FARM CONTRACTING SERVICES

We offer a completely unique and professional service, where experienced agronomic advice is combined with practical and experienced machinery operation to implement your pasture programs, and achieve your production goals.

We have a range of modern, well maintained farm machinery to undertake the pasture establishment and maintenance programs for property owners. They include broadacre slashing, precision fertiliser spreading, offset ploughing, deep ripping, seedbed preparation, direct drilling pastures and forage crops, pasture establishment, hay/silage preparation and baling, boom spray application of agricultural chemicals for weeds and insect control.

Although we largely operate farm contracting service in the Upper Hunter region of NSW, we can also transport equipment on a low loader to clients in other areas, if needed, to ensure the job is done right.

This unique service adds major value to clients who do not have the expertise, time or cannot economically justify the high capital investment in farm machinery. Our services can also provide assistance to larger clients who need machinery support to complete key projects within a specific timeframe.

Our modern and well maintained equipment , is ready to help you get the job done right, every time !

Tractors–  110HP  and 135 HP John Deere Tractors.

Seedbed Preparation– 5 m Folding Powerharrows, Offset Disc Plough , Agrowplow Deep Ripper, Chisel Plough, Scarifier, Harrows.

Rock Picking – Schulte 10 ft Rock Rake/Windrower , Schulte Giant 2500 Rock Picker , Stone Picker Scarifier.

Pasture and Crop Sowing. 3m Davimac Baker Boot Direct Drill plus our Duncan 3m DD30 Precision Airseeder with Twin Disc Openers and presswheels.

Fertiliser Spreading- 1 tonne Amazone Precision Twin Spinner Spreader fitted with 1 tonne Bulka Bag Lift Crane and GPS Guidance.

Slashing/Mulching. 15ft Folding Schulte Mulching Slasher.

Hay & Silage Making. 3 m Krone Disc Mower Conditioner, Krone Twin Rotary Rake and our Krone Comprima CV 150 XC Hay and Silage Round Bale/Wrapper all in one

Horse Arena and Racetrack Surface Maintenance . Kiser 10 ft Dragmaster Arena Drag.

We can transport our equipment to major projects if required.

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The lack of ground cover on many pasture paddocks due to continued grazing and overgrazing through this extended drought is going to extend many producers drought pain, even when it does rain. Preserving groundcover above 70 % should be one of your drought management policies.

For producers that have some very bare, hard surface pasture paddocks now, or your dedicated sacrifice paddocks, it might be advisable to consider a shallow working with the contour with a narrow tyned cultivator or tyned direct drill seeder. Not applicable to all situations, but may be a benefit to many areas I am seeing. This operation creates some mild surface roughness to slow rainfall runoff, allow better water infiltration and collect surface silt movement. The primary goal is to improve rainfall harvesting in your paddock profile for the surviving pastures or oversown pasture seeds to use during its recovery phase.

The two photos are two identical paddocks, same management, side by side with same slope, same lack of groundcover, same aspect. One untreated, and one treated with narrow tyned cultivator last week before the 25 mm storm rain event on the weekend.

The first picture is the untreated paddock in its overgrazed, bare, drought state after this weekend rain. Note the serious surface soil wash and obvious rainfall runoff/loss. Unfortunately, but to be expected, there was very little water infiltration into the soil surface. Surface soil loss represents a major loss of nutrients and organic matter. 1 mm of topsoil loss over 1 hectare is 10 tonne of soil !! Topsoil loss won't be replaced in our life time.

The second photo shows the huge benefit of implementing some simple soil protection strategies , with narrow tyned cultivator when there is no natural ground cover. Note no wash marks, no soil loss, minimal water loss off paddock , much better and deeper water infiltration very evident, even after this storm.

Drought recovery will be about effective rainfall harvesting. Pastures which have been carefully managed with strong ground cover will recover quicker, be more productive, be stronger and be healthier.
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Stones and rocks on hay or silage making paddocks don't mix , as we all know !! Now might be the time to clean up those paddocks (like our Farm Services Team are doing today) that have more stone than is desired for hay or silage work. Having clean paddocks that can be cut for hay or silage this year could be a major plus given depleted stocks of conserved feed on farm and throughout much of eastern Australia now. Hay will remain a high value product for a while, given this ongoing drought and high demand. Being able to sow a crop in autumn to graze in winter and then maybe make silage or hay in spring could be a high profit strategy. ... See MoreSee Less

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Our Farm Services Team had the pleasure this week of working with Martin and Kriston Feehan to commence their farm development program just outside Scone. Our first stage this week was to cultivate and clean up the surface stone, with our Schulte Rock clearing gear. Hundreds of tonnes of stone were cleaned up leaving these quality basalt soils, smooth and clean in readiness for their future pasture program. ... See MoreSee Less

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March is our preferred month for sowing early winter grazing crops such as Oats, Winter Wheat and forage grasses. . Some clients have asked, "What is the probabilities of various rain amounts in March?" We will be using this information to make decisions on time of sowing and the chances of decent rain to get enough moisture into our fallows, before sowing.
The following table provides you with the probabilities of various amounts of rain in the first half , second half and over the whole month of March , based on the last 120 years data. You can assess your fallows and develop your sowing strategy, for this year. The chances of decent sowing rain events in March are relatively low, but there is a chance, as seen in Table above. With NO subsoil moisture in most fallows, this year, the risks of sowing early or dry sowing are relatively high. Some rainfall models are indicating a good chance of decent rain events in March. Maybe this March will go "rogue" and RAIN ! As previously posted you need to be "Rain Ready"
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There is no doubt that this last 2 years has been amongst driest in recorded history in the Scone area and many surrounding regions. The last 2 years Feb 2017 to Feb 2019 at Scone has been, the driest Feb-Feb period ON RECORD (as at todays date) only recording a total of 766 mm over this 2 years, which is 580 mm below the long term average for the same 2 yr period. I

In my "Gang of 5" -worst droughts in recorded history, the next driest Feb-Feb period is 1918-19 which recorded 788 mm . Even the Federation Drought of 1901-02 and the drought of 1938-39 both had recorded 855 mm over the same period. The last of my "Gang of 5" is 1939-40 with 881 mm for same period. Once again as per my many previous posts, this current drought certainly joins my "Gang of 5" worst drought periods, in recorded history.

As I advised and strongly cautioned in several previous posts, these severe droughts, my "Gang of 5" tend to behave in a very similar way and largely mimic each other in Cumulative Rainfall, as seen in these chart I have created.

In an upcoming post, I will look what happened with my Gang of 5 in the following 6 months after this dry 2 year period.
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