Picturesque paddocks of golden canola may be a thing of the past as plant technology progresses rapidly, according to NSW Farmers Association president Derek Schoen.
Future canola crops may either be blue or have no petals at all, reducing crop liability, Mr Schoen said.
He addressed visitors at The Stump at the Henty Machinery Field Days on Wednesday, September 21.
Mr Schoen, a Corowa farmer, reflected on how far agriculture had come compared to 20 years ago.
“In those days we had mobile phones that wouldn’t even fit in your pocket – they were carried on a shoulder strap,’’ he said.
“There was little or no auto steer in tractors and variable transmissions were a thing of the future.
“Looking at the Henty field days today and the advances in technology on display, agriculture has come a long, long way.’’
Mr Schoen said auto steer was now mainstream, most tractors have some form of automatic transmission and drones were commonplace in monitoring crops, stock and watering points.
“The average mobile phone now has more capacity than what was used to send man to the moon,’’ he said.
“No longer do we have to wait for grain prices to be phoned or faxed – immediate, real time information is available in the palm of our hands.
“We can also conduct the contracts for selling that grain before the truck leaves the paddock.’’
Mr Schoen said the big advances in agriculture would be in biotechnology, plant technology and autonomous tractors.
He said a new variety of blue flowering canola sporting disease resistant traits would be available in the future.
“Eventually, canola without flowering petals will be bred as the petals are considered a liability to plant health and have become redundant in the modern day canola plant.’’
Mr Schoen said future cereal and canola crops would synthesise their own nitrogen, eliminating the need for top dressing with fertiliser.
Perennial wheat varieties will be a plant of the future, enabling a wheat crop to be harvested up to three times before resowing.
“Agriculture is a really positive space and has become sexy as an occupation,’’ Mr Schoen said.
Southern NSW beef producers have been called upon to donate cattle to a fundraising drive aimed at raising awareness of mental health in the Riverina.
Wagga not-for-profit organisation Riverina Blue Bell and Riverina Local Land Services launched their Droving the Blues Away fundraiser at the Henty Machinery Field Days on September 21.
Donated cattle were to be driven around a 260km route over the next month, but unseasonally wet conditions has meant the mob will now be agisted and fattened for sale.
The cattle will be auctioned at the Wagga saleyards on October 24.
Fundraising functions are planned for Lockhart on September 30, Narrandera October 7, Ganmain on October 14 and Brucedale on October 21, from 4.30pm to 8pm.
Riverina Blue Bell chairman Chris Wilson said the organisation was passionate about promoting mental health awareness.
“This drive, although it is more of a drive in spirit than event, will help to create interest and awareness in the Riverina community about good mental well being,’’ Mr Wilson said.
He said the event would proceed, regardless of the weather, and was seeking more cattle.
“Unfortunately, we won’t be droving them around the community but we will be putting them on agistment for fattening and sale on October 24.
“Without the drove, we are still keeping our initiative going and heading through communities such as Lockhart, Narrandera, Ganmain and North Wagga, giving people a wonderful night out, promoting mental health awareness and airing stories.
“There is no shame in having a mental illness but it’s a bloody shame if you don’t do something about it.
“The wider community needs to understand it is an illness which can be treated, managed and is not a life sentence.
“It is not contagious and you cannot catch something if you ask RUOK – you might just catch a life.’’
Mr Wilson said the donation of spirit was perhaps more important than a monetary donation towards the cause.
“Donate a little time to ask how they are going and check on them.’’
Each year, Henty Machinery Field Days Co-operative supports a worthy cause and this year chose Riverina Blue Bell.
Black Dog Institute creative director Matthew Johnstone officially launched the Droving the Blues Away event at the field days, coinciding with Mental Health month.
Mr Johnstone said farmers were isolated by distance and culture.
“We talk a lot about looking after our physical bodies but not so much for our mental health,’’ he said.
“The most important thing around mental health is prevention – if we know what to do, how to have that conversation, we are half way there.
“We have RUOK day but we should be doing that more often, and that’s why Droving the Blues is such a great initiative – it gets people having that conversation.’’
Chinese manufacturer YTO Tractors has flagged the construction of a central distribution hub as the company drives for a toehold in the Australian market.
