Seeing is believing, the age-old idiom says. That is exactly what famers believe when they have to decide on buying a tractor or implement. However, for the dyed-in-the-wool farmer it is not enough to see what a thing looks like, he also wants to see how it works.

The annual farmer’s day of the Waterval Farmers’ Association is the venue where vendors can take their products to window-shop it to farmers – and also demonstrate it in action – making it possible for the farmer to decide on the exact equipment required for the job. Simultaneously distributors can expose the farmer to their latest technology.

For the rest, of course, any farmer’s day soon becomes a jovial affair where everybody is welcome, where old friends meet and new ones are made, and where everyone can look and learn. It is no wonder then that the Val Farmer’s Day grows by the year – every year more suppliers reserve a stand and demonstrate their implements, and every year more farmers attend to “kuier en kyk en koop!” – chatter, see, buy!

Val Farmers day
Chris Boshoff and his son, Jan Hendrik Hertzog, bought one of the magnificent Bonsmara bulls on show at the Val Farmer’s Day. (Photo: Gerhard Potgieter)
Larverson Naidoo of Dewalt Power Tools Illustrates how his “toy” bike, driven by a battery-powered electric drill, takes him around. There are only two of these “motorbikes” in South Africa. (Photo: Gerhard Potgieter)
Gerhard Olivier of GeofarmSA (right) and Derick van Eck, a farmer, discussing the precision farming programs promoted by Geofarm. (Photo: Gerhard Potgieter)
Heinrich Ueckermann en Elize Watson of G&W Mineral Resources distribute natural products such as Envirobent Agri, ’n kaolinite, which is used in production of rubber and agricultural chemicals, and a type of montmorillonite, which is used in the degradation and refining processes of wine and fruit juices. For dam builders they have a clay/mineral mix, Envirobent AB50, which is used to seal dams. For cleaners they offer a hydrated Mg-Al silicate material product used for mopping up oil spills.

The John Deere S700 series harvester combines now even has video cameras to photograph the mealie kernels going into the bin and then automatically adjusting the operating parts of the machine to ensure that the delivered product complies continuously with the product that had been shown to the camera.

The beam of the JCB Loadall 531-70 can be extended upwards to 7 metres, and forward by 3,7 metres, and it picks up 3,1 tons. Steering can be done through all four wheels, which means that it has an outer turning circle of 3,7 metres. The ground clearance of 0,4 metre makes it a pleasure to work with it on a farm.

Valtrac’s Pöttinger Terradisk 3001 is the perfect implement for working harvest rests into the soil. It can also be utilised for the preparation of the seedbed. The APV PS 300 attachment on top of the implement can spread seed or fertiliser. Die M130X is the flagship tractor in the Kubota range. It delivers 96,9 kW and is fitted with an 8-speed “powershift” gearbox.

The striking blue range of the New Holland tractors impressed the farmers at the Val Famer’s Day with their hard work, picking up and towing various implements.

The hardy four wheel-drive Challenger MT975E articulated tractor of BHBW has a 12 cylinder 16,8-litre, V12 engine with an output of 440 kW. It makes child’s play of towing the 24 row Equalizer 3019-24/762 Ultra precision planter.

Rula Agri has a solution for farmers who want to make a speedy job of working lime into the soil. Their lime applicator can place lime as deep as 900 mm in the soil by blowing it into the soil directly behind the tines while the implement is moving forward.

Inttrac Trading is the agent for the dependable Brazilian implement manufacturer Vence Tudo. Their SA 14600 planter can plant wheat, soybeans, mealies and fodder seed and only requires towing power of 75 kW. The fertiliser bin can take 396 kg dry or 444 litres liquid fertilizer.