NESTLED at the centre of the Moree cropping belt, “Coomooma” at Gurley offers a little over 1000 hectares of well-managed dryland farming.
Run for nearly 20 years by agronomist Peter Pumpa and his wife Maria, the property has undergone vast improvements.
“The biggest change we’ve made to it is to convert it to zero till farming,” Mr Pumpa said.
“It’s made a big difference in the productivity of the farm and it’s saved so much time.”
The Pumpas introduced zero till farming to the property in 2006, rearranging the paddocks into tramline fashion and keeping stubble cover.
The mixture of grey cracking clays running to rich alluvial soils along Gurley Creek lend themselves to zero till, as does the generous annual rainfall of 622mm.
“In all the years we’ve had it we’ve always produced a crop, even through some pretty harsh droughts,” he said.
“It’s always been a reliable producer because of the location and because we get the storms through here but mostly because of the way it’s been farmed.”
The farm is well-stocked with water - it is fed by Gurley Creek plus two dams, three water tanks and two windmill bores.
Working improvements include two large machinery sheds, six grain silos with a combined storage of 320 tonnes, five seed silos with a combined storage of 78 tonnes and 4,400 litres of diesel storage.
The property also comes with two cottages which are ideal for housing temporary workers.
The property is currently planted to wheat, chickpeas and mungbeans. In the past Mr Pumpa has successfully cropped barley, sorghum and faba beans.
So why would a farmer want to leave such a perfectly set-up agribusiness?
“I just want to do things like travel and a bit of recreational stuff that I haven’t had a chance to do,” he said.
“I used to work as a consultant in the cotton industry and that was pretty full-on there for most of my youth so I want to go and do some of those things while I’m still young enough.”
“Coomooma” is being marketed by Paul Thomas at Landmark Narrabri.