Poppy growers’ double delight

SOME of Tasmania’s top poppy growers were recognised recently at the annual Extractas Bioscience grower award lunch.

The awards were presented at the Deloraine Football Club Rooms, where 130 growers, contractors and industry supporters gathered.

Awards were presented to growers of the top crops in the company’s five production areas.

Kim Badcock and her son, Coby, won the overall top crop award for the second year in a row.

The Badcocks, who farm on the family’s 243ha at North Motton, grew a crop which produced 100.11kg of alkaloid a hectare.

Last year the family’s crop produced 107.89kg of alkaloid a hectare creating a new world record.

Coby said this year’s winning 6ha crop went in during a small window between rain events in spring.

“It was the second last crop to go in for our field officer’s area, but the conditions were pretty good in the end,” he said.

“I think it rained the next day and we had about 100mm over the next couple of days, so if we’d missed that window, we wouldn’t have got it in.”

The wet seasonal conditions also made crop management initially quite challenging.
“For the first two applications it was really tricky, because I didn’t want to get on the paddock and bog it up,” he said.

“After that is wasn’t too bad though.”

Attention to detail is one of the keys to produc ing top poppy crops and that is something Mrs Badcock said Coby is very good at.

“Coby manages the crops really well, so if the field officer says the crop needs something within a certain window of time, he will make sure it is done,” she said.

The family run a mixed farming operation growing crops including potatoes, onions, carrots broccoli and fattening sheep and cattle.

After producing the company’s top crop two years in a row, the Badcocks are now keen to see if they can do it again.

State Field Operations Manager, Noel Beven said the past season will be remembered for the damaging rain and storm events throughout the midlands, north and northwest regions.

The very challenging conditions saw 1000ha hectares of crop lost due to flooding and wet conditions.

However, Mr Beven said the resulting harvest was of high quality despite a cool spring and summer.

Only the Thebaine poppy variety was grown this year and growers of the top performing crop in each of the five regions were recognised.

Winners were:
Region 1: CD & JM Elpinstone, Sisters Creek, 93.24 kg/ha
Region 2: Badcock Agriculture Trust, North Motton, 100.11 kg/ha
Region 3: CJ Griffin, Deloraine, 79.73 kg/ha
Region 4: Greenhill Trading Conara, 56.91 kg/ha
Region 6: Curringa Farm, Hamilton, 66.30 kg/ha
The location of the Growers Award Lunch was chosen to support the Deloraine Football Club after the recent refurbishment of the club rooms following the devastating floods of last year.