TORQUE spent an interesting time at the Merredin Military Museum last week.
But it was with some concern to discover the Museum is struggling with operational costs, despite huge heavy lifting from volunteers.
This museum is a classic and should be a priority to maintain as a WA treasure, particularly because of the war-time items displayed and some of the history of WA's involvement.
Former local farmer Rob Endersbee is the volunteer museum curator who is doing his best to ensure the museum stays open for the public, but is short of a few dollars to pay pressing bills.
A total of $5000 is needed immediately so Torque would like to suggest to loyal readers we "crowd-fund" for the museum.
It would only take 500 readers donating $10 each to get to the total.
Torque will kick it off so let's make it $5010 we're targeting.
Ring Rob on 0429 411 204 for the account details to deposit your $10.
ESPERANCE farmer Mic Fels is looking for somebody with programming skills to held further develop his iPaddock Yield and iPaddockSpray apps.
According to Mic, it's an ongoing labour of love to improve the apps which at the end of the day are there to make money and save money.
"There is so much more we can do but I need some assistance," he said.
If you think you fit the bill, contact Mic on 0428 783 014.
Scoop for Torque
DONGARA manufacturer Peter Nunn contacted Torque last week with a "scoop".
"We've designed a new generation of inclusion plates," he said. "They'll be standard on all our Hydramax deep rippers for 2017."
For the uninitiated, inclusion plates are soil-separating wings attached to the back of a deep ripper tine.
The top of the plates are designed to operate between 100mm and 150mm (4-6in) under the ground, which allows topsoil and organic matter to fall in behind the tine and be distributed through the profile of the ripped soil.
A lot of farmers are using them to ameliorate lime at depth.
"There's been a big increase in deep ripping in the past two years and Hydramax owners are reporting some really significant crop yield increases between 1t/ha and 4t/ha," Peter said. "It's the sort of talk we were hearing in the 1980s when deep ripping took off."
Peter, who manufacturers the Hydramax under licence from Queensland manufacturer Tilco, also said some huge canola crops had prompted one farmer to employ cut down smudge bars in front of headers tyres to knock down tough stubbles because the traditional rubber flaps were ineffective.
But he's not thinking of making smudge bars.
That could have been another "scoop" for Torque.
Allan tracks his mob
KATANNING farmer Allan Wilson has come up with a tool to help him manage his sheep flock, and share that information with farm staff.
He calls it MyMobTracker, a simple web-based app that keeps track of stock movements, numbers, and actions such as marking, joining, pregnant scanning, condition scores and weaning.
All sheep are identified according to the NLIS colour-coded year, which is now standardised throughout Australia.
Using a drop-down menu which includes all chemicals available in Australia, you can record dips, drenches and vaccines, even down to the batch number.
It also has the capacity to enter National Vendor Declaration codes to aid traceability.
Information input is date-stamped to ensure data integrity.
Allan said a key feature of MyMobTracker was its mobility and simplicity, and its capacity to share recorded actions with other members of the enterprise through their mobile phones.
"It means everyone on the farm knows exactly what's occurred and where all sheep are," he said. "It also creates a historical record of the enterprise."
MyMobTracker is also backed up on-line through the website.
So even if there is no mobile coverage in the paddock, once there is connectivity again it will automatically update the website, as well as the mobile phones of other users.
"Even if a phone is lost or dropped, all information is still available and recorded," he said.
"It's the modern version of the old notebook in the ute, it's your flock in your pocket."
Let's not get too poetic Allan.
But Torque admits it will be easier to dob in your mob.