‘Over the moon’ — Machinery section of Mingenew Midwest Expo ‘busiest it’s been in years’

Email Shannon Verhagen
Rocks Gone manager Joanna Pannell and sales manager Gary Hunter with their latest model.
Camera IconRocks Gone manager Joanna Pannell and sales manager Gary Hunter with their latest model. Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Countryman/Shannon Verhagen

The revival of WA’s winter agricultural field days circuit after an 18 month hiatus has interest in machinery soaring as farmers look to cash in on solid rainfall and near-record grain prices.

Sales are up across the State as agribusinesses recover from years of drought, sending machinery businesses into overdrive sourcing products, some even putting on extra staff and taking on more apprentices.

For those that attended the McIntosh and Son Mingenew Midwest Expo last week, the demand was clear, with many deeming it the “busiest the machinery section has been in years”.

Farmers from the Mid West and further afield came in droves to peruse the displays.

Rocks Gone manager Joanna Pannell and sales manager Gary Hunter were “blown away” by the volume of people coming through.

“We’ve had a lot of interest and a constant stream of people,” Ms Pannell said.

“It’s been really good.”

“There seems to be quite a few farmers that are looking to do something with their money, so it’s quite good if you’re selling farm machinery at the moment.”

It was the first time the company — which manufactures the Reefinator — had “properly” set up at Mingenew, and Ms Pannell said they were leaving very pleased.

“It was an excellent two days,” she said.

“We were a bit worried when we rolled up Tuesday and there was tents flying everywhere and whatnot ... but the weather over the two days was magnificent and we’ve had loads of people through, loads of farmers.

“There was one farmer who came all the way from Kukerin.

“We were quite surprised but he wanted to get in and have a good look (at machinery) before everything sold in Dowerin and Newdegate.

I think everyone is just keen to come to an event like this, because it didn’t happen last year and the times that we’re in, it’s pretty special to be able to do an event like this and get out and socialise.

Joanna Pannell
Rocks Gone manager Joanna Pannell and sales manager Gary Hunter with their latest model.
Camera IconRocks Gone manager Joanna Pannell and sales manager Gary Hunter with their latest model.

She said they had received two “very strong expressions of interest” which they hoped would become sales.

According to NAB, loans for agricultural equipment have increased 132 per cent year-on-year from 2019 to 2020, with lending for tractors up 146 per cent and lending for sprayers and headers up 142 per cent.

Lending for irrigation plant and equipment was one of the biggest growth areas, up 217 per cent.

According to Bankwest, the 2021 financial year was up 67 per cent in value and 34 per cent in volume year-on-year, with the top three assets financed being seeding equipment, tractors and harvesters, making up 75 per cent of deals.

Spraying equipment and storage/bins followed, accounting for 12 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

Redmac Three Springs dealer principal Brett Young said there had been “good interest” in their machinery display, which included a CASE IH Puma 125 which was used in the Redmac Tractor Pull competition.

“I would say there is a little bit of pent-up demand for people to get out and about, with a lack of activities on (and) the fact that it wasn’t held last year,” he said.

He emphasised the importance of making an appearance at the Expo and meeting with farmers face-to-face. “We seem to have got a few of our clients to come up,” Mr Young said.

It was also bustling at the AFGRI Equipment site, with plenty of people browsing the company’s display, which featured new release tractors and a wide range of equipment to draw crowds.

“It was very busy — the Wednesday of the show was the busiest I’ve seen the site in the last five years,” AFGRI marketing co-ordinator Timothy Roberts said.

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