Kialla’s 1200 hectare farm is about 30km south of Theodore in Central Qld.
Half of the farm is currently In Conversion to Organic (see more below for more on the conversion process). About a third of the total farming area is irrigated using water from the Dawson River, which provides an excellent safeguard in times of drought. The balance is a mix of cattle and dryland wheat.
Here we grow both A Grade Certified Organic and In Conversion to Organic popcorn, white French millet, red sorghum, maize, and wheat. In addition, there is also organic KAMUT® khorasan wheat.
Kialla recently acquired the exclusive Australian license for the KAMUT® brand of khorasan wheat. This trademark guarantees that crops grown using the KAMUT® khorasan seeds are always organic, GMO-free, and that this ancient grain has not been hybridised or changed by modern wheat breeding programs. KAMUT® khorasan also has higher levels of antioxidants, especially selenium.
The farm manager believes the future of organic farming will involve new technologies and he likes to experiment and test new methods. Some of these include using drones to check the crops and using science to help build soil health. Most conventional farmers are now waking up to the fact that decades of using fertiliser to artificially boost soil, and chemical sprays to kill weeds, have led to numerous issues. These include depleted soils and weeds that are resistant to the herbicides. Like many others who have left behind conventional farming with its high use of chemicals, he describes herbicides as ‘band-aid solutions’.
Unlike farmers in other developed economies like the EU and USA, farmers in Australia do not receive subsidies year after year to supplement their bottom line. Many farmers supplement their farming income with fencing, harvesting, and truck driving.