Cover story: Vredo pasture overseeders headed Down Under

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The Agri Air Twin pasture overseeder, produced by Dutch manufacturer Vredo, is set to hit Australian shores soon thanks to Sustainable Machinery

High quality and reliable equipment and a commitment to the long-term is what business manager Jason Hatton believes sets Sustainable Machinery apart.

Based in Theresa Park on Sydney’s southwestern fringe, the company is the Australian importer of Dutch-made Vredo overseeders.

While the Sustainable Machinery name has only existed since 2016, the locally-owned, independent company has more than half a century of history in Australia.

"It started off in the sports turf industry and our original company was started in 1971, so we go back a long way," Hatton says.

"We’re two generations deep into the industry and, because of our depth in turf farming, we saw an opportunity to diversify further into agriculture.

"As the business took off, we realised that there was quite a demand for quality machinery, which inevitably is how Sustainable Machinery started as a standalone entity with the focus on importing and distribution of quality machinery to our customers."


The double disc system is a standout feature

As a family-owned company with an established history, the partnership with Vredo seemed like a natural fit.

Founded in 1947, Vredo is also family-owned and the manufacturer approached Hatton about becoming its Australian importer to help grow its presence Down Under.

"I recognised the quality of the machine and the unique difference of the machine against other options available to contractors and farmers in Australia, and decided it would be of value to people to pursue it," Hatton says.

"We started working with their turf machinery some years ago and I could see more value for the pasture machinery in Australia than anything else because of what we do.

"Farmers find it hard these days to get quality machinery and machinery that delivers what manufacturers say it’s going to deliver. We deliver quality and productivity."

Vredo’s Agri Air has been the main overseeder imported by Sustainable Machinery, however the range is set to grow with the first Agri Air Twin units currently on their way to Australia.

Hatton says the double disc system on Vredo’s overseeders is their standout unique feature, helping to increase both efficiency and yield.

"Imagine two dinner plates coming together on the bottom," he says.

"It’s split apart 20–30 centimetres at the back of the disc to enable the ground to open up. You’re cutting through the sward into the ground by maybe 20mm or whatever your desired depth is and placing a quantity of seed exactly where it needs to go to get the best germination rate.

"The machine is unique in both its disc width and the fact this company was the first on the planet to come up with a double disc system.

"There have been a few companies copying us, but the width of the disc spacing is 75mm, which is incredibly narrow and increases yield dramatically by both saving germination rate and close spacing of seed without over-placement."


The Vredo Agri Air Twin has a working speed of 13 km/h

Hatton also says it is important for customers to realise the Vredo Agri products are pasture overseeders, rather than arable overseeders for "bare dirt".

"We focus on people that have got some sort of vegetative cover across the ground," he says.

"You see these very big overseeders that are designed to go on bare dirt. They’re 100 feet wide and the ploughs and all this sort of thing – we’re a different machine to that. We’re unique in the fact that we’re looking to overseed pasture."

Vredo’s Agri Air Twin is designed for farmers who require extra capacity over the regular Agri Air, as it offers a 425L seed hopper.

Available in two working widths of 4.4m and 5.8m, it offers further customisation through its ability to have seed distribution continually adjusted between three and 210 kilograms per hectare.

A working speed of 13km/h allows farmers to cover plenty of ground during a day in the field, while spring-loaded discs and the ability for both sections of the machine to pivot means it can comfortably handle undulating land.

Hatton believes characteristics of the Vredo overseeders are similar to his overall approach to business – prioritising reliability, honesty and long-term commitment over the pursuit of a "quick buck".

"We’re bringing a machine to market that has superior quality and performance," he says.

"We don’t sell ourselves on being the cheapest, but we do sell ourselves on being the best.

"I’ve prided myself in my business of being honest with people and never lead people down a garden path.

"I tell my customers if they want to buy something, that’s going to last five minutes, don’t come to me.

"If they want to buy something they’re going to have for many years to come – that’s their investment.

"I’ll always treat them honestly, deliver them what’s right and, if it’s not suited for them, I will tell them and I will send them in a direction that is, be- cause that’s the way to be here for the long-term.

"I’m not here for a quick buck."

For more information, visit: www.sustainablemachinery.com.au

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