Tasmanian Potato & Beef Producer Adds to Valtra Fleet
Nestled in a valley in North east Tasmania, Tim Hall’s farm is expanding in more ways the one.
With a new irrigation scheme due to come online in two years’ time, the Halls are getting busy returning a recently purchased neighbouring tree plantation back to pasture and the installation of centre pivots.
A mixed beef and potato farm in the Waterhouse region, Tim currently harvests about 1500 tonnes of potatoes while his father runs 500 calving cows on 4,500 acres, some of which is still being developed.
“We have a new twin row harvester and we will be able to do about 5000 tonnes of potatoes with that a year. Our plan is to have a couple of centre pivots so it’s a bit easier to finish our two year olds off and also in conjunction with that we can grow potatoes as well, says Tim.
Fitting in to the plans was the purchase of a new Valtra T234 series that added to the Hall fleet.
“We got our first Valtra in 2005 and we sort wanted to see how that went and we liked it.”
And like them they did. Over the years the number of Valtra models on the property have consistently grown and become tightly held.
“Out of four Valtra’s we have only ever traded one back in. There was never an issue with anything we wanted to do. It was well built for what we did. It was pretty rough when we first turned up and now between my dad and myself we have nine of these now and my brother’s got one.” Tim says.
“We’ve got two 8550’s that we do our most of our ground work with and now I’ve bought a T234, we’ll have a good run with that”.
“We plan to use this for most of our ground prep for our potatoes. We'll rip and hoe with that and may do a bit of cultivation for our fodder crop if we need it, but mostly it will be on a potato harvester with hydraulic wheel motors running at 5000psi, so we need more power and will probably be putting about 300 hours a year on the harvester”, says Tim.
Although the T234 is a step up from his previous machines Tim says the SmartTouch Armrest is proving easy to get up an and going.
“Initially with the new machine, I found it a bit scary but then found it remarkably simple, it really is. Compared to the old girl there is a bit of difference but it is really very simple to use.”
With different soil profiles and higher and lower land with diverse moisture levels, Tim needs to be able to negotiate variable conditions, often within the same paddock.
“We Like the Valtra transmission with the various soil types we’ve got. Sometimes with a bit of sand we can go quicker, and sometimes with the heavier stuff, with the wet stuff, we slow down, but we’ve got no gear sticks, there’s nothing like that. Hopefully with that, we also we get a bit of a fuel saving.
While there is still a lot of affection for the older Valtra models that are still worked hard around the Hall farm, the new technology and comforts of the T234 is already leaving and impression with Tim.
“It’s unbelievably quiet, obviously the old girl we have wasn’t built yesterday, but this new one is really quiet and comfortable and it’s got a fridge. A cold sandwich and a cold drink is pretty important I reckon, and I suppose a cold beer at the end of the day is alright as well."