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New and old on show at Agrotrend 2021

Agrotrend 2021
Rum City Vintage Machinery Club members Tony McGarry, Garry Walk and Alan Riseley, along with Len Duncan (third from left) stand proudly in front of the Toft 364 MII harvester.

A 50-year-old revolutionary cane harvester was on show alongside some of the agricultural industry’s newest technology at Agrotrend 2021.

The two-day event returned to the Bundaberg Region after a year of hiatus due to COVID-19 and drew crowds from across Queensland.

Local group Rum City Vintage Machinery Club have a passion for preserving old machinery within the community.

They held a display of machinery from yesteryear, including an historic Toft harvester which they were raising funds to restore.

Member Garry Walk spent his early days driving similar harvesters and he wasn’t surprised at the fact he was able to take the reins of this particular harvester and drive it through the gates of Agrotrend 2021.

Garry said it was built tough, and they were all excited to restore it back to its original glory.

Rum City Vintage Machinery treasurer Tony McGarry said the Toft 364 MII harvester was donated to the local organisation about three-and-a-half years ago by prominent cane farmer Rocky Lerch.

Tony said they had only just started the project, which he expects will take many years to complete, and the restored model would sit permanently in the community for all to see.

Agrotrend 2021
Toft 364 MII harvester side by side with a current harvester.

“We are excited to restore not only the machine, but the history it holds,” he said.

“The Toft machines have been around from way back – the family with several boys, brother, they were in farming and saw a big need to change from doing everything from hand to harvest with a machine.

“This harvester was one of the pioneers of machinery you see today.

“Sugar played such an important part in Bundaberg’s history and the Toft family was involved in that.”

New technology on display at Agrotrend

Along with machines from days gone by, new models and technology was also on display at Agrotrend 2021, including the team from Corematic Engineering who held a research and development display.

Agrotrend 2021
The Corematic Engineering team were eager to speak with local farmers, at Agrotrend 2021, seeking problems to advise on how to solve it with technology.

Corematic Engineering national key account manager Cyril Delorme said they hoped to close the gap on the preconceived idea that research and development was not accessible, or too expensive, for farmers and producers.

“Our macadamia software is the perfect example, where nothing exists on the market and we developed it with a business mindset,” Cyril said.

Cyril said the team were eager to speak with local farmers, seeking problems to advise on how to solve it with modern technology.

“We are here to take on the challenge to solve the farmer’s problems, especially those who do not have engineering in-house.”

Council’s Land Protection Services officers Guy Hancock and Spencer Katt provided advice to the community around pest plants and animals, as well as the landholder assistance programs.

Spencer said it may not be well known in the community that Council hired out equipment that could assist in land protection.

Agrotrend 2021
Land Protection officers Guy Hancock and Spencer Katt were on hand at Agrotrend 2021 to provide the community with information about declared pest, and services offered by Council.

He said raising awareness of declared pests in the local area was important to help protect the environment.

“Council supplies items such as traps for the Indian Myna, which actually has a bounty on them,” Spencer said.

“Then we hire out, for a small fee, items such as spray trailer to help control weeds.”

For more information about these services and more, the Land Protection Services stall will be open again on Saturday between 8.30am and 3pm opposite the main pavilion at Agrotrend.

More in store Saturday for Agrotrend 2021

Saturday, May 1: 8.30 am to 3pm

Adults: $10
Concession and 15 years or under: gold coin donation
Under 5: Free

For more information click here.

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