Award winning fertiliser applicator cuts down on costs

September 23, 2014

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Neil Parker, Tow and Farm, with his 2014 Machine of the Year Award.

A fertiliser applicator allowing farmers to quickly mix and apply foliar and fine particle fertilisers has been named as the 2014 Henty Machine of the Year.

The Tow and Fert Multi 4000, entered by Tow and Farm, Laverton North, Victoria, impressed judges with its design and manufacture at the Henty Machinery Field Days.

The field days, southern Australia’s single biggest open-air event, are on September 23-25.

Highly commended was National Stockyard Systems, Rutherford, NSW, with their innovative cattle yard design, Stabiliser 200.

A total of 10 machines and equipment at the cutting edge of agricultural technology were showcased in the Machine of the Year.

Announced on the opening day, this “farmers choice’’ award is presented to the most outstanding new piece of agricultural machinery exhibited at the field days.

It was judged by an independent panel of regional primary producers on Monday and presented by National Farmers Federation Drought Taskforce chairman David Jochinke at the field days opening today (September 23).

In many cases the winning machine has gone on to become a standard piece of equipment on farms throughout Australia.

Judging criteria includes the machine’s purpose and suitability, scope of application, construction (durability and design), ease of maintenance and service, ease of operation and adjustment, availability of parts and overall value for money.

Last year, the award was won by the Morris Industries RAZR Disc Drill entered by McIntosh Distribution, Perth, Western Australia.

MOTY chairman and Brocklesby grain grower Matt Bergmeier said the award was open to all machines on site released into the Australian market in the 12 months prior to the field days.

Mr Bergmeier said the award showcased innovative equipment already commercially available in the market place.

The tractor trailed Multi 4000 has a PTO driven mixing system which can brew mixes for up to 60ha.

“The Tow and Fert Multi 4000 had the ability to use four basic forms of product – any solid fertiliser that is soluble in water; solid insoluble fine-particle product, liquid fertilisers and biologically active fertiliser,’’ Mr Bergmeier said.

“It uses a system which doesn’t have the risk of sediment settlement in the lines or tank.

“Serviceability and ease of use was quite good, it was well built and has a phone app to help with calibration.’’

Tow and Fert sales manager Neil Parker said the vigorous in-tank agitation would dissolve urea in 10 to 15 minutes, saving up to 50 per cent of nitrogen costs.

Mr Parker said accurate mixes could be achieved using the on-board scales to save money on fertiliser.

Murray Schaefer, of National Stockyard Systems, was high commended for the Stabiliser 200 crush, which maximises bail pressure through geometry of linkages.

“This is especially applicable for larger stud bulls – the crush has been lengthened to handle a longer animal,’’ Mr Bergmeier said.

“The crush is Australian made and manufactured, and comes with innovative gates for doing different jobs such as scanning and vaccinating.’’