YTO chose the Henty Machinery Field Days to introduce their range of 35-220hp tractors to the southern Australian market and debut the company’s first powershift model.
Held on September 20-22, the field days were attended by an international delegation including Kejun Wang, president of YTO Group Corporation, and Les Clarke, EveryMach YTO Tractors Australia general manager.
YTO opened its first official service facility in Toowoomba last year followed by a second southern facility in Melbourne at Pakenham.
Mr Wang said Henty was identified by YTO as one of the largest field days in Australia and covered a large company customer base.
Planning for Henty began in early 2016 with a delegation of 10 attending including marketing, production assembly and international trade staff.
YTO is primarily focusing on the tractor range of 70 horsepower and above.
“YTO Group is the largest tractor manufacturer in China and we wish to expand in Australia,’’ Mr Wang said.
“At this field days, we have introduced our new horsepower model which is a direct rival to the US brands.
“At Henty, we were really pleased to see our customers were happy with the product we had on display.’’
Mr Wang said the next phase for YTO would be to focus on the powershift models, including the LF2204 220hp 4wd aircab.
“In the future, we are looking to build a central hub in order to provide better products and training for the service centres,’’ he said.
“We are already in the preparation stage and it will be probably some time next year.
“Our team in Australia is already working on that.’’
Mr Wang said the Chinese product range would be continually modified to suit Australian conditions.
“Our high clearance model is particularly designed for the Australian market,’’ he said.
“Our models are just as powerful as the US and European brands.
“We are looking to maximise the efficiency of our models for the Australian market and price wise we are competitive.
“It is our primary goal to make our models affordable.’’
YTO has reported a 50 per cent increase in sales volume since opening a northern Australian service facility, and has identified six strategic areas in the world for expansion.
The tractors are complemented by a range of Mateng implements.
Mr Wang said Australia was on the company’s radar, with efforts focused at developing a repeatable system.
“We are starting to build our sales and service centre, and spare parts,’’ he said.
“We have had much positive feedback at Henty with lots of demand for our powershift models which are similar to those available from (European and US manufacturers).’’
Australian of the Year nominee Brendan Farrell used the Henty Machinery Field Days to launch his latest project to donate bulls and rams to drought-affected farmers.
Mr Farrell, the founder of Burrumbuttock Hay Runners, spoke at The Stump on September 22 about his newest charitable project, Buy-a-Bull.
He also flagged a delivery of 500-600 trailer loads of hay planned for Victorian dairy farmers early in the New Year.
Mr Farrell, of Stanbridge, NSW, said stock agents were inspecting herd bulls in Queensland for the Buy-a-Bull program.
“If we can buy bulls at $3000-$4000, we will donate them to farmers who want to rebuild their herds,’’ he said.
“There will be a category on the application form so producers can nominate what type of bull they require.
“The bulls will be delivered to Blackall saleyards and distributed into a 500km radius of Longreach, taking in Hughenden, Winton and Cunnamulla.
“It all depends where the farmers are – if we have four or five farmers in Cunnamulla, we will truck some down to them.’’
Mr Farrell said the next phase of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners was to look to the future, despite drought breaking rains in western Queensland.
“We need to start this program to get mouths to eat all that grass that is growing,’’ he said.
“The grass is good but it only needs to be dry for six months and they are back to where they started.’’
Mr Farrell said Ray White Narrandera and Wagga had come on board to also source rams from the Riverina for the project.
Freight for the seedstock has already been donated.
“We have triple road trains and stock crates ready to rock and roll – blokes are over the moon to do whatever part they can,’’ he said.
Mr Farrell attended the field days for the first time in 25 years and was blown away by the event.
He donated the use of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners courtesy bus in the field days car park, and sold merchandise from the BHR trailer to raise money for drought-affected farmers.
“It’s an absolute pleasure to be here and hopefully we can keep doing it,’’ he said.
“The Hay Runners look after drought, fire and flood – we will tackle the dairy industry now to keep the dream alive for them.’’
The Hay Runners have completed 12 hay runs in the past three years to Bourke, Weimoringal, Brewarrina, Tilpa, Louth and Lightening Ridge in NSW.
