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Jun 26, 2020

Back to the future

Jun 26, 2020

Some of the Queensland silage industry took a happy trip down memory lane at the recent Allora Heritage Machinery Weekend, a popular event that attracts thousands of visitors, exhibitors and swap-meet fanatics every year.

Among them was Alan Judd from Judd Bros Contracting, who exhibited a 54-year-old New Holland 818, an open cab machine that revolutionised forage harvesting.

“The 818 was the first self-propelled forage harvester released in the world and this particular machine was one of the very first in Australia,” he says.

“I stumbled across this old girl whilst chopping sugar cane. After making a few calls, we established that it was the first self-propelled chopper purchased by the Hinze Family back in 1970!

Graham Hinze is a pioneer of the Australian silage industry. He was one of, if not the first, silage contractor and is still hard at it today. So Graham was definitely on board for the pickup of old 818, making the short trip to Goombungee.

“Can you believe this machine has passed through five owners and it’s still got the original manual? I’ve got three original fronts and I can’t wait to get her out into the paddock when I get the chance,” Alan added.

Proving that old loves never die, Alan has since re-acquired Judd Bros first self-propelled New Holland 2100 forage harvester. Released in 1979, it featured an in-line design and 300 hp engine.

Also catching the nostalgia bug was Brett Priebbenow from Priebbenow Silage Contractors, who was showing off his 1966 Gehl Chop King 188. It is believed to be one of only a handful of these machines remaining in the world.

Powered by a four cylinder, 150 hp GM471 engine, it was capable of harvesting about 2 ha of pasture or 0.8 ha of maize per hour – a far cry from the throughput of today’s juggernauts.

“In those days, this was a top-of-the-line model,” Brett says. “This old girl was probably imported into Australia by a U.S. company that was harvesting lucerne in the Cowra region of NSW. I purchased her a few years ago and have gradually been restoring her.”