Farm Labour

Looking for work on-farm

Jobs for on-farm work are advertised on a number of platforms, such as seek or specific labour-hire firms. To support the matching of employees and employers, GPA has developed an online EOI form that we will use to support our farm labour register. Complete the form now to register your skill set and availability for grain harvest jobs.

Media on farm labour requirements

Swapping 787s for 9240s as pilots retrain as header drivers

Labour and border issues

To support work in cross border movement, the National Agricultural Workers Code has been developed. GPA has been working with the state farming organisations and the Australian Custom Harvesters Association on developing flexibility in the ability to move across borders, while miniming disruption to agricultural activities and supporting business viability for the coming harvest period.

Grain farm worker - basic task list

As a grain farm employee, the work required may include:

  • Preparation of equipment and machinery for seeding and harvest

  • Summer cropping activities including cultivating, seeding and applying appropriate fertiliser rates for all crops

  • Harvest activities including crop topping, header driving, local grain delivery, grain testing, record keeping

  • Operation of farm machinery including tractors, headers, grain bins and augers

  • Re-fuelling, routine maintenance checks and basic servicing (ie greasing bearings, checking hydraulic fluid)

  • Transport and set up equipment and gear for the day (field bins, utes, service vehicles, tractors etc)

It is helpful if you are able to approach tasks with a practical can-do attitude

  • Be adaptable to the tasks and changing work conditions as task flows

  • Be prepared to move fast if weather or some other issue may occur which puts the crop or farm at risk


The environment during harvest periods can include:

  • Dusty, hot conditions, grain dust/straw and chaff can cause allergies

  • Long hours working by yourself with a lot of space around you

  • Working as part of the harvest team

  • A workplace with hazards due to environment and size of machinery being used

  • The need for fast action on fire safety and awareness

  • Potentially limited access to amenities (ie toilet facilities not available in the paddock)

  • Machinery is intuitive to drive with technology (ie GPS)

  • Mentally taxing work - operating complex machinery for extended periods of time

  • The role may have morning or night work


Cutting hay starts in September, with harvest underway for most of Australia by October, finishing by the end of the year, depending on the weather and season!

Pay rates for grain harvest jobs commonly range from $20 to $35 per hour, plus super, accommodation, and often meals as well. This depends on your skill level, training and education levels. The days can be long (12 hours plus at times), the work can be physically and mentally draining, but it is very rewarding for those that enjoy the outdoors while operating large machinery.


COVID-19 has presented a range of challenges for the agricultural industry. While the information changes regularly, the below links contain the most up to date resourcing, depending on where you are.

General state and territory COVID-19 information

Industry resources  

Safe Work Australia

GPA Training

GPA Training is an online training platform with a  range of resources currently available to support business preparedness, including a comprehensive safety induction, farm safety, fire safety and preparedness, as well as basic grain site delivery familiarisation.

Current courses include


Comprehensive safety induction

The comprehensive safety induction has a range of information on hazard identification, safe work awareness and risk management tools. 

The course covers topics on: 

  • Managing Risk​

  • Staying Safe​

  • Working Safe​

  • Travelling Safe​

Grain receival site safety

The grain receival site delivery course provides learners with an introduction to grain sites, highlighting the hazards and risks of grain receival site safety. Our long-term goal is to provide our industry with a universal, high-level induction that can improve safety standards across our industry at delivery sites while saving the grains industry time and money duplicating effort in induction activities. 

  • Walking on Grain Products

  • Chain of Responsibility

  • Vehicles on Site

  • Working Near Rail

Fire safety and preparedness

The fire safety and preparedness course was developed to support industry awareness and preparedness activities on-farm. The information was developed from the Victorian CFA document “On the Land” and the South Australian CFS document “Joint Guidelines for Operating Farm Fire Units”. The course walks learners through the safety aspects of fire on-farm with topics on:

  • Understanding Fire

  • Prepare Yourself

  • Prepare Your Equipment

  • Prepare Your Property

  • Responsibilities

  • Farm Activities

  • Responding to Fire

The Fire Safety and Preparedness course does not cover firefighting methods and techniques as this is best undertaken through rural fire services – it outlines the safety aspects and what can be done to prepare for fire.

Cropping & Grazing Safety

The Cropping and Grazing Safety course offers safety training specifically targeting the mixed farming zone with an emphasis on grain. A significant number of Australian farming businesses remain family farms and the course gives those farmers the resources to deliver corporate style learning at a fraction of the cost. 

  • Safety on Farm

  • Managing Risks

  • Farm Machinery

  • Livestock

  • Farm Workshops

  • Other Farm Risks

Company site delivery induction

Balco Australia is an export hay company that operates in three Australian states. The company uses our comprehensive safety induction along with a short company-specific course for their grower and carrier inductions. Their course covers topics such as unloading protocols on-site, legal load restraint and UHF communications. We continue to offer companies who may not have online infrastructure an opportunity to provide online learning. GPA Training is developing courses continually, so keep an eye out and check back in on what other information has een added

For more information click here.