Sky’s the limit for Maschio UFO Compact Speed Disc
A UFO of a special kind has landed in Australia, with the arrival of the first trailing/folding Maschio UFO Compact Speed Disc from Italy.
The one-pass residue management tool has found a home with Garry Kadwell’s seed potato, hay making and grazing operation, “Rosedale”, at Grabben Gullen, southwest of Crookwell on the NSW Southern Tablelands.
A fourth-generation farmer, Mr Kadwell owns 295ha and leases more, cultivating about 400ha and producing an average of 2000 tonnes of seed potatoes and 1800 prime lambs annually.
Traditionally, he has used an offset disc plough for the primary work of opening up the country for potatoes and cropping, with a speed tiller employed for finishing prior to sowing, but was prepared to try something new.
“I don’t usually rave about machinery, but the Maschio UFO has changed how we work and led to efficiencies I hadn’t expected,” he said.
“We broke a couple of discs hitting rocks with our last machine, but this one is a big flat-bar design and is much stronger. We haven’t had a single breakage.”
The newly-designed notched discs are 630mm in diameter and 8.5mm thick, made from high-tensile boron steel with a soil contact claimed to be four times that of smaller diameter discs.
“The discs, linked with the cross system, provide perfect overlapping and a consistent finish across the whole width of the machine,” Mr Kadwell said.
“The disc is actually pushing down and feeding trash into the soil, leaving a tenth on the surface to help moisture retention and decrease the chance of erosion.
“This year we have done 1000 acres behind a 160hp (119kW) tractor with minimal wear, using only the UFO.
“We have decreased our cultivation time and, as a result, been able to take on extra contracting work.”
National sales manager, cultivation and vegetation management, for distributor PFG Australia, Justin Fisher, said he hoped to have one of the new models available for next month’s Henty field days.
“The Maschio range covers 3-6m, but it’s just this trailing model that has seen an upgrade with a different hanger system — all the three-point linkage versions are in standard configuration,” Mr Fisher said.
Mr Kadwell’s property at Crookwell is recognised as a leading sustainable farming enterprise, with 32 per cent of it reserved as conservation areas or ecological zones. He conducts regular farm eco tours and welcomes visits from Landcare and conservation groups, industry professionals, students and tourists.
Recognised late last year as grand champion at the NSW Landcare Awards, Mr Kadwell will represent his state at the 2018 National Landcare Awards in Brisbane in October.
The Maschio UFO starts at $69,990 (plus GST) for 5-6m trailing models, while the 2.5m three-point linkage machine is priced from $24,750 (plus GST).