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Summer 2014

A Bank of Farming Knowledge

Trevor and Karen Manwaring of ‘Trekarman’, live 3 kms NorthWeat of Biloela in Central Queensland. They took over his parents’ property 20 years ago, and it’s important to them to continue in the Manwaring family way of farming.

“We feel it is important for this wealth of farming knowledge accumulated over three generations to be passed on to the next otherwise it will be lost. After all farming is a specialist field! We have 3 boys and 2 daughters who all love farm life and are eager to help out at times. Particularly if it involves driving something green and yellow and is fitted with GPS”.

Trevor is both excited and nervous about where technology is heading. Nervous because he feels, “I may not be able to keep up with it all! But getting GPS has been a revolution in itself. Straight rows every time without much effort, makes tractor driving a pleasure”!

Everything about their latest John Deere 6150R meets his expectation. “I have to fight my boys for the drivers’ seat. The roomy cab with all the latest modern conveniences through to its impressive performance and reliability is all I want it to be and more”.

Diversifying into cotton to overcome a water shortage is a strategy they have employed but growing grains, pulses and hay is also part of their plan.

“Back in 1995 we installed our first lot of sub surface trickle irrigation to help improve our water efficiency. At this time underground water levels were critically low. But since the floods the underground aquifer has risen significantly giving us more water security for the next ten years. So we use a broad spectrum of irrigation techniques including trickle, flood and spray-lines.

We have also purchased another 600 acre property which has a water allocation attached to it to give us even more water security”.

At ‘Trekarman’ tram tracking is utilised to help reduce soil compaction, GPS navigation is used and minimising tillage to keep as much stubble cover as possible are just some of the techniques adopted to produce better outcomes.

“The cotton industry”, Trevor says, “is a professional industry and over the last forty years there have been many advancements and improvements. A major turning point was the introduction of Bollgard cotton which dramatically reduced the need for the use of pesticides and herbicides. Thus making it a more manageable crop to grow.

We have a passion for farming it’s in the blood and we can’t imagine doing anything else.

Although it can be challenging at times it is also very rewarding and satisfying when you achieve a high yielding crop. We are always discussing and planning how we can improve on our techniques and how to develop other strategies which will increase our productivity. And of course we are always adding things to the never ending machinery wish list.

John Deere has been a very big part of our farming operation since my father bought his first John Deere tractor a 3130. It is still in use today! Quickly we learned that John Deere was a leader in its field for row cropping”.

When asked if he had one power or wish in life what would it be Trevor answered, “That there were two of me. One working while the other one of me was off fishing somewhere”!