Tandou has a landholding of 79,000 hectares (ha), 142 km south-east of Broken Hill. While seemingly in the middle of semi-arid Australia, Tandou's farming country incorporates the 17,000 ha dry lake bed of Lake Tandou which hosts unique deep cracking, self mulching, grey clay soils.
This soil, the topography, local climate and secure water from the nearby Darling River and Menindee Lakes Scheme distinguishes Tandou from any other property in Australia.
Around 13,380 ha of Tandou's farming country is irrigable and all of this is developed to exceed industry best practice standards. At Tandou we endeavour to not waste a drop of water.
The majority of our country is irrigated by an innovative gravity fed furrow system designed specifically for the unique swelling and sealing properties of the farm’s clay soils located in the dry bed of Lake Tandou. This ensures maximum water use efficiency.
In addition, approximately 780 ha of land have been developed to permanent, water efficient, sub-surface drip irrigation – the most extensive such development in Australia. This sub-surface irrigation enables us to optimise the application of water and fertiliser to high yielding annual row crops, decreasing water usage by 20%.
Ultimately, our water use efficiency ensures long-term cropping sustainability while maximising yields.
The principal crops grown by Tandou include:
These are grown in rotation to facilitate sustainable soil management and long term production. This rotation policy, coupled with permanent crop beds, reduced tillage, full crop residue retention and compost addition, is actively increasing soil carbon to above original levels. At Tandou, we are improving soil health to create a more robust, sustainable cropping system which will ensure our long term sustainability for our customers and shareholders.
In addition to the principal crops, we also opportunistically grow row crops including:
This diverse cropping portfolio spreads risk and allows us to capitalise on market opportunities for particular crops, while maximising return per megalitre (ML) of water used.
At Tandou, we utilise the most advanced computer programs and software to obtain vital information on crop progress in order to maximise water use efficiency and hence yields.
Weather and soil moisture data are gathered and logged to computer systems which are integrated with irrigation systems to ensure absolute precision in irrigation volumes so not a single drop of precious water is wasted.
Agronomic trials, including those focussing on plant varieties, nutrition and management, help us determine the most suitable crops for the long term sustainability of the country.