Years ago, Billa Gill, born in India, made the leap to New Zealand where he worked in agriculture and invested in a cattle farm. In 2005, Billa made another change; this time at Red Cliffs, buying himself a 14 hectare almond farm. Then his farm was hit by droughts; It wasn’t until 2011, when he brought his first land to Iraq, that things started to change.
His son Hardeep Singh, who is now director of finance and operations, said the farm grew “bit by bit” until it reached where it is today: “Every scenario has a opportunity, so you should always research what opportunities there are under any given circumstance.
Today, Gill Farms comprises approximately 1 million hectares of land with 30 permanent employees and they are currently on the path to transitioning their family farm into a well structured family business. Gill Farms has approximately 200 acres of citrus planted and a further 65 acres over the next two years. They plant a combination of varieties including Lane Late Navels, Washington Navels and a few Lengs and Navelinas. They also plan to try their hand at the new Ruby GS strain.
Gill Farms closely monitors crop nutrition and handling. They are cautious about the future development of the industry and how they can prepare for these changes.
“I think you need to be ready and up to date with the new thinking around nutrition and all types of crop manipulation, so you need to be really up to date with that. Mostly, I think the new thing they’ll have to prepare for is pest control, a lot of the chemistry is being taken out of other markets, so you really need to make yourself aware of that, ”Hardeep said. citrusaustralia.com.au.