A Cape York cattle producer is seeking a cropping farmer to help complete a high-value dryland cropping project.
Paul Ryan and his family, trading as Ryan Global, own and operate pastoral properties on Cape York and western Queensland.
The family has approval to clear just over 31,000 hectares on Fairview Station, Laura, and Mr Ryan wants to see at least two-thirds of the land under cropping.
Already home to the most northern, large scale cropping operation and with two years of forage sorghum under their belt, the family will soon put out an official expression of interest for a suitable partner or partners.
“We are continually expanding and actively pursuing an equity partner on the farming project here at Fairview,” Mr Ryan told the North Queensland Register.
“We are open to different options. We are looking for a farmer to become involved to complete the project to capacity.”
Mr Ryan said options were open.
“It depends on what they bring to the table, whether that’s money or experience,” he said.
“If they have money you can buy experience, if they got experience you don’t need as much money.”
Mr Ryan said there was around 250 ha on Fairview already under forage sorghum and harvest of the 2017 crop was due to start shortly.
He said the season had been “lighter” than normal.
“Last year it went well,” he said.
“We baled it and used it in-house and will do the same this season.
“We haven’t had a real monsoon trough but it’s been good for grass growth.
“The quality is what we expected for how much effort we put into it.”
Mr Ryan said dryland cropping delivered enormous benefits to the family’s beef cattle operation.
“It’s another income producing activity for our operation where we can produce cash flow at time of year when livestock is not producing cash flow,” Mr Ryan said.
“It reduces our transport costs.
“What we are producing for our own stock, we don’t have to worry about transport.”
Mr Ryan is a keen advocate of the trial work underway on Fairview, and hopes to leverage off the results.
“Some of the higher value pulses, mung beans and sesame seeds are showing promise,” he said.
“We will have mung beans in next season.
"They should be planted in December.”
Mr Ryan said he had proved that dryland cropping could work on Cape York.
“We have proven that it works, it’s been a success two years in a row for us,” he said.
“Our roads are getting better. The road to Mareeba is better than the Bruce Highway and this year it will be bitumen to town and our last year of dirt.”