Farmer George Last runs new Sprout Ag Wagga branch

NEW VENTURE: George Last left his Cootamundra farm to run the new Sprout Ag branch in Wagga. Picture: Les Smith
NEW VENTURE: George Last left his Cootamundra farm to run the new Sprout Ag branch in Wagga. Picture: Les Smith

A farmer has started a new agribusiness service on Baylis Street, spurred by what he sees as the booming agricultural sector all throughout the Riverina.

George Last now runs the new Sprout Ag Wagga office, where he handles the banking and finance side of agribusiness.

Mr Last said farmers had suffered tremendous financial hardship through the years of drought and bushfires, but were now looking to recoup some of those losses off the back of what appears to be a bumper season.

"The last couple of years have been tough across the board, but I think this current year has seen people try to take those opportunities, make up as much as they can, and consolidate their positions," Mr Last said.

"We are also seeing the next generation coming through looking to expand their business and position themselves for future growth opportunities, and we're starting to see some of that coming through."

He said there were also promising signs in the technology space, with many game-changing devices and systems changing the playing field for Wagga farmers and Bomen companies.

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Mr Last said his own canola and wheat crops were looking excellent this season, which has been one of the rainiest ones in many years.

Mr Last said the rain had made a noticeable difference to farmers' outlooks on life, saying he had seen smiles returning to their faces for the first time since the drought began.

"A crop is a farmer's work and they take great pride in it, so it's great seeing smiles on their faces when they show you their two tonne canola crop or a five tonne wheat crop," Mr Last said.

"It really makes the job worthwhile when you see that."

Sprout Ag chief executive Troy Constance said the rain was a welcome change, but that the ag sector was still facing threats from COVID, Chinese trade war, plummeting wool prices, and supply chain disruptions.

"We have seen farming businesses go from losing entire farms to the bushfires, to now being busier than ever and not being able to meet COVID demand," Mr Constance said.

"This summer's bushfires, coupled with the impact of the drought and the evolving implications of COVID-19, have led to a significant degree of uncertainty for the agriculture industry."

This story Canola and wheat farmer starts new agribusiness service first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.