Berry good idea to boost crop yields
A Harvey welding business has come up with a device that could be a game-changer in the agriculture and horticulture industries. After more than two years of development, Dave and Chris Berry say their aerator can increase crop yield by 30 to 40 per cent.
A Harvey-based business has come up with a device that could be a gamechanger in the agriculture and horticulture industries.
Father-and-son team Dave and Chris Berry from Berry’s Welding, have spent two years perfecting their soil aerator after being approached by a farmer who was ready to throw in the towel.
On pastures where the Berry Pin Roller was used, water-use was down by 60 per cent and crop yield had increased by about 40 per cent.
Harvey lucerne farmer Jim Pace approached the Berrys two years ago after he purchased a farm in the area, but began to regret the decision due to poor yields.
“He came to us because he had to try something,” Dave Berry said.
The aerator is like a big steel roller with evenly-spaced pins designed to pierce the soil in a rolling motion while being towed behind a standard four-wheel-drive.
Mr Berry said the central spindle was filled with water to add weight in order to pierce the impervious and compacted top layer of soil.
“When we finished up and we drained that water out in a pasture we could see all the water running down into the holes we’d just made, right down where it’s needed,” Mr Berry said.
“It’s going to save up to 60 per cent of water.
“On this new aerator you can travel at a speed up to 30km/h with no damage to the pasture.”
Mr Berry rents out the device to farmers interested in seeing how it works, but said he could build aerators from the prototype in just two weeks.
“They used to use them back in the 1970s,” he said. “I don’t know why they stopped.” The Berrys hope to build a larger version of the Berry Pin Roller.
“We’re hoping to build a bigger one to be used in the wheatbelt,” he said.
“We can’t keep using water the way we are.
“This device will mean less water, less nitrogen in the soil, less fertiliser.
“There is no downside.”