George Griffin's farm in the north western region of Tasmania has some of the most productive farm land in Australia. Massey Ferguson visited George to find out more about his diverse range of crops including stunning rows of lilies and tulips.
In rolling hills
seamed with rows of iridescent tulips in full bloom, George Griffin runs a
diverse farming operation that includes potatoes, onions, poppies, wheat and lilies,
but predominantly stunning rows of dense tulips that contrast brilliantly
against the lush green of his farm’s undulating landscape.
“We started doing
tulips and gradually we’ve got bigger and bigger as the years have gone on and
now tulips would be our number one crop” George says.
Situated in the north
western region of Tasmania, and just inland from the coast, George’s farm takes
in some of the most productive land in Australia, with rich soil and good water
resources enabling George to run a diversified cropping program.
“We are growing
probably eight or nine different crops together but we are also upping our
hectares and acreage a lot so we are up around well over 400 acres”, George
Originally a motor
mechanic, George returned to farming in the year 2000 and says it was a natural
transition for him to gravitate back to farming.
“We come from a family
with a history in farming so it was not a big shot to move into farming. We
gradually bought a bit of land as the years have gone by and we have got bigger
“So that is keeping us
pretty busy but the tulips are our number one main crop now, which takes up a
bit of time and labour. We used to export back into Holland a little bit but
that has dried up now so it is all for the Australian market,” says George.
Within a couple of
years expanding on the farm, George bought an MF 6265 which he held onto for
five years before moving up to a MF 7465.
“We went up to a six
cylinder with the Dyna-VT transmission and we found that absolutely great, to
have that capability from 20 metres an hour in the paddock and up to 50 km/h the road - plus the front suspension and cab
suspension,” George Says.
More recently George
has expanded his line up to include a guidance ready MF 7618, again with a
Dyna–VT transmission, later adding an MF 7716.
“The mf 7618 is a 165
horsepower tractor with all the bells and whistles, we find it really good, it
was guidance ready and we put an RTK GPS system in the tractor, and we have
been learning how to use that which has been really handy for us to have on
straight rows and improves our efficiencies with our cropping,” says George.
With the farm’s
expanding area under cultivation, George’s desire to enhance his operation’s
efficiencies led him to further expand his line up with the MF 7716, which is
set up on narrow wheels and used primarily for tulips and potato planting as
well as some fertilizer spreading.
incorporating the new tractor’s headland management feature into working the
paddocks has been well received by the farm’s operators.
“The technology in
these tractors is really very good, the operators like the programmable
headland management and you can program what you want the tractor to do”.
“If you’re ploughing you can come up to the
headland and the tractor will automatically lift the plough up out of the
ground, then you can go back a little bit and then while you are doing that the
plough will turn over because it’s a reversible plough, while you are actually
turning around on the headland and then put it back into the ground again, then
automatically select four wheel drive, diff lock if you want it and away you go
again,” says George.
“It’s those sorts of
features that are really great. It’s time saving. The operators really love it
especially with guidance in there as well. With all the comforts of the cab,
the quietness, it’s a lot less stressful, you can walk away from the tractor at
the end of the day not feeling really tired.”
Supporting George and
his expanding enterprise has been local Massey Ferguson Dealer Total Ag
Solutions, “who have looked after us over the years, “says George.
“We have a great relationship with our dealer.
We can ring up with any issues and they get fixed, there’re done”.
George is optimistic
about the future, and the role emerging technologies and innovation in the
industry and the agricultural outlook for Tasmania.
“I think over the next
five to ten years the agricultural scene in Tasmania looks really positive.
While prices probably aren’t going to change very much, I think productivity is
going to be a lot better, with the advances in technology but also just with
the positive feel in Tassie at the moment and we think there is a great future
in farming in the years to come.”