ELDERS FarmFest opened yesterday to kick off Queensland’s biggest agricultural field days for its annual three-day program.
Located at Kingsthorpe, west of Toowoomba, day one included some new machinery releases and plenty of smiles from visitors from as far afield as Central Queensland and the Qld-New South Wales border region.
The event brings together around 2000 different companies to exhibit equipment and services, and pitches at broadacre croppers and livestock producers who are keen to see the latest on offer from Australian manufacturers and importers.
Both Case IH and John Deere have precision planters new to the Australian market on display at FarmFest 2023, which organisers have said is the biggest in its 49-year history.
Exhibitor Tom Davis had people talking about a new piece of gear, the Bale Runner, alongside his range of Kello-bilt disc ploughs.
It played into a theme common among exhibitors, namely producers looking for gear to improve their efficiency in a tight labour market.
“The Bale Runner can pick up up to four round cotton modules, and it takes off a lot of the requirement for additional staff at picking time,” Mr Davis said.
The prototype Bale Runner was developed by Goondiwindi cotton-grower Greg Mackay with assistance from leading Macintyre Valley grower David Coulton.
Mr Davis bought the initial design from Mr Mackay, and has engaged Toowoomba Engineering to fabricate the units.
“With one of these, you can have one person instead of three or four picking up bales, and it means less traffic on your country too.”
New planters increase scope
The John Deere 1725C planter was released at FarmFest 2023, and Bundaberg-based RDO Group planter specialist Stephen Frahm said one its key features is its electric drive.
“That’s as opposed to ground or hydraulic drive, so it eliminates some chains and sprockets, and it unlocks the agronomic software,” Mr Frahm said.
Automated features include the ability to select from the cab from 25 different pressures for the closing wheels, and in-cab adjustable trash whippers.
The 12m machine links to SeedStar 4 singulation software, and ExactRate, which controls in-furrow application of fertiliser.
Designed for summer crops, the units are made in Moline, Illinois, and are available for delivery in June 2024.
Case IH product manager for seeding and tillage equipment Australia and New Zealand Andrew Kissel was on the Case IH site with the Early Riser 2110.
It is one of six pre-builds manufactured in Saskatoon, Canada, with four of them coming to Australia, where Mr Kissel said they are being put to varying use as they can be configured to plant on six or eight rows.
“The North Queensland guys are using them for peanuts in places like the Burdekin and Tolga on the Atherton Tablelands,” Mr Kissel said.
“This type of planter can be configured for corn, cotton and sorghum, and is used in the central west of New South Wales and down into the Wimmera in Victoria to seed canola.
“What we do differently with this is have ground-engaging components that keep from bouncing in the rows…and that’s good for germination.”
FarmFest 2023 image gallery
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