Reefinator Restores Productive Soils

Mar 03,2017 at 12:16 am By Admin - Rocks Gone

Reefinator Restores Productive Soils

Published in the Farm Weekly, Section 2, Thursday, March 2, 2017

WA farmers will soon have the chance to see one of the latest advancements in farm machinery.

The Reefinator, a local invention created by third-generation farmer and Rocks Gone managing director Tim Pannell, will be on display at the Make Smoking History Wagin Woolarama.

The Rocks Gone Reefinator is a hybrid design between a rock ripper and a rock roller – combining the two functions into a single drawbar-pulled machine.

Frustration with high wear rates and the many moving parts of existing rotary crushers led Mr Pannell to design and develop the innovative product, that allows rock to be grated into manageable pieces before being pulverised by a roller.

“The benefits of the Reefinator are being able to crush rock below and above the ground, allowing for crops to be planted on more land,” Mr Pannell said.

“The soil is improved and the water run-off is essentially stopped as the soil can absorb the water.

“So many farmers have great plots of land and many don’t realise that the rocky parts of their land can be turned into productive, arable land.”

Mr Pannell said the Reefinator grate acts like a cheese grater, holding down rock as it is ripped into smaller chunks that are then pulverised by the roller.

He said the Reefinator presented a solution to those rocks in the paddock that had farmers bouncing over, going around and breaking machinery for years.

Rock can be crushed and turned into productive, level soil efficiently and cost-effectively, ready for the backpacker to drive the new bar through safely.

Straightening out run-lines makes it easier to adopt controlled traffic farming and reduces input wastage caused by overlap.

The Reefinator can create soil depth where existing soil is shallow and rocky, improving potential productivity and yield.

Land that was previously poor quality grazing land can be transformed into good quality productive soil, ready for cropping or improved pastures.

Last year the Facey Group, Wickepin, conducted a trial of the Reefinator on Craig Jespersen’s property and it will present the full results at the Facey Group Trials event on Thursday, March 9, at 12.30pm.

The Facey Group’s Chloe Turner said trail results had been pleasing.

“Visually the germination in the control (not crushed) was significantly less than the crushed area, given the ability for the airseeder to create a seedbed and bury the seed,” she said.

“Other than the economic benefit of improved yield, there is the major benefit of less wear and tear on the air seeder and the ability to remove unseedable ridges and outcrops to make paddocks easier to work, especially with parallel run lines.”

Mr Pannell said interstate work with the Reefinator showed positive results.

“Not only are farmers creating much higher yield and profits, but some are turning to their neighbours and offering to purchase their rocky land too,” he said.

The Reefinator will be at site 95 of the Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama.

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