Farming In Focus - Summer 2023



THE ANSWER TO A FARMER’S PRAYERS? GET THE BEST MACHINE FOR THE JOB Jarrod Stephenson, Cadmac Machinery Wagga Wagga and Wodonga



Glenn Soper

to support the Australian agricultural industry.

As the seeding season approaches, now is a great time to remind you to ensure your equipment is in top shape and ready for planting. This time of year is crucial for any agribusiness operation and proper preparation is key to a successful season. It’s important to make sure that everything is in working order before the busy season begins to avoid costly delays when it comes time to bed down next season’s crop. We are proud to design and manufacture our equipment locally for Australian farmers. Our products are built to

So, I encourage you to talk to your dealer now as they have plenty of stock available right across the range. Personally, I have been with parent company CNH Industrial for 16 and a half years and I am honoured to be working with the Seeding & Tillage business with such a proud history. This year, we are excited to be celebrating Horwood Bagshaw’s 185th anniversary and K-Line Ag’s 30th anniversary, which is a fantastic testament to the quality of our equipment and the dedication of our team. At CNH Industrial, we have over 280 years of collective history and experience in Seeding & Tillage. This wealth of knowledge is evident in the design and engineering of our products, which are built to withstand the harsh conditions of the Australian agricultural withstand the unique conditions of the harsh Australian landscape and we take great satisfaction in knowing that they play a vital role in keeping the country’s agricultural industry moving forward. We want to assure you that our team is always available to answer any questions or provide any necessary support. We are dedicated to ensuring you have everything you need to make the most of the upcoming seeding season. We wish all of our farmers a successful season and look forward to continuing

Thank you for choosing Flexi- Coil, Horwood Bagshaw and K-Line Ag equipment. Glenn Soper General Manager Seeding and Tillage, CNH Industrial

David Gibson

As the National Sales Manager and co-editor of this magazine, I am honoured to be able to share with you our company’s latest updates and happenings. As we head into 2023, I want to take this opportunity to remind our readers that the government’s Instant Asset Write-off incentive is coming to an end on June 30. This is a valuable opportunity for farmers and contractors to write off the cost of new equipment purchases against their taxable income, so I encourage you to take advantage of this stimulus program while you still can. I am proud to say that our dealers have gone the extra mile to secure stock, and Flexi-Coil, Horwood Bagshaw and K-Line Ag has increased production in time for the upcoming seeding season, as well as to meet demand for any tax time orders.

landscape. Thank you for your continued support and for choosing our equipment. I look forward to connecting with you at one of the many local Field Days around the country sometime this year. David Gibson National Sales Manager Seeding and Tillage, CNH Industrial

Phil McLennan, left and Ross Salan Sales Manager at CadMac Wagga Wagga


and Speedtiller Powerflex ® in K-Line’s three-pronged ground renovation range. For a farming contractor, irrigation can be a complex job due to different row spacing from one farm to the next. K-Line Ag worked hard to grant Phil’s wish for a machine that was robust enough to dig irrigation furrows, yet could also be adapted to accommodate each new job. “That’s why it took a fair while to design, to be able to make it so versatile in that respect,” he says. Ten years, roughly 10,000 hectares and about 10 disc changes later, the one-off prototype that inspired the Speedbuster is still going strong. It remains one of the primary weapons in the arsenal of PR & CM McLennan, the family business Phil runs with his wife and a small team of subcontractors, to service

Customer Story - Phill McLennan

in there and bust everything up. Something solid to tackle the hard yards. And there was nothing on the market,” Phil says. “So we got onto K-Line Ag via my brother-in-law, who works for CadMac (Machinery Sales) in Wagga. Richard and Bill Larsen (K-Line Ag founders) came down, and after we talked it through, they designed a prototype machine which they gave to us to test and evaluate.” Over a period of about 18 months, Phil helped K-Line Ag to intensively develop and refine the prototype into the final product that now sits proudly alongside the Speedtiller ®

