Pink Pan­ther sows seeds for cancer cure

Countryman - - MACHINERY AND TECHNOLOGY - Cally Dupe

A much-loved piece of ma­chin­ery cus­tom-built to plant small plots of peren­ni­als has been given a new pur­pose — rais­ing money for char­ity.

Grant Bain and Nigel Short op­er­ate a con­tract­ing busi­ness plant­ing peren­ni­als at farm­ing prop­er­ties across the Mid West.

The pair use a 4m planter, which Mr Bain said was a mesh of a scar­i­fier and a Walker culti trash used to plant across smaller por­tions of land.

Nick­named the Pink Pan­ther, the planter has gen­er­ated a lot of in­ter­est from the pair’s clients, so much so they de­cided it needed a cause. They have started to do­nate part of their pro­ceeds from con­tract­ing work to breast cancer re­search.

“Peren­nial pas­tures have a fair sort of a fol­low­ing in the Ger­ald­ton re­gion,” Mr Bain said.

“But the small hobby farm­ers couldn’t get them put in prop­erly so we made this ma­chine.

“We took the un­der­car­riage from a scar­i­fier and put on some of the discs from a Walker culti trash and it works well for us.”

Mr Bain farms at Walk­a­way, near Ger­ald­ton, and said de­mand was high for plots of peren­ni­als to feed sheep and cat­tle.

“We were get­ting calls from peo­ple with small acreages and small gates around Ger­ald­ton, and we just couldn’t do it with a big, 11m-wide ma­chine,” he said.

“So we de­cided to build the smaller ma­chine, it folds up to 3m so we can tow it from job to job.

“We won­dered what colour to paint it, and we de­cided to paint it pink, and then we thought we must have a rea­son for it.”

Mr Bain said clients were in­trigued by the colour of the planter and were happy to hear some pro­ceeds were going to char­ity.

Mr Bain has been seed­ing wheat, lupins and bar­ley into peren­nial pas­tures across 1300ha since 2011.

But dry con­di­tions meant he walked away from his seeded crops this year and de­cided to fo­cus on his 200 Brah­man-Charo­lais breed­ers.

“We grow cat­tle on it and plant crops into the pas­tures,” he said.

“Most years we put in wheat and lupins in the pas­ture with­out any yield penal­ties, this year we put in 100ha of lupins and 100ha of wheat.

“We walked away from them, we won’t be do­ing a har­vest this year.”

Pic­ture: Jus­tine Rowe

Grant Bain and Nigel Short with the pink seeder.

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