Modern farming machinery at Taplan

My nephew's harvester

My nephew’s harvester

The last time I visited Taplan was during the Railway Centenary Celebrations in October 2013. Taplan is a small farming community about 30km south-east of Loxton in South Australia. I have written extensively of this town and district in recent days here on this site. Taplan is the small town where I grew up on my father’s farm. When my father retired into Loxton, my brother took over the family farm. When he retired my nephew took over and his sons look like keeping the trend going in the years to come.

On that last visit my brother took me to my nephew’s farm to show me the harvester (see photo above) he uses when reaping the cereal crops, mainly wheat and canola. A machine like this is expensive, somewhere in the region of three-quarters of a million dollars. He has since traded this machine in on a new one.

Sometimes my brother and I reminisce about the days when our father started out farming. He started in the late 1920s with a six foot (1.8 metre)  comb on his wheat harvester. It was pulled by a team of horses. The new machine does cuts 54 feet wide (16.45 metres). And he doesn’t actually have to “drive” it because it is GPS guided with constant computer analysis of the yield of each section of the paddock. Our father would not believe what my nephew is doing to improve the productivity of the land he once farmed, or the machinery he now uses.

Even I can hardly believe it.


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