Phil McLennan might own only two K-Line Ag products, yet undoubtedly he ranks among the company’s favourite and most valued customers. That’s because the Narrandera-based farming contractor devised the idea behind the Speedbuster ® , a heavy- duty machine that’s now recognised as one of the most hard-working and durable ground preparation tools that Australian farmers can buy. “Ten years ago, we wanted to find some type of speed tiller that would do raised beds and furrows for irrigation as well. We needed a primary tillage machine to get

The K-Line Ag Speedbuster ® in action!

the ground prep, sowing and spraying requirements of farming operations in the Riverina, from Deniliquin to Wagga Wagga. Phil’s business proved the ideal testbed to put a new product through the sternest possible tests. “Being contractors, we do a lot of the exceptionally hard work that most people don’t want to do, or can’t do themselves,” he says. “If something’s too hard on their machinery or too much to set up, they normally get a contractor to do it.” When he needed to add a more agile secondary tillage machine in 2022 that was better suited to broadacre farming, there was no question it would be from K-Line Ag and he purchased a Speedtiller Powerflex ® to join his line-up. “We got a bucketload of work from January to March, because we had a very wet summer, and farmers had a lot of weeds,” Phil says. “With the price of chemicals going through the roof, it was cheaper to go in and knock all the weeds out so they could actually get a seed bed in for the winter crop, than to get a spray rig in, in the hope of killing everything.” Phil says his small team has “more work than we can poke a stick at” but maintains that providing good service to his clients is his first priority. “Farmers are spending a lot of money. Cotton costs $4000 to $5000 a hectare to put it in the ground and that’s a lot of money to lose if somebody comes in and doesn’t do a good job,” he says. One key to success is to supply the right equipment for his client’s needs; another is fastidious maintenance. “We spend a lot on maintenance so that when we go to a job, we know that unless we put a stake through a tyre, we’re not going to stop. You don’t make money from broken-down machinery, so we make sure everything’s 110%. If you try to cut corners with your machinery, it’s only

going to cost you more money in the long run.”

It’s a customer service philosophy he sees mirrored in his many dealings with K-Line Ag over the years as they honed the prototype Speedbuster into a production-ready model. “They would ring up, ‘how’s everything going?’. We had to make some modifications along the way, and they were very knowledgeable. They just understand the practical side of farming.”

Phill McLennan McLennan Farm Contracting


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a variety of species, are included in the rotation to reduce the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. But the ways in which these aims are achieved are as diverse as the farmers who implement these principles. And that is the key to what it means to be ‘holistic’—to devise a system of agriculture that suits your land and your philosophy of farming. One key aspect of regenerative agriculture is the reduction of tillage. Conventional tillage practices can lead to soil erosion, compaction, and degradation of soil structure. Reduced tillage practices such as direct drilling or no-till farming can help to conserve soil moisture and improve soil structure, leading to increased crop yields and resilience to drought. This approach to tillage is important in a regenerative system. Diverse crop rotations are also an important aspect of regenerative agriculture. It helps to break pest and disease cycles, reduce the need for synthetic fertilisers and pesticides and improve the overall health of the soil. Diverse crop rotations can also help to reduce the risk of crop failure due to weather-related events such as drought or floods. Do these ideas sound idealistic or impractical? Adopters of the philosophy and practices of regenerative agriculture would say an emphatic ‘no!’. And yet, there are many seasonal and soil conditions that need a flexible approach, especially to the need for tillage. Most conservation farmers would agree that strategic tillage remains a vital tool in soil and crop management. Weed control is a compelling reason for introducing tillage into a cropping program or a pasture renovation phase. And in the aftermath of flood waters


David Brouwer

Regenerative agriculture uses a combination of techniques such as cover cropping, reduced tillage, and diverse crop rotations to improve soil structure and increase the organic matter content of the soil. This helps to improve water holding capacity and nutrient cycling, leading to increased crop yields and resilience to drought. A key focus of the approach is to enhance the abundance and diversity of soil life. Regenerative agriculture also promotes biodiversity by using a variety of landscaping principles, incorporating trees, shrubs and water movement over the farm. Crops, including cover crops and

