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Glenridge Park

Glenridge Park case study

A case study that demonstrates the importance of innovation and technology in stock farming.

As rainfall patterns changed near Mount Barker in WA, innovative stock farmers Dave and Lyn Slade adapted their operation to include crop growing.

Although about 50 per cent of their land is under crops today, the Slade family haven’t lost their passion for raising livestock, particularly prime beef and lamb.

The couple have farmed in the region for 40 years and have fine-tuned their operation to maximise productivity. One way David has done this is to constantly keep an eye open for advancements in farming machinery. While new equipment is readily available to improve cropping efficiency, the livestock side of the business is more labour intensive. This is where his talent for innovation has come into play.

Mechanical skills

“If I can’t find a machine that suits me I’ll build it myself,” he says. “I’m all about sheep work made easy.”

Feeding about 10,000 sheep used to take most of the day, but thanks to David’s mechanical skills it now takes only two hours using a special truck he invented that allows him to control the feeding process from behind the wheel.

David uses a purpose-built conveyor for vaccinating his sheep and he has designed a hydraulic lamb-marking trailer, which has doubled his efficiency.

His "Slade Easy Fencer", which won the new inventors section at the Newdegate Machinery Field Days agricultural show in 2015, has halved the time it takes to build fences on his property. 

Things you should know. This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Agri Insights canvasses 1,600 Australian farmers about their intentions for their farm enterprise over the coming 12 months. In our seventh survey, we also asked farmers about which areas of their operations presented opportunity for future innovation, and what they would do to enable innovation in their farm businesses. We spoke to a representative sample of rural producers across Australia. Fieldwork was executed by Fairfax Agricultural Research and Marketing using its database of more than 100,000 rural producers, and the research was managed by Kynetec. Calls were conducted in January and February 2017. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.