Inside Farms and Farm Machinery March 2016 issue

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FFM 330 FC Farms and Farm Machinery magazine issue 330 goes on-sale February 18. FFM 330 FC
REEFA review Tropical north Queensland sugar cane farmer and engineer Michael Camilleri developed the REEFA, a sugarcane fertiliser with a conscience. REEFA review
Toyota Hilux hay haul Matt Wood takes an old and new Hilux for a hay run across outback Queensland in a quest to see how well the 1989 Toyota Hilux Workmate can hold up. Toyota Hilux hay haul
Flatrac review The award-winning Flatrac is designed to flatten wheel tracks on the ground without causing soil disturbance. Flatrac review
Claas Axion 830 review We also check out the 2014 Tractor of the Year winner Claas Axion 800 series to see what all the fuss is about. Claas Axion 830 review

Farms and Farm Machinery magazine issue 330 goes on-sale from February 18, and features in-depth looks at stellar local engineering examples such as the REEFA sugarcane fertiliser and the Flatrac wheel track renovator.

Tropical north Queensland sugar cane farmer and engineer Michael Camilleri developed the Responsible Economical Environmental Fertiliser Applicator (REEFA) as a response to the issue of runoff into waterways caused by the practice of spreading fertiliser on the surface of the ground.

Camilleri came up with the idea of incorporating a parallelogram system for mounting a coulter, tine and depth gauge wheel to create a sugar cane fertilising applicator.

The REEFA improves responsible farm practices, economy and efficiency levels by placing fertiliser at the optimum location for maximum plant uptake while also minimising leeching into the waterways.

But after that huge wrap, how well does the REEFA actually perform? Read Tom Dickson’s assessment in this issue. Watch the video.

Also this month, Dickson takes a look at the Flatrac wheel track renovator, which won Machine of the Year at last year’s Henty Field Days.

If you practice controlled traffic farming on your property, you’ll be familiar with the wheel ruts which inevitably form as a consequence. The Flatrac is a six metre wide machine used for repairing such ruts.

"The Flatrac is quite unique because unlike other wheel track rehabilitation machines on the market it doesn’t use cultivation-style discs to dig up the soil to be dumped back into the wheel rut,"

Dickson explains. See what he thought of it in the field in this issue and watch the video here.

Other machines we tested in this issue include:

Another highlight this issue is Matt Wood’s hay run to help out in drought-stricken Queensland, while pitting his 25-year-old, 2.4 litre petrol powered two-wheel-drive Toyota Hilux with 306,000 kilometres on the clock against the latest model.

"Those in the know reckoned the old girl would be just fine," Wood says. "Others thought I was going to kill it for sure."

So it’s a shiny new 2016 HiLux SR 4x4 tray back with roo bar, snorkel and tow bar against a 1989 HiLux looking like it was two steps away from a trip to a scrap metal yard. Will the old rig survive? Find out in this issue. Watch the video.

Last but not least, Col Jackson visits the world’s first commercial plantation of Achacha, a virtually unknown fruit native to Bolivia being grown in North Queensland by Helen and Bruce Hill.

"An Achacha tart recently took the prize in a popular national cooking program," Jackson writes, "while on the farm in Giru, this husband and wife of 49 years were witnessing another step forward in their venture.

Achacha grower Helen Hill speaks to Jackson about the processes of growing and selling the fruit in Australia and overseas, as well as its many health benefits.

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