In January, 167 trucks crossed the Queensland border carrying donated hay to Ilfracombe.
This was followed in April by a world record 160km long convoy of 252 prime movers pulling 405 trailers of hay to Queensland.
This equated to 14,000 big squares transported from Darlington Point to Ilfracombe in 48 hours.
“When you see someone down, just give them a hand up,’’ Mr Farrell said.
“The Australian of the Year award nomination is all good and well, but they would have to chop it up into about 700 pieces, as that is how many truck drivers, wives and kids come along on the hay runs.’’
To date, Burrumbuttock Hay Runners have donated 60,000 square and round bales to more than 7500 farmers.
A former dairy farmer, Mr Farrell said a delivery of 500-600 trailer loads of hay was planned for Victorian dairy farmers early in the New Year.
“There are lot of people on the HMFD committee who come on our hay runs,’’ he said.
“I call it the pill of giving – once that pill goes in your heart, you can’t stop.
“We have had truck drivers who have been on 12 runs and they can’t get enough of it.’’
Donations to the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners appeal are collected by the Rotary Club of Sydney.
Strong commodity prices have resulted in a 55,000 strong crowd at the Henty Machinery Field Days to inspect the “agribusiness supermarket’’, showcased by 868 exhibitors on the biggest site area in the event’s history.
Held on September 20-22, the event drew record day one crowd numbers on Tuesday but wet weather dampened numbers for the remainder to result in the final tally.
Despite waterlogged winter crops in some areas, visitors responded by travelling from every state in Australia, armed with their shopping lists.
Exhibitors reported buoyant sales and solid follow-up leads.
This year featured the largest site area, cementing Henty as the single biggest outdoor and agriculture event in Australia.
HMFD chairman Ross Edwards said the hot ticket items this year were sheep and cattle handling equipment, and chaser bins.
Mr Edwards said planning for the 2017 event was already afoot with a vision to build on the agronomy display by Baker Seed Co.
He said the new 120m Country Lifestyle pavilion filled with more than 100 exhibitors was a drawcard for field day visitors.
The pavilion was officially named the Taylor Wood Pavilion in honour of long serving field day volunteers Milton Taylor, Henty, and Colin Wood, Table Top.
“Farm Gate was a hit again with good feedback on the quality of the locally grown produce,’’ Mr Edwards said.
“The agronomy trial plots were outstanding and Baker Seed Co to their credit had done a great job there.
“Exhibitors that I have spoken to by and large are happy, with many making good sales.
“On the quieter day they had time to talk to those people genuinely coming along to make a purchase.’’
The 53rd annual field days marked 50 years of voluntary service for Mr Edwards since first working as a car park attendant with Pleasant Hills Rural Youth at the 1966 field days.
“I won’t be leaving the field days but I believe we must bring younger people into the executive positions, and I will be there to support them without getting in their way,’’ he said.
“I will be in the background working for this great organisation which is great for the Henty district and the region.’’
The field days were officially opened on Tuesday, September 20 by Australian Dairy Farmers deputy chairwoman Simone Jolliffe, of Wagga.
A highlight of this year was the coveted Henty Machine of the Year Award being presented to Urana woolgrowers Charlie and Tana Webb for their sheep handling solution, Back Up Charlie.
Highly commended was the Miller Nitro 6365 with Spray Air from McIntosh Distributors, WA.
In other awards, the Landaco Maxispread bulk spreader from Landaco Equipment, Wagga Wagga, won the Tractor and Machinery Association Award for best new Australian designed and built agricultural machine.
Landaco Equipment principal Peter Connor said Henty was an ideal place for clients to research bulk fertiliser spreaders.
“It isn’t a hot time for spreading as most people are considering their harvest, chaser bins and hay making but it gives us a great time to showcase our product to people who in the New Year will be looking to do spreading,’’ Mr Connor said.
“It gives us time to catch up with people about our spreaders and hear how they are performing.
“Being our local field days, it is a great time to showcase what we do locally.
“People still get surprised to learn we build this product in Wagga.’’
Always a crowd favourite, the Exelpet/Pedigree three sheep field trial drew 105 entries and their handlers from around the nation.
Paul Elliott, Eumungerie, NSW, took out the event with his dog Elliotts Georgie.
Drawing a record 130 entries, the Exelpet/Pedigree Murray Valley Yard Dog Championships were dominated by Dale Thompson, Winton, Vic, and his nine-year-old bitch, Roustabout Girl.
New Zealand fashion designer Laurel Judd set the catwalk abuzz with her fitted and backless machine knitted gown in fine Merino yarn to win the Henty Natural Fibres Fashion Award supreme garment.
The competition drew almost 90 entries, including an additional international entry from India.
Amanda Causer, Wagga, won the millinery section, Judy Bond, Mildura, the knitted and crochet section, Faye Marks, Wodonga, the accessories and Mollie O’Halloran, Yarrawonga, the student encouragement award.
Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards judge David Tester said the field days offered a connection between fibre and consumer.
“There is a disconnect between the grower and the retail shop, so to see the diverse range of hand knitted products here encourages and inspires people,’’ Mr Tester said.
Baker Seed Co sales and business development manager Aaron Giason said more people had visited their site by mid morning on the Tuesday than the previous two years at Henty.
The company showcased 22 wheat varieties in the agronomy plots, including a replacement for the popular grazing wheat, Wedgetail.
Mr Giason said the Wedgetail replacement had captured grower interest.
“The agronomy plots have really drawn people in to have a look and we have been pleasantly surprised,’’ he said.
“I knew it was an interest point but there were quite a lot of people making it part of their pilgrimage to have a look at what we are doing.
“Although the wheat market is a bit deflated, there is still a lot of interest in new varieties and growers are inspecting the different types of canopies with the wetter conditions.
“The newer varieties show what they can offer outside of yield and quality.’’
Farm Gate Produce Market spokesperson Ordette Mannering said the pavilion drew strong interest in the regional products produced within 100km of Henty.
“This is the perfect place to get a locally grown product out to 50,000 people from all around the country,’’ Ms Mannering said.
“Other shows and organisations come here to see Farm Gate and it could be a model for other events.’’
Hardi Sprayers Victorian/NSW territory sales manager Graham Wilkinson was pleased with the results at Henty.
“A sheep track was worn around our self-propelled sprayer with the interest in it,’’ Mr Wilkinson said.
“It has the widest boom and biggest tank on the market, so that was an attraction in itself for farmers.
“Hardi gets a lot of exposure out of Henty and we enjoy coming to Henty.
“I go to all the major field days and find this is a good location with good exposure for us.’’
TASCO Petroleum lubricants manager Mark McKenzie said the amount of product moved this year was on par with past field days.
“We love coming to Henty as it’s right in the middle of where we distribute,’’ Mr McKenzie said.
“We get a lot of regular customers come back year after year, and it is a good way to meet and greet our customers.’’
John Crooks, Uniboom Australia, reported sprayer units sold off the site during the field days with plenty of bargain hunters on the final day.
A Riverina designed and manufactured bulk spreader has won the coveted Tractor and Machinery Association Award at the Henty Machinery Field Days.
The TMA award recognises the best new Australian designed and built agricultural machine and is judged by a panel of independent judges.
It was presented by TMA chief executive officer Gary Northover and Henty Machinery Field Days director Nigel Scheetz to Landaco Equipment principal Peter Connor on Thursday.
Mr Scheetz said the winning machine, the Landaco Maxispread TS12000, was well engineered.
“A lot of thought has gone into the utilisation of the machine for both lime and urea applications,’’ Mr Scheetz said.
“It has the capability to spread out to 3m centres for controlled traffic and other variable widths the customer needs to have.
“It can be used for both lime and urea applications, and tests have shown it is capable of accurately spreading 100kg/ha up to 30m.
“There are a lot of options including load cells and variable tyre sizes – its serviceability is good.’’
Peter Connor, of Wagga, said the 12 tonne Maxispread was set up for full variable rate control to top dress urea, and featured large 700mm spinners.
It can also double as a field or chaser bin, boasting good ground clearance.
The spinner assembly can be detached to allow for feeding grain, laying gravel on roads or shifting material.
