a good knowledge of soil nutrition, although ultimately it always comes down to that variable, the weather, which no farmer can control!

Want to know what happens when the grains leave the farm and arrive at the mill?

Check out our Virtual Tour of the Mill videos

Farm2Plate Blog
  • Mung Bean MagicI couldn’t resist a title like that – even though many people may consider mung beans a .. Read more
  • Chickpeas – so much more than a one-hit wonder!Of all the legumes, chick peas are the tastiest, and they adapt to variety of dishes. You can tell t .. Read more
  • Ancient barley is a versatile cooking companion   Our popular modern day grains derive from wild grasses that humans began cultivating and sel .. Read more
  • Have GMO crops lived up to the hype?The 2nd article in the series: 7 reasons to choose organic – an in-depth look at the issue of .. Read more
  • Here’s why you’re better off without pesticidesThis is the 1st article in the series: “7 reasons to choose organic – an in-depth look a .. Read more
  • The Easiest Sponge Recipe using Cake FlourGuest post by Tania Cusack from My Kitchen Stories Sponge is such a fresh light cake for all seasons .. Read more
  • The Nutritional Benefits of WholegrainsFor a food to be described as wholegrain it should contain all the essential parts and naturally-occ .. Read more
  • Last-minute Turkey StuffingAre you one of those people who always has your Christmas feast well organised weeks before Christma .. Read more
  • Pernille Berg Larsen, Baking Teacher & Author

    I always get the best result using your Organic Rye flour!

  • Cherie W., Home Baker

    I never make a bad loaf of bread now, since changing over to Kialla flour… I can’t get over the superior quality of your product. I have bought some for everyone in my family.

  • Pauline Mirabelli from Simply Honest Foods

    We’ve found that Kialla popcorn is the best – it pops so much better than other popcorns, and it tastes great. Our kids love it.

  • Mrs Ergül of Mrs Ergül's Delish Treats

    I truly like the transparency and traceability that Kialla Pure Foods offers. I’m actually able to see which farm grew the wheat milled into my 10kg bag of flour. This really sealed the deal for me. And I feel that Kialla sets themselves apart in this sense.

  • Rebecca Laughery, Consumer

    We’ve tried several other pancake mixes but nothing comes close to yours!

  • Lisa, owner & baker at Sweet Tooth Noosa

    Of all the brands of flour I have used Kialla is by far the BEST!

  • Meredith J. Home Baker

    Kialla is the best flour I’ve ever used – and that includes some great US flours. Please keep milling forever!!

  • Jacqui Mead, Consumer

    We’ve been using Kialla’s products for approximately seven years now, making the change to Organic Spelt Flour following the discovery that my son had a wheat and dairy intolerance. I have found that our whole family’s health has improved.

Our current certifications: