Brothers Chris and Andrew Mullins are progressive young Norco Dairy farmers and like many Aussie farmers they were born into it which makes them third generation Dairy farmers. Carinya is where they grew up; “we would be in our cots when Mum was doing the daily milking” said Andrew. The property is situated near Allora in Queensland which is known as ‘The Best Little Town on the Darling Downs’. The farmer was previously owned by their parents Tom and Kaye who now run beef cattle, although I Kaye is still milking daily for her two sons - Don’t you love Mum’s and of course Tom is always available to lend a hand when needed.
Chris and Andrew have a total herd of 450 cows which includes heifers, dry cows and calves, with 250 cows being milked daily. They are both enthusiastic and proactive farmers who have inherited the simple rules of practical farm management but also have the passion to break new ground to enable them to grow and sustain a more self-sufficient business. Chris and Andrew utilise the entire ‘Norco infrastructure, which encompasses, The Norco Rural Store, Norco Grain, the Norco Agronomist, their Milk Supply team and the Patronage Scheme.
When asked - What is the major difference in how you are farming as opposed to how your parents would have farmed? Andrew explained “We have a more intensive silage feeding regime these days where our parents routine was primarily grazing with supplement feed. We feel that it is definitely an advantage to have the control to monitor all aspects of what goes into the feed. Ultimately, if the paddocks are clean and producing good quality feed we are able to produce good quality silage, which is the foundation of our feed.
Although a soybean crop is not something that has been conducive to Queensland weather conditions it was something that they were keen to explore. “We have had great results with our second soybean crop; the first crop wasn’t successful as it was weather affected but because of the high levels of protein gained from the soybean, we persisted and it is absolutely paying off as it has lowered the usage of protein meals that are added to the daily rations” said Andrew.
The boys are working closely with Norco Agronomists from the Norco Toowoomba Rural store to assisting them improve the quality of their pastures of Corn, Lucerne, Rye Grass Clover and Soybeans that they grow primarily for silage. Chris said “the soybean crop was definitely not looking good before Norco's Agronomists stepped in with some great advice and now it’s powering”
Chris and Andrew also have a great working relationship with Neville Brown from Norco Grain “we purchase our Canola Meal and Soybean Meal which we mix with the silage for our daily rations from Norco Grain. Nev’s a good operator and is always on the ball for whatever we want and when we need it; we know that ‘The Grain Team’ has a handle on what’s happening in the market place and we certainly benefit from their expertise” said Andrew.
The Mullins brothers have a clear vision and plan of where the future of their business is heading; it’s not about growing the herd to supply more milk; it’s about working with what they currently have while building the infrastructure of the property to enable the business to run more efficiently, resulting in an increase in production and profitability and they are taking advantage of help along the way that Norco offers.