“The machine is set up with weight scales, to be compatible with a multitude of electronic controllers on tractors and has large flotation tyres on 3m controlled traffic,’’ Mr Connor said.
“Our 25 tonne crop cruiser is built on the same 3m controlled traffic spec.
“The machine is designed so the precision urea spinners can be taken off and a new 800m dished four-blade spinner disc attached for lime and gypsum.’’
Mr Connor said the machine had been tested in the range of 18 to 24 km/h at 60-120kg/ha.
“We have a Mark 4 divider for around the 100kg/ha and an adapter guide for up to 300kg/ha,’’ he said.
“All of that is interchangeable – there are cameras to monitor the feed of the product off the back of the machine from the tractor cabin.
“The machines do have an access ladder on the front for viewing, and safety bars on the back.
“There are options on the 10 tonne and over Maxispread machines where the auto door closes automatically when the spinners shut down.’’
Mr Connor said the majority of the machine was made from stainless steel to increase the longevity.
“Everything is grit blasted and painted in high grade two pack enamel as an individual part, and then assembled in our Wagga factory,’’ he said.
“We have had good feedback at Henty with growers liking the constant development of the product and adaptation to the new technologies available.
“We are changing out of basic mechanical ground drives to full electronic drives.
“People like the simplicity of the machine and the modular concept where the machine can adapt to different wheel bases and tyre specs, spinner systems for various widths and controlled traffic.’’
An award winning international designer set the catwalk abuzz and took the Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards onto the world stage with her winter-inspired supreme garment.
It was the second attempt at winning the award for New Zealand designer Laurel Judd, with judges David Tester and Colleen Smith unanimous in their decision.
The supreme garment was a fitted and backless machine knitted in fine Merino yarn with silver lurex highlights.
The bodice was encrusted with beading and embroidery, with a fringed hem as a stand out feature.
It was inspired by icy frost and snow crystals, and the sophisticated elegance of the art deco style.
Mr Tester, of Albury, said the judge’s decision was a difficult one with five quality finalists.
He said the gown, which featured a fringed skirt and wrap, epitomised “sophisticated elegance’’.
The outfit was capably modelled by Billabong High School Year 10 student Nessa Liston, Henty.
Open to amateurs and professionals, the awards recognise the innovative use of natural fibres – from paddock to catwalk – in creative but wearable clothing.
The judging emphasis was on visual appeal, creative and innovative use of natural fibres.
The 13th Henty Natural Fibre Fashion Awards were a highlight of the Country Lifestyle program at the Henty Machinery Field Days on September 20-22.
Awards organiser Lyn Jacobsen said the natural fibres could include wool, alpaca, angora, mohair, cashmere, cotton, silk and linen.
Mrs Jacobsen said the awards had attracted almost 90 entries from around the nation, as well as New Zealand and India.
She said Laurel Judd’s win in the supreme garment would lift the profile of the awards internationally.
Ms Judd received a Bernina B350PE sewing machine valued at $2199 plus $1000 cash prize money.
Mildura designer Judy Bond backed up her previous wins to take out the knitted or crocheted garment section.
The fitted sleeveless cream cocktail dress was made from wool and alpaca fibre.’’
Judge David Tester said the gown had stylish elements and the wow factor.
“I simply took a crochet hook and ball of yarn to see where it would go – I didn’t want anything with seams, zips or buttons,’’ Judy Bond said.
“It is 70 per cent pure Merino wool and 30 per cent alpaca fibre.
“I love working with wool as it is soft and easy to manipulate.’’
Amanda Causer, of Wagga, is busy making millinery for clients to wear during the spring racing carnivals and won the millinery section with a Gold Cup entry.
“One of my clients asked me to make a hat to wear with her outfit for the Wagga Gold Cup and that was the winning entry,’’ she said.
“The wool felt headpiece has pink and orange flowers, and pheasant feathers.
“The competition was tough so I was grateful to have a win.’’
Ms Causer works at Charles Sturt University, is a dressmaker and does millinery as a hobby.
She also entered a red cape in the accessories section and brown and gold coat dress, a finalist in the supreme award.
Faye Marks, Wodonga, won the accessories award for her scrumbled wool, cotton and mohair knitted and crocheted jacket in green tonings.
