Bumper harvest forecast fuels sales

Kate PollardThe West Australian

Machinery dealers exhibiting at the Newdegate Machinery Field Days say inquiries were the best they have been in years thanks to grain production on track to reach record levels.

With crops looking sensational around the Newdegate area and into the Albany and Esperance port zones, growers have renewed optimism.

For machinery dealers at Newdegate, there was a strong level of genuine sales interest and some sales.

Farmpower Kulin sales consultant Greg Tyley said inquiries were strongest on Wednesday, especially for the new K-Line Trash Cutter.

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On display was the 60-foot stubble mulcher, but an 80-foot model is also available.

"For big, thick heavy stubbles it's proving a winner and cuts the stubble off leaving a nice bed for you to seed into," Mr Tyley said.

Made in Cowra, NSW, the stubble mulcher helps increase organic matter into the soil, retain moisture, lowers fertiliser use and results in less soil compaction.

Farmpower sales agents saw strong interest in headers, new-release New Holland fronts, silos and super spreaders.

McIntosh and Son Katanning and Albany branch manager Devon Gilmour said the level of inquiry and genuine interest at Newdegate was the best it has been in a number of years. "Enquiry was strong with renewed optimism and it's good to see," he said.

"It reflects the fact there are good crops widespread in our catchment area, which is the southern part of the State."

From a dealer's perspective, Mr Gilmour said to attend field days was often an expensive exercise and a lot of work, but it was well worth it this year.

The focus of inquiries was on Morris tillage equipment particularly the new air-cart and also Nitro SP boom-spray and Hardi boom-sprays. Their effort was also rewarded by the judges who awarded McIntosh and Son the Heavy Industry Display Award.

It was not just large machinery dealers experiencing strong demand, including Albany-based Commander Ag-quip, which supplies grain and sheep equipment.

"It was the best Newdegate Machinery Field Days due to the level of interest and attitude of farmers," sales director Charles Jackson said.

Highly sought-after items included on-farm grain storage and handling equipment including augers, field bins and storage and sheep equipment including sheep yards.

"There also seems to be a move back to replacing old sheep yards," Mr Jackson said.

The family-owned business attracted plenty of interest in its $4000 discount card, which could be used towards buying an auger for this coming grain season.

Sean McLeod of Farmers Centre based in Albany said with the season looking as good as it was, there had been a lot of interest in headers, but growers were just waiting for the frost window to pass.

He said Farmers Centre had some good early-order tractors.

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