Ben Pankhurst is the cultivation and drilling specialist at family company Pankhurst Contracting in Greta Valley, North Canterbury. Pankhurst Contracting cultivates around 1,000 ha’s a year, on sheep and beef properties between Amberley and the Hurunui River. In his 13-odd years in the business, Ben says he’s seen a steady move towards farmers contracting-out not only hay and baleage-making but also working paddocks and general farm work. He says while increased intensification and a reduced labour force are factors, clients also appreciate the advantages of using an expert who has invested in good gear.
Before buying his 4500 Express Plus Speed Discs, Ben says he did his research and looked at a few brands. “Todd and FarmChief were keen to bring it up here and demo it, and we found it was a really good piece of kit.” Four years on, Ben says it’s done a lot of work in some reasonably harsh conditions, including winter greenfeed paddocks that’ve been beaten up by cattle. “We prepare paddocks for all kinds of crops – fodder beets, oats, brassicas…”
“They work very well across all soil types and even in steep and rocky terrain. They’re very versatile and they’ve changed the way we work the ground. They’re more efficient than the heavy discs and they’re cheaper for the farmers. There’re fewer hours in the paddocks and, from our point of view, we get more ground covered, there’s less maintenance and they’re cheaper to run.” Ben says they’re also very easy to operate. “Anyone can drive them.”
- Express 4500 Speed Disc