Daniel Hammond Age 34, Bairnsdale, Victoria

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Business Bulmer Farms
Expertise Horticulture
Crop Focus  Salad lines and baby broccoli
Methods Balanced

How do you feel about being nominated for the YGOTY award?
I’m honoured and proud to be nominated for this award at a national level.

Why do you think it is important to honour young growers?
For a strong and sustainable industry, we need to attract and retain high quality young people into horticulture.  The vegetable industry is a great one and should be an attractive career choice for young people.  I believe the awards on a whole help to build on the image of the industry.

What are the major challenges to young growers?
Time, capital, opportunity and risk.  It can be difficult to create a good opportunity as a young grower in the industry and then very challenging to balance the associated time, risks and costs.

How are you using IPM?
Our growing practices aim to maintain and build healthy soils and in turn healthy plants. I believe this reduces the pressure from pests and diseases. Improving irrigation techniques, cover cropping, crop rotations and variety selection have been a few areas we have worked on.

What’s your favourite beneficial bug? And why?
Lady birds. We find that aphids also find our fresh vegetable enjoyable to eat.

Have you ever sought advice from an agronomist for your farm? If so why? Who is your agronomist? If not, would you consider it in the future?
We work with a couple of off farm Agronomists and also have our own full time Agronomist employed at Bulmer Farms.  Stuart Grigg Ag-Hort Consulting has been working with Bulmer Farms for many years.  We also utilise the services of Noel Jansz at Elders Bairnsdale.

Are you attending Hort Connections conference? Have you been before? What are you looking forward to?
I’ll be attending the Hort connections conference.  When I’ve been in the past I’ve got a lot out of meeting new and existing people from within the industry.  I’m certainly looking forward to the networking.