Trip to offer Expo inspiration

Ann RawlingsCountryman
Mingenew farmer and Mingenew Midwest Expo chairman Geoff Cosgrove.
Camera IconMingenew farmer and Mingenew Midwest Expo chairman Geoff Cosgrove. Credit: Justine Rowe

Their daily jobs on the farm aside, Mingenew’s Geoff and Andrew Cosgrove have a novel task on this week’s to-do list — packing their bags.

The brothers will this Sunday take off for the United States and Canada alongside more than 30 farmers from across the State, in a 15-day overseas jaunt hosted by AFGRI Equipment.

While there will be plenty of downtime for attendees; on the cards are three days of guided tours of John Deere’s US interests, including its world headquarters in Moline, Illinois, and sprayer, harvester and tractor facilities in Iowa.

Demonstrations underway at Ag in Motion 2018.
Camera IconDemonstrations underway at Ag in Motion 2018. Credit: Ag in Motion

For the Cosgrove brothers it will be a chance to see the design inspiration behind their two new John Deere S780 Combines, due to be delivered in September.

Geoff said the harvesters would be put to good use in the coming season, with 10,000ha of crops on the agenda.

“Our old machines got to the point where their maintenance was getting a bit heavy,” he said.

“We like to keep turning them over reasonably regularly, because we cover a fair amount of program for two machines.”

For the Cosgroves, the late break this year brought with it hope of a positive season ahead.

“Seeding was pretty casual for a fair while,” Geoff said.

“We didn’t get any rain until June 12-13, so we put in 70 per cent of the crop dry and didn’t stress too hard about getting it in.

“But then we got to a point where we couldn’t do any more. Some of the heavy country was too hard to get into, so we had to hold back on that until the rain. But once it rained, we went for it.”

Since the break, Geoff said their district had welcomed between 120mm and 170mm of rain.

“It was a late break but we’ve had a hell of a lot of rain this season,” he said. “It’s been flat out and there is more forecast this weekend.”

As chairman of Mingenew Midwest Expo, Geoff said the Canadian leg of the AFGRI Equipment journey would be interesting in more ways than one.

The group will be attending one of western Canada’s biggest agricultural expos, Ag in Motion in Saskatchewan on July 16-18.

Last year, the three-day event welcomed more than 30,000 people through its gates and hosted hundreds of exhibitors. While the tour group will only attend one day of the event, Geoff said it could be a good opportunity to gain new ideas for Expo.

“I’m looking forward to the experience of seeing how they do ag shows in different parts of the world,” Geoff said.

With a site that covers about 260ha, more than half of which is dedicated to an applied research project, the event specialises in offering visitors live in-field demonstrations of the latest technology in agriculture.

Show director Rob O’Connor said these demonstrations allowed visitors to see how this equipment performed in dryland conditions.

“We’re delighted to offer a venue where farmers from around the world can see equipment, especially those from areas like Australia where the equipment technology is as applicable as it is here in Saskatchewan,” he said.

One demonstration, the Sprayer Ride and Drive, allows punters to sit in the drivers seat of a sprayer in a bid to test its speed and handling on a track just shy of 500m.

“These are essentially dryland farming demos and the equipment is very applicable to farming in Australia,” Mr O’Connor said.

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