Years ago, Indian-born Billa Gill made the leap to New Zealand where he worked in agriculture and invested in a cattle farm. In 2005, Billa made another switch; this time to Red Cliffs, buying himself a 14-hectare almond farm. Then his operation was hit by droughts; it wasn’t until 2011 when he brought his first piece of land in Iraak that things started to turn around.
His son Hardeep Singh, who is now Finance and Operations manager, said the farm grew ‘little bit by little bit’ until they reached to where they are today: “Every scenario has an opportunity so you should always be looking out to see what opportunities there is in any circumstance.”
Now, Gill Farms comprises approximately 1 mln hectares of land with 30 permanent employees and they’re currently on the path of transitioning their family farm into a well-structured family business. Gill Farms has roughly 200 hectares of citrus planted with another 65 going in the next two years. They plant a combination of varieties including Lane Late Navels, Washington Navels and a little bit of Lengs, and Navelinas. They are also planning on having a crack at the new Ruby GS variety.
Gill Farms is keeping a close eye on nutrition and crop manipulation. They’re cautious how the industry might be changing in the future and how they can prepare for those changes.
“I think you have to be ready and up to date to new thought processes around nutrition and all the crop manipulation type, so you have to be really up to date with that. Especially, I think the new thing that they will have to get ready for is with the pest management, there’s a lot of the chemistry being removed from other markets, so you really have to get up to speed with that,” Hardeep told citrusaustralia.com.au.