Southern Downs poultry farm thrives in 2015
AT THE start of 2015, Cunningham producer Sam Fessey started a significant project to introduce eight new chicken sheds and grain silos to his property.
After two inches of rain in the past fortnight, Mr Fessey shared the successes of the year on the farm in 2015.
"We have 3000 acres here - 1000 acres on the river and 2000 of grazing country," Mr Fessey said.
"It's a very successful mixed farm and very unique in what it does.
"We grow lucerne and this year we've also grown corn for gritting for products like cornflakes."
On the other side of the Cunningham Hwy are eight chicken sheds which Mr Fessey and wife Jo began constructing after eight years on the property.
"The big thing with the poultry sheds is keeping distance from other people, and keeping away the noise, light and odour so it doesn't affect anyone," he said.
"We've had reports from technology experts that have said it shouldn't impact on anyone and we're fortunate to have that buffer zone.
"We've built most of this from scratch, with development approvals."
A proponent of sustainable farming, Mr Fessey has built two sheds at a time so his business is operational through construction.
"At the moment we're trialling solar panels which make the sheds completely self-sufficient," he said.
"The sheds are all computer-controlled with pre-sets for each day of the chicken's life, which regulate temperature, water and feed.
"All the water is pumped from bores on the flood plain into the sheds for drinking and cooling.
"On the flood plain we use manure out of the chicken sheds as a natural fertilizer which definitely impacts on our carbon footprint.
"In constructing the sheds, we've used Australian-made steel and have employed about 30 people, all locals, in the last year, which is significant to the local economy.
"Energy is key to the future and it's paramount for any primary producer to pursue these options.
"I'm really excited because I feel this part of the property is really the best use of some of this country."