Chris Magner isn’t one to shy away from trying new things. The Lismore farmer and his wife, Catherine, sold their dairy farm in December 2006 to branch out into greener pastures.

“We intended to change to beef cattle but our primary focus will now be hay and silage,” Chris said.

“We are looking at establishing up to 200 acres of Lucerne hay because we realised there’s a large market for it in the Northern Rivers.” Chris, who has been farming in this area since ‘the year dot’ said his family needed a change from the hard labour of dairy farming.

“The sort of farming we are looking at doing is less consistently intensive than dairying.” Now is certainly a time to diversify.” Chris said he would be enlisting the help of Days Machinery in Casino to help him make a start in a new industry.

“We are buying a lot of new hay-making equipment from Days at the moment. Our biggest investment will be a McHale Fusion round baler, which is a combination of a main baler and a wrapper.

Usually it takes two tractors and a few men to do the same job, that we can do with this one machine.”

Grass is greener: Chris Magner has been a diary farmer in the region for a long time but is now heading in a new direction after selling his farm a few weeks ago.

Chris described the baler as ‘highly efficient’ and said it would save him from employing costly labour. “Our farm will be pretty much entirely mechanically run, which is a major cash-saver,” he said.

The 700-acre farm is located 16 kilometres from Lismore and includes up to 300 cattle. Chris said he intended to keep his farm in the family. “We bought our farm off my Mum 11 years ago and added a couple of properties to it,” Chris said.

“My 16 years old boy has gone to study agriculture at Tocal. Hopefully he’ll help us out here when he’s finished.”