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Jodi rolls up her sleeves and carries on

February 15, 2016

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Narramine Station farm manager Shannon Thomas with owner Jodi Browning and her son Hughie in their prize-winning crop of EGA Gregory wheat.

Winning the Suncorp Bank/Agricultural Societies Council of NSW Dryland Field Wheat Competition for the second time in three years proves the Browning family of Narromine must be doing something right.

The family from “Narramine Station” were presented with the overall state award for their crop of EGA Gregory wheat in January after securing the northern zone in November.

In 2013, the Browning and EGA Gregory combination also proved unbeatable, taking out the northern zone and state top crop honours.

Competition judge and Young agronomist Paul Parker estimated their 2015 crop to yield seven tonnes per hectare at judging in early-November.

Narromine Station owner Jodi Browning said most of the season was problem-free, with 425mm of in-crop rain, but a dry spell in September and wild weather in November threw them off.

“The crop was hit with a wind storm in November and a total of 120mm just before being harvested on November 16,” she said.

“It resulted in a large proportion of the crop falling over, but the crop still had an actual yield of 6.64t/ha, a test weight average of 83, screenings of 3.4 per cent and protein average of 12.9pc, which is H2.”

She planted the wheat on May 5 with a new Boss planter on 33 centimetre row spacing and using tines.

The seed was treated with Raxil and sown with 75kg/ha of MAP and sprayed with Gramoxane and Trifluren before the sowing rig.

On June 12, 100kg/ha of urea was applied.

Ms Browning’s experience growing the variety has come a long way in nine years.

“We first planted Gregory in 2007 as a production crop, harvesting a dryland yield of 3.6t/ha and an irrigated block at 8.6t/ha.

“It’s our main variety now until we find a replacement.  We’ll plant about 1200ha this year.”

The wins have been humbling for Jodi and her four children, who have persisted to carry on with the big picture and continue the farming legacy created by husband and father Glenn, who passed away in 2012. 

“The children are already involved in the farm business and it is very much a family affair.

“I work closely with our farm manager Shannon Thomas, agronomist Campbell Muldoon and eldest child Billy, to keep the high benchmark that Glenn set. 

“Communication among employees is ranked as a high priority and their ideas and inputs are valued.”

Normally at this time of the year, Narramine Station would be a hive of activity based around the cotton crop.

“Insufficient water allocations from Burrendong Dam mean it’s the second season in a row with no cotton.”

Ms Browning uses the little allocation they currently have to irrigate winter cereals.