THE middle of a drought may seem a strange time to open a new farm machinery factory, but that is exactly what Jandakot-based Ausplow has done.
Ausplow has built a second factory so that it can meet growing demand for its world-patented DBS (deep blade system) seeding system.
Ausplow principal John Ryan said the company had doubled its sales in each of the past two years.
It has already filled its 2003 order book.
Farmers wanting a DBS seeding system, which costs up to $150,000, will have to wait until mid 2004 before they can buy a new machine.
Ausplow now employs 35 people and Mr Ryan said it provided work for numerous sub-contractors and suppliers.
The growing popularity of Ausplow’s equipment is closely tied to the increased use of minimum tillage farming, also known as no-till or low-till farming.
Mr Ryan said he estimated that 60 per cent of WA farmers used some form of minimum tillage farming.
An alternative phrase that helps to explain this approach is precision farming.
The DBS system allows farmers to place seed at the correct depth, place fertiliser with precision and cultivate the sub-soil below the seed.
It also helps to improve and sustain the soil structure, Mr Ryan said.
These factors combined to produce superior yields, particularly in dry conditions, and more sustain-able farming practices, he said.
“Minimum till allows you to make the whole farming package better,” Mr Ryan said.