Dealers think big at Wagin

Kim CousinsCountryman

Machinery has always been a big drawcard for Wagin Woolorama visitors, although there have been many changes since the first show in 1972.

Today, machinery is bigger than ever, as farmers work larger farms with less manpower.

This year, Claas focused on larger, more efficient machinery, choosing to display the triple mower with roller conditioners.

"As farms get bigger and skills shortages increase, farmers are becoming more specialised. They are looking for a competitive edge," Claas operations manager Steve Reeves said.

"The triple mower is a way of achieving that."

Designed for the export hay market, the triple mower with roller conditioners aims to reduce drying time. The rollers crimp the grass, forcing moisture out more quickly, allowing the job to be completed in less time. Three narrow rows allow the hay to keep its colour while drying.

"In the past, you'd need two tractors to do what we're trying to do," Steve said.

"The mowers aren't new but using the front and back of the tractor is.

"You can get over more hectares more quickly but it's also about quality. In the export market, quality is everything."

Steve said the technology was being used in Europe but was new to Australia. "We generally follow United States manufacturers," he said.

Sonic Boomsprays, which has a factory in Narembeen, makes one of the largest boomsprays on the market that attracts interest at every field day the team attends.

Sonic Boomsprays owner Max Hebberman said farmers were looking for larger tanks and booms.

"Boomsprays are getting bigger and farms are getting bigger," he said.

"Employment is an issue - it's harder to get people. Many buy a bigger machine to do the job of two machines."

Max said the 7036TS, with a 7000-litre tank and 36-metre boom, had been popular with buyers during the past year.

Sonic Boomsprays is seeking to establish a presence in the eastern states, offering a boomspray with a massive 13,000l tank and 48m boom.

Interest for larger field bins has also increased in recent years, according to Kevin Prater of DE Engineers.

The company manufactures field bins ranging in size from 55 to 87 tonnes capacity.

"The most popular is the 60 to 65 tonne," he said. "Farmers are changing the way they farm."

As farms get bigger and skills shortages increase, farmers are becoming more specialised. They are looking for a competitive edge. Steve Reeves, Class

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