FEATURED: Kelly Engineering and the Diamond Harrow

By: Anna Game-Lopata

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Enterprising farmers Shane Kelly and his dad Peter invented the Kelly Diamond Harrow, a light tillage implement now the flagship product of their $20 million manufacturing and export business, Anna Game-Lopata reports.

FEATURED: Kelly Engineering and the Diamond Harrow
Shane Kelly on his farm in Booleroo Centre, South Australia.

A concept so simple, the Kelly Diamond Harrow was designed and built by fifth generation wheat farmer Peter Kelly and his son Shane to meet a need.

Now world-renowned, the Kelly family’s award-winning light tillage implement is sold throughout Australia, and exported to rice and grain production regions in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Just as it sounds, the Kelly Diamond Harrow comprises a set of heavy chains arranged in the shape of a diamond.

Each link of the chain, which is attached to an enormous hydraulic steel frame on wheels, has a concave disc attached.

The combination of chain tension, weight and disc shape allows for highly effective seed bed preparation.

It reduces the tasks of stubble management, mulching, soil levelling, weed control and seeding, usually undertaken with several machines, to a couple of passes with one.

Kelly Engineering has come a long way since its modest beginnings twenty years ago as a workshop set up to help pay off the farm debt.

 "The diamond harrow concept coincided with the two best consecutive years of farming I’d ever had," Shane says.

"We had extraordinarily tough stubble and wanted a way to break that down and be able to sow back into the paddocks four months later."

 Initially they started building the machine Shane needed using the conventional prickle chain they’d been selling through the fledgling Kelly Engineering business.

The disc chain evolved as Peter Kelly experimented with various incarnations of blades, choppers and paddles.

"It didn’t just happen overnight," Shane says. "That product was unique. It was something we developed to solve a problem and we’d covered enough ground and had enough customers with the prickle chain that we thought there might be a place for our new disc chain concept, certainly in Queensland and NSW."

There certainly was. Kelly Engineering is now a thriving manufacturing and export business.

 "We think we can go further and I genuinely believe there are big opportunities," Shane says.

"It’s not out of the question this could be a fifty million dollar business in a few years’ time."

Read the full story behind the Kelly Diamond Harrow in the March issue of NewFarmMachinery Magazine, on-sale March 24. Subscribe to the magazine to have it delivered.

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