Home' Otago Southland Farmer : August 24th 2012 Contents 12
Save tractor hours & reduce fuel consumption.
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Farmers with dairy wintering barns are reporting savings of
20 to 23% over outdoor wintering costs made up from: -
Savings on winter-feed costs because cows are warmer
and there is less feed wastage.
Savings on pasture damage, pugging, nutrient run-off
and the environment because cows are off the land
during the wetter periods.
Being able to milk longer at the shoulders of the season
and therefore increase milking days.
Less cow walking distance resulting in better yields and
less lame cows.
Fertiliser savings by being able to apply the retained
effluent at a time when the grass can best uptake the
Reduced feed supplement wastage and pasture damage
by using barn as a feed pad during milking periods.
"Turn-key packages for complete shed with
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Talk to the builders with over 10 years of proven experience
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Cultivation Advertising Feature
Adapting to technology
While much of the locally grown wheat in Otago, Southland and Canterbury was
traded locally by the mid -1860s, there were much larger areas of the South Island
were given over to cropping.
FROM Page 11
In 1867 a trial shipment of wheat and flour was sent
from South Canterbury to England. The
experiment proved that there was a market for
New Zealand grain in Britain.
In the late 1870s many pastoralists on the plains and
downlands of Canterbury and Otago were ruined
when wool had one of its sudden falls to rock
bottom. Many of those who survived the crash
turned to large-scale cropping as a source of income.
Technological improvements in ploughs and
harvesting machinery made this possible.
The main reason for this was the introduction of the
iron ploughs imported from Britain and America
were an improvement on the earlier wooden
ploughs. However like some British vehicles in the
early 20th century they were not robust enough for
John Anderson was an innovative engineer and in his
Christchurch foundry made successful colonial
ploughs. P. & D. Duncan also of Christchurch, and
Reid & Gray in Dunedin, both made double-furrow
ploughs that became widely used for breaking up
In the late 1870s three- and four-
furrow ploughs were made, but they
did not supplant the two-furrow
plough until tractors replaced horse
The real breakthrough in cropping
technology came in 1851 after
McCormick's reaper won the gold
medal at the Great Exhibition of 1851
in London, and revolutionised har-
vesting technology. Before that, crops
were mown by hand using either a
reaping hook or scythe. The sheaves
were then hand tied, gathered and
New Zealand arable farmers were
quick to adapt to the new technology
and at about the same time as that
medal was awarded In the 1850s
reaping machines were imported into
Christchurch from England and the
United States., and in the 1860s
Reid & Gray made a reaping machine
especially for local conditions. This
southern company was heavily
involved in adapting technology. The
reaper binder was invented in 1873. It
cut the crop and ties the sheaves in
one operation By 1877 Reid & Gray
developed a binder that tied sheaves
with twine, which was superior to the
imported wire binders.
Even after the invention of the reaper-
binder, harvesting was a back-
breaking job. The machine cut the
crop and tied it into sheaves, which
were gathered into stooks. Five or six
pairs of sheaves were stooked together
with the heads upright so that the sap
could drain from the stalks. Once dried,
they were forked into horse-drawn
wagons and taken to the stack. Stacks
were built to withstand wind and keep
out the rain; building them required
After being tied, the sheaves were
stacked until needed, and then
threshed to remove the grain from the
straw. Before 1860, when a mechanical
threshing machine was invented, the
job was done by hand using a tool
called a flail.
In 1864 a group of farmers from Timaru
imported a traction engine and
combine harvester to thresh grain
crops. The operator and his machinery
travelled from district to district.
Header harvesters first arrived in New
Zealand in 1924 and changed the old
system completely. These harvesters
cut the crop and threshed it in one pass.
It left the straw in rows on the ground
and took only the grain, with workers
bagging it during the process.
In 1958 the first bulk header arrived in
Canterbury. It stored the grain while it
worked, and then transferred it to bulk
trucks for transport to silos. By the end
of the 1950s the process of cropping
had been completely mechanised.
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