Roger and Sue Groocock, Farmax spaders in Australia

In Bordertown, a small town in southern Australia, the Groocock family has its agricultural business. Some years ago, Roger and Sue Groocock got to know Farmax spaders in a rather remarkable way. They now import Farmax spaders to Australia.

‘Dutch employee who told us about Farmax’

Roger and Sue learned about Farmax spaders through a Dutch backpacker named Hans. In 2005, this young tourist worked for a few weeks on the farm belonging to Roger and Sue. In this time, he worked with a modified chisel plough. Roger: “I had developed special shares for this plough and fitted them to the machine. These shares produced furrows 7.9 inches
(20 cm) to 9.84 inches (25 cm) deep, into which we could spray trace elements. Behind the machine, the soil was levelled using a piece of iron from an old railway. This combination enabled us to create a good sowing bed for the crops.”

As hans was working with our machine he realised there was a machine in the Netherlands that would do a better job. He introduced us tot the spader, os as Roger calls it “the magical mixing machine”.

Increasing Yields

The Groococks were immediately impressed. Since bringing the first spader to Australia 10 years ago, thousand of hectares have been spaded and the sandy, water repellent soils improved. With the application of clay, mixed to a depth of 30 cms, the soil can retain water much better in the root zone which in turn creates significant yield increase.

Other techniques – adding organic matter or lime increase the pH of the soil- have proved to be successful. These techniques in the relevant soils have significantly increase yields and proved to be a wise economical decision. Farmax spaders have proven their worth.

In 2009, Roger and Sue started their company “Groocock Soil Improvement”. Sue says; We Import Farmax Spaders into Australia so that other farmers can also benefit from these fantastic machines. The machines are working in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

‘We wish we had heard about Farmax earlier’

Farmax always pays close attention to the needs and wishes of the Australian market. This resulted in the development of the Rapide Trailed, a new type of Rapide with extra large capacity. This machine is 14.76 feet (4.5m) wide and is trailed rather than carried on the lift boom. The Rapide Trailed is equipped with a tyre roller that presses the soil down well. Wind erosion can be a big problem in Australia during the dry autumn. Thanks to the pressure from the tyre roller this problem is largely reduced.

Roger says: ‘We appreciate the development that has been made in Farmax spaders over the past 50 years and wish we had heard about them earlier instead of just a few years ago. We are great fans of Farmax and its machines. That’s partly because the company listens to its customers wishes and adapts the machine to Australian farming conditions. We are looking forward to new and exciting developments in the future.

Roger en Sue Groocock,
Bordertown, South Australia.


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In this magazine, we will explain the spading method of soil preparation and state its advantages in comparison with ploughing. There will also be a brief explanation of all types of spaders and several customers share their experience with our spaders.