Drill winners ready to sow

Posted by Dianne Bisdee on 10 October 2015

Two happy farmers are set to experience the best of no-till drilling this season, without having to pay a cent.

Matthew Griffin from Mt Potts Station in Canterbury and Dave McCurdy from Rissington in Hawke’s Bay will each receive up to three months free use of one of the latest model seed drills from Duncan Ag.

They were among hundreds of farmers from throughout New Zealand who took Duncan up on its unique online offer to win a free drill for a season, and both now have their sowing plans well in hand as a result.

With 80-100 ha of new pasture plus winter feed to get in the ground this spring, Matthew Griffin will be the first of the pair to take advantage of what he says was a very welcome if surprising win. 

The general manager of the 1200 ha Rangitata Gorge high country property saw the promotion and put his name in the hat while researching the potential purchase of a direct drill but says he never expected to win the South Island offer.

Mt Potts runs sheep, beef and deer. New pastures and crops have been direct drilled there by a contractor in previous seasons and Griffin says he’s been looking into buying the station its own machine for some time, primarily because direct drilling is much better for soil moisture retention than full cultivation.

In Hawke’s Bay, meantime, Dave McCurdy says the chance to get a late model Duncan Ag direct drill working on the new farm he, wife Binks and their young family moved to 18 months ago is a great start to their development project.

The 980 ha former dairy support block is dominated by short term pastures which are running out and need to be replaced for the McCurdys’ sheep and beef, and he’s hoping to resow up to 150 ha if possible using the drill this autumn.

“We had a direct drill on our previous farm in Southland; it’s quick, it’s simple and it’s very efficient, so when I saw the Duncan offer I thought that would be ideal for us. It’s not the kind of thing you expect to win, though.”

Craig McIsaac, general manager of Duncan Ag, says the company organised the offer to give farmers an opportunity to make their spring or autumn sowing faster, easier and more economic this season.

“We had great response, more than we expected to be honest, so that’s been excellent. We’d like to thank all the farmers who entered, and we’re looking forward to getting those machines on farm for both Matthew and Dave.”

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