LAKE Grace played host to AFGRI Equipment Australia's latest machinery demonstration session last week.
Hosted by farmers Brad and Janine Watson, the two-day event attracted 60 to 70 people from areas such as Esperance, Wagin, Albany and Pingelly to the region, as well as locals, eager to see AFGRI's latest machinery in action.
While Lake Grace has had AFGRI machinery demonstrations before, the size, scale and number of attendees was a first.
AFGRI Equipment Lake Grace branch manager Tyson Bell said the event was about showcasing the dealership's scope in expertise and equipment.
"We are covering all bases of machinery with this demonstration event - with everything from soil preparation to harvest," Mr Bell said.
"It gives customers the opportunity to ride and operate the machinery and to see how it works.
"Hosting an event such as this demonstrates how serious we are about being involved with the community and how we can be there for farmers from start to finish."
Mr Bell said over the two days they were demonstrating their dedication to the agricultural industry, their customers and the region.
He said the event also gave growers a good opportunity to talk to a wide range of different manufacturers, one-on-one.
The event was set up with five stations to take customers through the machinery that can be utilised for each stage of the crop cycle.
Data and file management equipment was the first stage, enabling farmers to access and use information for data analysis, such as yields and yield mapping.
This then allows them to make informed decisions to improve and optimise their cropping program, based on relevant, accurate data.
The second station was dedicated to soil preparation, with cultivation and deep ripping machinery.
A popular machine at this station was the Horsch Tiger.
The Horsch Tiger is a deep ripping and cultivating machine which works by incorporating stubble into the soil and lifts non-wetting sand to the surface.
Tillage and seeding machinery formed the basis for the third station, which really highlighted AFGRI's precision seeders.
One machine that attracted a lot of interest was the Equalizer air seeder bar.
"This is a strong, robust machine that gives farmers accurate precision when seeding," Mr Bell said.
"It has a strong frame with minimal manufacturing faults and it's simplistic design makes it easy to operate."
Nurture and protect was the theme of the fourth station, which comprised spraying equipment, for tasks such as fertiliser application and weed control.
One of AFGRI's most recent addition to its plethora of machinery rigs was the self-propelled boomsprayer, the ExactApply.
It was was released in late 2018 and proved to be a favourite at the demonstration.
"We have received really good feedback from customers about the ExactApply," Mr Bell said.
"It has a great technological system and save farmers a great deal of money, in terms of chemical costs."
ExactApply is based on a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) system - advanced technology which sprays at a constant set pressure and droplet size, regardless of the sprayer speed and application flow rate.
Pulsing at 30 hertz a second, the machine even regulates pulses when turning to ensure equal applications of liquid.
The system also reduces the number of nozzles needed because of the increased range on each nozzle and as an added bonus, LED lighting on each individual nozzle improves visibility of the spray pattern in low-light conditions.
The fifth station represents the final stage of the season, harvest, which will soon be on many farmers' minds as it draws closer and some start cutting for hay.
Mr Bell said the concerns from growers of the southern part of the agricultural region were centred around conserving soil moisture.
"At the moment farmers throughout this region are asking about minimal tillage air seeders and are looking at incorporating nutrients into their soil, such as lime and gypsum," he said.
"They are also interested in data and how to manage it and improve their cropping operations for years to come."