Seventeen-year-old Mollie O’Halloran, of Yarrawonga, won the student encouragement award for her green and pink floral jumpsuit.
Chosen from nine finalists, the winning garment was modelled by Mollie with the judges complimenting the design, style, handiwork and finish.
She received a Bernina Activa 125 sewing machine from Bernina and Julia’s Fabric Boutique, Wodonga.
Compere for this year was Albury designer Peta Schaefer, with modelling by Billabong High School Year 10 students, hair styling by Belinda Piffero and Wendy Percy, Wagga, and makeup by Arbonne Distributors.
Central NSW dog trialler Paul Elliott broke the four year winning streak of octogenarian Laurie Slater in the Exelpet/Pedigree Sheep Dog Trial at the Henty Machinery Field Days.
Paul, of Eumungerie, and his dog Elliotts Georgie, won the three sheep trial championship on 259 points from runner-up John Perry, Bredbo, on 258 points.
In a record field of 105 entries, little separated the top seven placegetters with Colin Reid, Glenrowan, Vic, in third on 257 points under judge Michael Deppler.
The trial was run in conjunction with the Henty Machinery Field Days on September 20-22.
Laurie Slater, 83, of Murrumbateman, had dominated the competition for the past four years but placed fifth in the final on 245 points.
He was quick to congratulate Mr Elliott and vowed to return next year to reclaim his crown.
Mr Elliott said Henty was the first open win for his two-year-old bitch after graduating from novice at the Tasmanian state championships in October.
“She has been trialling consistently and won the Bredbo improvers,’’ he said.
“I have been trialling for 20 years and the competition was at Henty was solid.
“I had big boots to fill after Laurie’s string of wins – I brought four dogs and had three in the top 10.’’
Georgie is by Springvale Salt and out of Memate Edna, and will now go on to compete at the Narrandera sheep dog trials.
Meanwhile, the Exelpet/Pedigree Murray Valley Yard Dog Championships were dominated by Dale Thompson, Winton, Vic, and his nine-year-old bitch, Roustabout Girl.
Bill Luff, Gundagai, won the maiden with Bro on 192 points while Shane Maurer, Young, was in third place with Abbey.
In the novice class, Jake Nowlan, Grenfell, won with Zone on 187 points and runner-up was Darcy Kilmartin, and Libby on 184 points.
Chris Sellars, Brungle, NSW, won the improver with Loo on 177 points and in second place was Neale Taylor, Holbrook, with Ally.
Yard dog trial co-ordinator Peter Darmody, West Wyalong, said the competition had drawn 130 entries from NSW and Victoria.
“Competition was solid and the winner receives automatic entry to the 2017 NSW Yard Dog Championships at Wellington,’’ Mr Darmody said.
“The crowds were good at Henty, the sheep went well and the handlers had to really think.
“Henty is regarded as one of the premier events on the NSW yard dog trial circuit.’’
Winner Dale Thompson purchased Roustabout Girl as a foundation brood bitch for his Broken River Kelpie stud.
“She has bred well and I’ve never had to advertise the pups,’’ he said.
“I won at Henty three years ago but hadn’t competed since as I was busy on the farm.
“I love the satisfaction of trialling a dog, the finesse involved and the breeding.
“I like coming to Henty, the competition was close as there were a lot of good blokes here.’’
An easy solution to feeding out fodder off the back of a ute has earnt a southern NSW farmer the inaugural Henty Agri-Innovators Award.
Girral farmer Pat Daniher showcased his hay and silage feeder at the Henty Machinery Field Days after fine-tuning it during months of feeding sheep on his own farm.
While using a home exercise treadmill, Mr Daniher came up with the idea of adapting the concept into a conveyer belt feeder.
Mr Daniher’s invention was up against a pivoting post-hole shovel from Dederang farmer Stephen Quast, a star picket post straightener from Allan Hilder, of Burcher, NSW, and a slip-on fencing tray from Peter Kelly, Rugby, NSW.
Barry Bennett, Barooga, entered a dual way gate stopper, modern ATV shovel holder, and front-end loader three point linkage lifter.
Sam Turnbull, Wagga Wagga, impressed judges and the crowd with his Hammerhead rock crusher.
