Helped by good opening rain, Birchip Cropping Group kicked off its seeding program in the second week of March, sowing the first of 50 trials planned for this season with a brand new tractor.
The new tractor, provided by O’Connors Birchip through long-standing sponsorship arrangement, features a two centimetre RTK auto steer system and has been fitted with a special tyre package to suit the trial work carried out by BCG.
Through the partnership arrangement forged almost 20 years ago, BCG’s machinery is regularly rolled over ensuring research work is carried out with up-to-date and industry-standard equipment.
O’Connors Birchip branch manager Gareth Webb said his company was keen to support BCG because the work carried out by the organisation helped local farmers as well as Australian agriculture in general.
“And it’s good to have BCG in Birchip,” Mr Webb said.
“The organisation brings young professionals and agricultural specialists to town.”
BCG chief executive officer David Chamberlin said BCG was grateful for the backing provided by the local business and was pleased to have been able to reciprocate when the organisation’s vehicle fleet needed to be upgraded.
“We replaced three of our vehicles with four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Tritons that we purchased through O’Connors,” he said.
“It was good to be able to make these purchases locally, and particularly through a business that has been a great supporter of BCG,” he said.
The relationship between O’Connors and BCG hails back to the organisation’s early days and has evolved to see BCG provided with a regular turnover of up-to-date equipment, ensuring trial work mirrors industry standard and is relevant to farmers.
Efficiencies have also been gained, particularly thanks to the adoption of GPS guidance which negates the need to peg out trial plots prior to sowing.
Mr Chamberlin said that with the new tractors the latest addition to BCG’s ever expanding tool box – and a stunning fleet of utes ready for work – the trials team is now into the sowing season.
“The staff are excited about the new tractors and are eager to generate some useful data that will keep farmers in the Wimmera and Mallee at agriculture’s cutting edge,” he said.

• Sowing begins: O’Connors Birchip presented BCG with a new tractor ready for the 2012 season. Pictured left to right, Skye Gabb, Dannielle McMillan, Gareth Webb, Cameron Taylor, Simon Craig, Daryl Burdett and Tom Sheridan.