How times are changing
Wimmera Machinery Field Days at Longerenong have long been a rural institution, providing the region’s farming community with a critical annual update on the latest machinery and technology.
Some of the mighty machinery used to sow and harvest the crops of today, and on display at Longerenong, are the result of evolutionary engineering that in many cases have humble origins. What patrons at the field days will see during the three-day event have come a long way in a relatively short time.
The Katyil district near Dimboola produced a rare sight late last month when members of the Schilling family took a 1938 T. Robinson and Co harvester out of the shed to strip a 30-bag wheat crop to compare the experience with what the job involved today.
The exercise, that also involved a 1950 John Deere Model D tractor, also provided the farmers, some of whom had been busy with a heavy crop this season and others who had retired, a chance to reminisce.
The Schillings had a lot of fun using the equipment for the first time since a previous Schilling family farming day in 1997, but were amazed how long it took to complete the job.
Using the technology of yesterday, it took the team about two hours to strip the third of an acre plot, which produced 10 bags of wheat in a crop that was running at 30 bags an acre.
The same stripping project with today’s harvesting technology would have taken two minutes.
The pictures show, top, from left, Bob and Paul Schilling in the process of stripping, bagging and sewing wheat bags by hand, and right, reflecting on the project.
Pictures: KELLY SCHILLING