In 2018 Dr Charles Massy, a farmer from the NSW Monaro, published a seminal book, ‘Call of the Reed Warbler’ that explained the principles of regenerative agriculture and filled its pages with inspiring case studies of farmers across Australia who had adopted those principles. The book has generated immense interest in the idea of a holistic approach to farming. An underlying theme to this approach focuses on improving soil health and biodiversity, with the goal of creating a sustainable and resilient agricultural system.

inundating many cropping and grazing paddocks, introduced weeds - perhaps of species that have never been seen on the farm before - are raising their ugly heads. In cropping land, weeds will be emerging in stubble paddocks or ready to germinate when temperatures are suitable. Soil moisture levels will be high, competition has been drowned, so there is potential for a weed explosion. If left uncontrolled, weed growth during this current period can reduce the yield of the next crop by robbing seedlings of available soil nitrogen, depleting the soil of this potentially valuable stored moisture and reducing crop emergence. Growers can expect an average farm crop yield increase of up to 400 kilograms per hectare with consistent summer weed control. On the other hand, if left uncontrolled, weed burdens of 2.5 tonnes per hectare can cause a loss of available soil nitrogen and burdens of more than 3t/ha can reduce following wheat yields by as much as 40%. And chemical control is not always the answer. Too heavy a reliance on chemicals invites resistance in weed species, and is incompatible with most regenerative agriculture principles. Even for many farms that have adopted a regenerative agriculture philosophy to their farming business, an important tool in an integrated management approach is strategic tillage. Choosing an implement that will chop and bury weed plants before they seed set, and/ or burying weed seed to depths that hinder germination are features that you should look for in a tillage implement. Two implements that effectively deal with a summer weed problem and also handle carryover stubble are the Speedtiller ® and the Flexi- Mulch ® , both developed by K-line

approach is not only focused on improving the soil health but also on improving the overall sustainability of the farm. Is regenerative agriculture suitable for your farm? That is a question that is best answered by conducting your own research and examining what you want to achieve in terms of the productivity and long-term sustainability of your land. Regenerative agriculture is a current topic of interest and debate for agronomists in Australia, as it offers a holistic approach to farming that can improve soil health, increase crop yields and resilience to drought, and promote biodiversity. While regenerative agriculture is as much a philosophy as a suite of farming practices, strategic tillage, using the most suitable and efficient machinery must remain a vital element in the farmer’s toolkit.

Ag. These two high-speed, dual- purpose disc-tillage machines can efficiently cut and incorporate high levels of mature or emerging weeds as well as crop residue. Both have the flexibility and adjustments to suit most trash burdens and soil conditions. Soil erosion from wind and water is drastically reduced by the excellent incorporation ability of these implements. Machinery that can achieve these results in a speedy and effective manner is attractive to even the most ardent no-till advocate. While not everyone is sold on the idea of regenerative agriculture, the approach is becoming an increasingly popular approach among farmers in Australia. Its aims are certainly worthy: to improve the environment, to help farmers improve their yields, reduce costs, and increase their resilience to changing weather patterns. This

Weed control is a compelling reason for introducing tillage into a cropping program or a pasture renovation phase. Image: GRDC.

Ifat Tithi Buyer Specialist – ANZ Description of your role at K-Line Ag Buyer Specialist - ANZ Purchasing What attracted you to this position?

Welcome to the team!

The idea of working in regional NSW was appealing as it opened numerous opportunities to learn advanced Procurement Techniques of Agriculture Machine Manufacturing. What’s the best thing (so far) about working at K-Line Ag? Working as a team to solve problems and challenges. It’s also very friendly here at K-Line, it’s a nice place to come to work every day. What would you like to be doing in 5 years time? I would hope I have a thorough understanding of all the methodologies and associated purchasing systems. I also want to expand my knowledge around agricultural machinery and hope to improve my supply chain expertise.



