Great Plains for great machinery


The two men working quietly on their drill prototype in America’s mid-west in 1976 could never have dreamt where their enterprise would take them.

That humble but imaginative engineering effort — building a 10m folding grain drill — has exploded from that pair’s great plans into today’s Great Plains, a global farm machinery manufacturer exporting its products to 30 countries.

And now the company is making a move into the Australian market with the appointment of PFG Australia as its sole national distributor.

Founder Roy Applequist has seen his Kansas-based company grow to employ 1015 people and produce 200 agricultural products.

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These include air drills, compact drills, fertiliser applicators, heavy-duty drills, hitches, minimum and no-till drills, four to 24-row planters, precision seeders, sprayers, conventional tillage products and planting components.

Unlike many other US manufacturers, Great Plains designs its machines where possible to fold down to three metres for transport, because narrow transport widths are particularly applicable to the European market.

PFG Australia national sales manager, cultivation and seeding, Stephen Robertson said Great Plains products were suited to mixed farming, dairy, broadacre, cereal and fodder crop applications.

As a dedicated seeding company, Mr Robertson said Great Plains had designed superior features into its machines.

“These offer a seeding speed of 14–15km/h and a low engine power requirement for tractors, meaning savings in fuel,” Mr Robertson said.

“Their seed placement accuracy produces better seed germination and they are low-maintenance, with grease banks built-in to service the front-row coulters. And, importantly, their trash handling capabilities are exceptional.”

Mr Robertson said the Great Plains Spartan drill, which has already been seen in Australia, would seed to six or nine metres, but fold to three metres for transport.

“That drill is one unit,” he said. “The air seeder tanks and machine are a complete unit, not two separate pieces of equipment.”

He said different distributors had imported Great Plains products in the past, particularly in Queensland and Victoria.

“Now, PFG is sole distributor for Australia, so everything sold, plus all spare parts, dealer training and servicing will be handled by us,” he said.

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