Global Agriculture

Australia: The best advice – for this season and the next

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15 August 2022, AU: Sharing the knowledge of growers, her colleagues at Elders and the broader advisory community is the best aspect of Millie Bach’s job as an agronomist at Elders Dalby.

Millie says that she and her team are helping to build a strong reputation for the services they provide to cropping clients in the region, across cotton, winter and summer cereals and pulses.

“We all have the same objective, to help growers maximise their productivity, and I enjoy the fact that people are so willing to share their knowledge – their successes as well as their failures,” Millie said.

Millie grew up in a grain growing family at Jandowae and worked for three years as a jillaroo in Western Australia and the Northern Territory before heading to Armidale to obtain degrees in agriculture and management.

“While I loved working with cattle and had plenty of practical farm experience, it was time to get my head down and obtain some formal qualifications which is when I enrolled at the University of New England,” she said.

Millie spent three years in grain trading before joining Elders Dalby in her first agronomy role in 2017, right in the middle of the drought.

She trained with Jordan McDonald, senior agronomist, for the first 12 months before stepping out with her own grower clients.

“I was shadowing Jordan for that first year and I still rely on him for guidance, along with the Elders’ network of agronomists and people like Paul McIntosh from Pulse Australia, who’s been an advisor for the past 40 years,” she said.

“Elders has a wide footprint and a range of specialists in different aspects of agriculture, so along with industry people, there are plenty of avenues for information and advice.”

Millie Bach, Agronomist, Elders Dalby.

Millie enjoys working with her clients across a range of crops, including cotton, for which the Darling Downs is well known.

“Doing everything from recommending chemicals and soil testing through to precision agriculture and farm management plans, there’s plenty of variety in my day,” she said.

“As we approach the cotton growing season, farmers will be monitoring soil temperatures, making sure it’s warm enough to safely plant and there’s adequate topsoil moisture in dryland blocks, hopefully resulting in an even germination across paddocks.”

Millie admits that starting off her agronomy career in the middle of a drought on the Darling Downs was tough going.

“In those conditions, looking for the positives with growers was not easy, but the turnaround this year has been amazing,” she said.

“The rain started in March/April, so growers have some magnificent winter crops in the ground. Seeing growers have a win is one of the most fulfilling parts of my job,” she said.

“The Condamine River is running, dams are full, dryland fallow paddocks have full profiles and it’s lining up for an excellent summer cropping season. It’s good to see growers doing well and the optimism spreading right through the community.”

Elders Dalby is an active part of the local community, as sponsors of the local Condamine Cods rugby club and the Warra Races.

“Local activities are all part of supporting our local community, complementing our national sponsorship of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and other organisations.”

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