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TAS Country : March 29th 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012 Tasmanian Country 7 News Wind and oil secure the future ROGER HANSON 'Redbank Farm is an example of what can be achieved through constant innovation and clever-thinking' ---PREMIER LARA GIDDINGS A NORTHWEST farm has used innovation and value-adding to overcome uncertainty. Following the closure of the McCain vegetable processing plant at Smithton in Circular Head, the Redbank Farm at Sisters Creek has diversified to add value-added products. The Premier, Lara Giddings, officially opened a wind turbine and cold oil press at Andrew and Caroline Nicholls' farm this week. The Ni- cholls have created a di- versified busi- ness that in- cludes traditional cropping, poultry and value-added products through the Naturally Ni- cholls brand. The farm has significant quantities of canola and mus- tard seed ready for pressing, with further plans to move into the fine food market. ''Redbank Farm is an exam- ple of what can be achieved through constant innovation and clever thinking,'' Ms Gidd- ings said. The Nicholls responded to the closure of McCain's processing plant by looking for new oppor- tunities. Research carried out by son Tristan on a farming scholar- ship at Wharf Valley Farm in the UK led to the decision to install a cold oil press to in- crease downstream processing. Bio-diesel fuel is generated from the oils and the oil waste will be used to fuel the farm engines including tractors. The installation of a wind turbine will allow the Ni- cholls to pro- duce around 60 per cent of their on-farm power needs. This re- duces their running costs, but also their carbon foot- print. The 45m high turbine is capable of generating up to 225kW and is expected to provide annual elec- tricity output of 295,650kWh. Ms Giddings said the cold oil press had the potential to ben- efit other Tasmanian farmers. There is potential for other farmers to grow other seeds, including sunflower and lin- seed, to utilise the equipment to process their seed into high quality, filtered oil. Dynamic digger's drainage bonus FLEXIBLE: Rotary digger ideal for drainage work. KAROLIN MacGREGOR A TASMANIAN-BUILT rotary digger is making light work of drainage on farms in the state's northeast. Owned by Hammond Farms the digger is one of three similar machines that have been locally made. John Hammond said the digger had been purchased about five years ago to help with drainage work on family properties at Montagu and Robbins Island. Powered by a D8 Dozer engine the digger has 12 large blades that cut through the ground then a large disk throws the dirt out to one side. The machine can move an impressive 350 cubic metres of dirt a minute when operating at full capacity. Mr Hammond said the ro- tary digger was ideal for drain- age work in rock-free sandy type country. Last week the machine was working at Den- nis Creese's property Ainsley, near Waterhouse. Property manager Paul Casey said last year's wet summer had caused problems in some paddocks where po- tato crops had been grown under irrigation, so some extra drainage was needed. ''It got pretty wet here last year and we had trouble with a couple of potato crops so we thought we'd get some drain- age done to help get the water off the paddocks a bit faster,'' he said. The rotary digger can make drains over 1m deep. Soil dug up from the drain is thrown out to one side of the machine up to 15m. Mr Hammond said this meant there was little disturb- ance to the area surrounding the drain and the grass would simply grow up through it. The machine can also be used to make the hump and hollow drainage system com- monly seen in very wet areas such as Circular Head. Justin Marthick has been operating the digger for about three years and said it would handle work in sandy and even wet areas very well. Mr Hammond said it could also be used to clean out existing drains. See. Believe. The stunning harbour views make Sandy Bay one of Tasmania s most coveted locations. Wake up to majestic views of Kuymah Reser ve or enjoy the tranquil landscaped gardens from your balcony. Sweeping views of Hobar t from Alexandra Battery Lookout and soothing strolls along Nutgrove Beach are only a walk away too. Live it, see it, believe it. Call us today for your personal tour on (03) 6216 7160. 15 St Canice Avenue, Sandy Bay • www.saintcanice.com.au BPST0006B/TC
March 22nd 2012
April 5th 2012