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Jarrod Stephenson, Cadmac Machinery Wagga Wagga and Wodonga Centre

have probably outstripped the cost of owning a Speedtiller ® , it’s also their availability. If you can’t get them, you can’t get them. Whereas if you’ve got the machine parked in the shed, it’s there and ready to go, isn’t it? “We have moved more of the bigger machines in the past few years, maybe coupled with the Instant Asset Write-Off, and perhaps conditions are more favourable, too. But I think the difficulty obtaining weed spraying chemicals has also forced a few to look outside the box.” Jarrod grew up on a cattle station in the NT near Pine Creek before moving to the Riverina district about 20 years ago. He owned a steel fabrication business as well as holding other business

After a number of wetter-than- average seasons, weed control is a major issue on farms and especially for broadacre cropping operations. Coupled with a spike in the cost of chemicals and fertilisers, many farmers have been picking up the phone to Jarrod Stephenson of CadMac Machinery Sales and Service. Jarrod, the General Manager of the company’s retail operations in Wodonga and Wagga Wagga, has noted a strong uptick in sales for one product in particular. “We have seen a big influx in the last couple of years on the K-Line Ag Speedtiller® as people are turning to other methods to manage weeds,” he says. “It’s not just that the chemicals

management roles before joining CadMac about 5 years ago. He enjoys the challenge of working in a diverse region that includes mixed use farms, broadacre cropping, fruit orchards and vineyards, but says that 2022 was especially challenging for many of his customers. “It’s been very wet. We’re only just getting headers going now, and we’re a couple of days off December. So there’s been a lot of failed crops,” he says. “It’s a big commitment to put the crop in the ground. If it looks like it’s going to be a good season, you throw a fair bit at it. And then you get all that rain and get to this point of the year and you’re looking at a failed crop. It’s different to a drought year, where

“We have seen a big influx in the last couple of years on the K-Line Ag Speedtiller ® ” says CadMac’s Jarrod Stephenson

Jarrod’s Tip “K-Line Ag is a well-run business, fantastic product, well supported. That’s one of the biggest things when you come into this industry, if it’s supported it’s good.”

it just never gets off the ground so you don’t have all that input.” Jarrod advises farmers looking for new machinery to choose a manufacturer that stands behind their product. “K-Line Ag is a well-run business, fantastic product, well supported. That’s one of the biggest things when you come into this industry, if it’s supported it’s good,” he says. “They do a great job managing the order bank. It’s just easy to do business with them, and we know we’re not going to get stuck on our own. “We’ll say to a customer, ‘we’ll bring (a K-Line Ag machine) out, give it a go and if you like it, you keep it’, and I don’t think we’ve ever brought one back. For me, it’s just being able to take something out to the farm and know that it’s going to work, and you’re not going to have to look at it again. “As a customer, it doesn’t matter what you buy as long as it’s well supported. You’re going to be OK at the end of the day. Everything has problems. It’s just how quickly you can get back up and running.”

My joke of the season Q: Why do ducks have feathers? A: To cover their butt quacks.

STAFF SPOTLIGHT Shane Egan Welder/Fabricator

How long have you worked at K-Line Ag? I have worked at K-Line Ag for more than 11 years now Tell us about what a normal workday looks like for you? Over the course of my shift,

What do you think about K-Line Ag machines? I think the K-Line Ag machines are the best in the world when it comes to tillage equipment. They are extremely strong and durable and they look great out in the field too! What is the best thing about your job? The best thing about my job is knowing that my work goes all over the world. It would be cool one day to travel overseas and discover a K-Line machine and know I helped build that.

What is the worst thing about your job? The worst thing about my job is working in the middle of summer on 40 degree plus days. You can’t wait to get out of the shed! What do you like doing in your spare time? In my spare time I like to take my dogs for a walk or to study the horse racing form guide.

among other things I am responsible for precisely

fabricating certain Speedtiller ® parts such as drawbars, main frames etc according to the Engineer’s drawings and plans.



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K-Line Ag products are sold under the K-Line Ag name in Australia through our existing network of Case IH, New Holland and selected independent dealers. If unsure who your nearest dealer is check out: or call us on 1800 194 131

A Division of CNH Industrial

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