The entries had to meet the criteria of having a practical on-farm application, be based on an original idea of the entrant and not be in full scale production at the time entry.
The award was judged by HMFD Co-operative members Nigel Scheetz, Culcairn, Kerry Pietsch, Pleasant Hills and Joshua Maher, Holbrook.
Mr Scheetz said the winning entry was O H & S friendly, affordable and could be used by people of all ages and skill.
He said it had applications in the horticultural industry spreading manure and compost.
“It was easy to detach from the vehicle and place on a trailer, it was well made, had longevity and simple mechanics.’’
Mr Scheetz said the award attracted a vast amount of interest from a broad spectrum of agriculture.
“It was good to see the farming community still has ingenuity and good ideas,’’ he said.
Pat Daniher was thrilled to win and said feedback had been positive.
“People come to the field days to look at something different so I hope I contributed to that,’’ he said.
Mr Daniher has enjoyed talking to field day visitors.
“Everyone has a story and you can always learn something,’’ he said.
“The farm inventors was always the first thing I looked at over the last 10-15 years.
“You see something and think I can give that a go.
“Between the other entrants, Allan and Barry, the have put in 20 different inventions over the last 15 or 20 years, while Peter Kelly’s father invented the Kelly pipe bender, so competition was high.’’
The remote controlled Daniher Belt Feeder is designed to fit on the back of a trayback ute and capable of handling large square hay or silage bales.
The belt feeder is remotely controlled from within the ute cab, turning feeding-out into a one person operation.
The belt is operated by a boat winch at variable speeds to drop hay either three to four metres apart, or further to accommodate shy feeders.
A little grey Fergy bought to rip out rabbit warrens starred at the Henty Machinery Field Days in a celebration of the popular tractor’s 70th anniversary.
Rob Jones, of Table Top, lined up his British built TEA 20, originally bought from Dick Brothers in Corowa in November 1950, against its modern Massey Ferguson counterpart at the field days on Wednesday.
The tractor had been used by Mr Jones to plough firebreaks, dig post holes, scarify paddocks, lift drums, pump water, build farm roads, pull a Furphy water cart and muster stock.
He said the mighty little machine had also pulled cars, mailmen, trucks, tractors, and even a powered grader out of bogs.
“It has participated in two world record tractor events, the Wentworth flood celebrations,’’ Mr Jones said.
“Over 66 years, this tractor has done roughly 6274 hours and needed 13 new six-volt batteries, but one front wheel tube lasted 41 years.’’
Mr Jones said the rabbit warrens ripped with the tractor totalled 17ha.
AGCO area sales manager Mark Harrison, Moama, said the TEA 20 first rolled off the production line in July 1946.
There were more than 500,000 units produced over the following decade making the TEA 20 the most produced and popular machines in history.
“Most people have a story of a grey Fergy, whether their father or grandfather had one,’’ Mr Harrison said.
“This usually coincides with a lot of farmers learning to drive at a young age on these popular machines.’’
Manufacturer Harry Ferguson was a pioneer of the machinery industry. He developed the following systems on the Grey Fergy:
- The three point linkage controlled by the tractor hydraulics.
- A draft control system on the linkage allowed for depth control while ploughing. This innovation was a major step forward in the mechanisation of farming on which most of today’s tractors are still based.
Mr Jones said three units were supplied to Sir Edmund Hillary and were the first mechanised vehicles to reach the south pole.
He said more than 200,000 Massey Ferguson tractors were produced every year from a 22hp GC Series to the 8737 400hp FWA tractor.
“AGCO is proud of its Massey Ferguson heritage with a handful of today’s models still based on original designs,’’ he said.
“Machines that are strong, robust and honest designs used in a huge range of agricultural businesses.’’
AGCO has invested $500 million in a new facility near Shanghai, China, to produce tractors from 70 to 130hp in ROPs and CAB formats.
“These continue on from the original TEA 20 and early Massey Ferguson designs, and will be strong, quality machines capable of lasting over 50-60 years of use.’’
Massey Ferguson was purchased by AGCO in 1993 and is the company’s core brand.
Mr Harrison said the future was bright for Massey Ferguson products and dealer network.