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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This drought 2017-2019 is certainly the driest 24-30 month drought period in over 120 years of climate records. It is certainly very challenging times for everyone now. This drought is NOT the First, WON`T be the last and unfortunately just wants to keep going ! Droughts are part of our climate, they have been for hundreds and many thousands of years and will continue to be part of our climate cycles.
This is a clip from recent seminar talk Ross presented to Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders staff where we discussed our Climate, this current Drought and its implications for Pastures and Horse Farm operations. We hope you find it interesing and watch the full video on Youtube at youtu.be/5xEfuj10rtw
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Drought tolerant subtropical pasture grasses are a MUST in our pasture systems! We have been using and recommending them for over 30 years. There are many excellent pastures 20 to 30 years old now and still good density despite several drought periods over this time.
The following pictures are of a new pasture we undertook last summer, under dryland conditions in this drought. Good fallow program is pivotal to this program.
Conditions were extremely hot and dry during it’s establishment.
We decided to sow in mid Dec 2018 after a 25 mm of rain on our sprayed fallow. The seedlings all germinated on seedbed moisture in 7 days. Then received another rain event of 35 mm in late Dec 2018 and then it went very dry and hot. In Jan 2019, only 28 mm and many days over 42C, Feb only 25 mm and many days over 38C. March a series of light showers, and a lucky heavy fall of 80 mm at the end of March and many days over 36C. Nothing in April, and only 18 mm in May 2019. Thought we might lose it, but it demonstrated it’s outstanding heat and drought tolerance from Jan to March 2019. Then it got the 100 mm in late March and took off. Pregnant heifers were placed on it in mid May. Such a valuable paddock in this drought!
This clearly shows what can be achieved by following our agronomy plans and the value of these summer active pastures. There are lessons here for all working through this drought!
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Benn and I attended today, the Heritage Seeds Northern Roadshow at Tamworth , "Powering Productivity and Profit" . Over 70 agronomists and producers attended the seminar.
A very good line up of speakers, that discussed several key aspects of pasture production , fertiliser use, sub tropical pastures and the key role pastures play in the multi-million Australian livestock industry. One of the novel presentations was by Nic Kentish from RCS, who highlighted the massive contribution that grassland , which account for over 30% of the earths land surface. Pastures throughout the world play a vital role in managing the worlds Carbon balance and how we could easily clean up the added carbon going into the atmosphere by only a small increase in our pasture systems throughout the world. Pastures and grasslands play a vital and underrated role in the health of the environment on earth. We are doing an important job growing pastures !!
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Preservation of groundcover is critical in our pasture systems all the time but especially in droughts. Groundcover is your "best friend" in a drought. If you mistreat it, there will be serious implications and hard to get back again , like a friendship.
I see many examples, where groundcover in this drought has been significantly reduced or even totally removed by overgrazing and constant stocking.There is a major cost to the farm and environment for this loss of groundcover which can have ongoing effects for many years. The total cost of this is action is often greater than the gain here.
The following charts I have prepared , from field research undertaken by Des Lang, former Soils Research officer with then Soil Conservation Service near Scone back in the 1980s when I was District Agronomist at Scone, is one of those "gems" of simple research, I have promoted to landholders for many years.
This work showed that you can easily loses 100-150 tonnes/ha of soil in low groundcover paddocks. Realise that 1 mm of soil over 1 ha is equal to 10 tonnes of soil. This soil loss can not be replaced readily. Soil formation is around 0.2-1.5 t/ha/annum, much lower than soil loss.
This research showed that landholders must aim to maintain at least 70% groundcover for soil protection and limiting rainfall runoff. The higher the rainfall zone or the higher the land slope then you should aim for 80-90% groundcover . On lower slope/flat land, or lower rainfall zones then 60-70 % is an acceptable minimum. BUT more is always better anywhere and anytime.
90% of these rainfall and soil losses occur with often less than 10% of rain events. Its those intense sharp storms or rain events that do the damage, which have a much higher probability of occurring from now through to say March that will be of concern for current drought affected paddocks.
The research showed that once groundcover dropped below the 70% groundcover level, the amount of soil loss and rainfall runoff just accelerated to very high levels.

Once the groundcover level get below 70%, the bare ground content starts to join up and water runoff and soil movement can build, join up and become a major events and losses occur. Having groundcover of more than 70% provides more traps to collect runoff and sediment movement.
Pasture and groundcover loss to low levels, largely through overgrazing, will result in poor harvesting and infiltration of rainfall during this drought phase or when it starts to break properly, limiting the water stored in the soil to allow full pasture recovery. This work showed that low groundcover paddocks allowed the equivalent of over 200 mm/pa of our rainfall , about 30% of Scone`s annual rainfall to runoff . Yes some runoff could go into water storages but it will have taken a lot of soil, silt , manure and debris with it , resulting in poor water quality in dams and creeks. The bigger effect is that loss of 200 mm of rainfall , means the drought continues , despite rainfall !!!.
These paddocks may take a very long time to recover and will extend your drought phase and drought pain.
Bare and overgrazed paddocks may need some remedial soil treatment or pasture oversowing program , better land management and some healing time , to help their recovery to productivity again.
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Tonight, Benn had our JD & Kiser Dragmaster out as our sponsorship contribution, professionally preparing the arena surface for the Australian Reined Cow Horse Associations ARCHA Pot of Gold Show at the new Scone Equine Centre at White Park this weekend.
If you want to see some real cow horse action this weekend, come down and support this weekend event in Scone! Get a group together, & come prepared for cold weather forecast. Beer garden, food stall, trade displays, kids fun area. Starts with Cutting at 1pm Saturday followed by evening entertainment of the feature Open and Non Pro Cow Horse event 6pm Saturday and more action from 7am Sunday!
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