Efficiency ethos for brothers

Kate PollardCountryman

When you meet the Newbey brothers, Scott and Wayne, you can't help but feel excited about the future of farming.

These two young men are in their second year of running the family farm, Kerangvale, together.

The Broomehill property was settled about 110 years ago by their great grandfather, Samuel John Newbey.

As fourth generation farmers, their ethos is simple - efficiency.

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"If we can be efficient working a little farm, we have a chance of getting efficient in a bigger farm," Scott said.

The brothers' aim is to tool up and expand when the opportunity presents itself over the next 10 years.

Despite being swamped by "information overload" in the first year, the Newbeys have an optimistic outlook.

They share the workload in the office and outdoors while focusing on their individual strengths.

Scott, who has a strong grasp of financials, closes the books at the end of the month, the BAS.

He also drives the tractor at seeding so Wayne can concentrate on spraying as well as helping with inputting data.

They've both worked for other farmers but having to make decisions on what to plant, where to plant and how to manage their livestock is all new.

To fill the knowledge gap and up-skill they use agronomist Frank Boetel, of Farmanco, Katanning, and are members of the Broomehill crop group.

They also use Agrimaster for their accounting and a grain marketer to help maximise returns from their harvest.

"You can make more now from marketing decisions than growing more crop," Scott said.

One of the most valuable tools for the brothers was participating in the Drought Pilot workshops where they were able to put together a strategic plan for the next decade.

"It was good to be able to lay it all out," Wayne said.

"We didn't change any of our goals but were able to formalise them step by step. Strategic planning is a very handy tool in farming."

This season Scott and Wayne are putting in 700 hectares of crop, including Crusher and Gem canola, Hindmarsh barley as well as wheat varieties Mace and Magenta. They are also putting in some Wandering oats which will be baled.

They got started last Thursday.

Sheep are also an important part of the mix on the farm and account for half of their enterprise.

They run Merinos with 20 per cent mated to black-faced Suffolks.

This year they have scanned all of their ewes and recorded only 4 per cent dry.

Forty nine per cent of the total ewe flock are bearing twins.

The brothers say they've spent more time managing their sheep to ensure the rams and ewes are in top condition before joining and have been trail feeding since January.

Lambing will begin on July 1.

Fast facts *

Who: Scott and Wayne Newbey, Kerangvale

Where: Broomehill

What: Mixed farming enterprise

Average rainfall: 450mm

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