One of Australia’s largest agricultural machinery and truck dealerships, Vanderfield Pty Ltd has streamlined its supply and after-sales support of liquid application equipment through a partnership with Liquid Systems (SA).
The nearly 60-year-old agricultural operation, which has 13 branches supporting customers across Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia, partnered with Liquid Systems (SA) in late 2016 to provide its sales and support team with a premium-quality, all-in-one precision liquid application solution.
Vanderfield planter specialist Stephen Frahm said the partnership had simplified technical support and parts supply, leading to an improved customer experience.
“In the past, Vanderfield’s technical division, VNET Precision Farming, would design each customer liquid delivery request using components from a range of suppliers,” said Stephen.
“We ended up with a lot of custom designs in the field, each with a different combination of pumps, regulator valves, flow meters and manifolds to achieve the required metering and delivery of liquid products on planters and seeders.”
“Liquid Systems offered Vanderfield and our customers the turn-key solution we were looking for.
“We receive a kit with absolutely everything needed to complete an installation. There’s no ringing up and saying, you’ve forgotten this or it doesn’t have that. Everything is there. And consistency in the design and components of the Liquid Systems product makes it easier for our Vanderfield workshop and parts staff to provide a high level of after-market support.”
Liquid Systems’ supply agreement with John Deere also offered a good fit for Vanderfield, a distributor of John Deere machinery for 49 years. “It helps that they are an OEM supplier to John Deere, because that’s what we sell all day, so there’s another connection there, even though many fitments are to non-John Deere planters and seeders. We’re also very happy with the design and construction of their equipment. It’s a well presented and well-made product,” said Stephen.
For Vanderfield’s customers, the design and quality workmanship of the equipment delivers a level of accuracy that can impact on yield. “Delivery of nutrients and seed treatments in liquid form are becoming an important part of business for many growers,” said Stephen.
“They’re realising that when it comes to accurate delivery to the seed trench that close enough is no longer good enough. Some have seen yield variance because the machine they’ve home-built is not accurate row-by-row. Whereas Liquid Systems’ equipment achieves row-by-row accuracy across the whole machine, ensuring that each row receives the right amount of product.”
Stephen said their customers largely used liquid equipment for in-furrow injection of starter fertilisers when planting corn, sorghum, cotton and wheat crops or inoculation of legumes such as mung beans and chickpeas.
“Ninety per cent of our growers are applying liquids for inoculation and starter fertiliser applications,” he said. “With a big increase in chickpeas as part of the crop rotation for our broadacre grain growers, there’s certainly demand for it. And it makes the process so much easier. I spent six years on my family’s farm and we could spend three or four hours coating bags of chickpeas with inoculant in a cement mixer before we went planting. Now it’s just a matter of injecting it straight down with the seed.”
Another benefit of the Liquid Systems equipment for customers is the capacity to apply multiple liquid products in one pass. “The ability to stack the Liquid Systems design with multiple tanks and delivery lines allows our customers to deliver almost any combination of products,” said Stephen.