Duaringa grain grower and beef producer Colin Dunne is one of Central Queensland’s many innovative primary producers.
Duaringa grain grower and beef producer Colin Dunne is one of Central Queensland’s many innovative primary producers. Daniel Burdon

Farmer chosen to be a Champion

DRIVING past Duaringa on the Capricorn Hwy, Central Queensland residents could be forgiven for thinking that not much goes on in the small town.

But less than 50km from Duaringa, a revolution has been taking place on Colin Dunne’s mixed-farming property, Sorrell Hills.

Mr Dunne runs a high-efficiency grain-growing business on his property, centred on a “controlled traffic, zero-till” operation.

His 2200ha grain cultivation was under about two metres of water during the floods, but has since yielded Mr Dunne crops of wheat, chickpeas, mung beans and corn.

He said that his operation was not that innovative, but he admitted that he didn’t know of too many farmers growing crops the way he does.

Mr Dunne was one of 34 of the nation’s most innovative farmers selected for a new program, called Climate Champions, which aims to incorporate climate variability as part of farm management, in collaboration between farmers and scientists.

Mr Dunne’s farm uses GPS-controlled planters, controlled by automated computer systems, technology which he said still needs some perfecting, but was an improvement on years gone by.

He said: “I don’t really think I’m doing anything different to many other farmers around this region, everyone I know is using this technology now as it’s simply the smarter way to operate.

“I used to get 20 hours out of one tank of fuel, but now I am getting 40 hours out of the same tank, purely because of efficiency changes.”



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