Home' Straight Furrow 70th Anniversary : Dec 19 2011 Contents Straight Furrow • December 19, 2011 7
STRAIGHT FURROW CELEBRATING 70 YEARS -- THE 1940s
IN 1948 farmers were being introduced
to the potential that existed with irri-
gation. Straight Furrow reported "valu-
able information" would be available
shortly as to what irrigation could do to
the "light land" in Canterbury.
Under the direction of the Extension
Division of the Department of
Agriculture trials were being carried out
at Winchmore in Canterbury.
It was a fair area, we said, for experi-
mental work and although only in its
infancy should prove a good index of
what could be done under similar cir-
A gathering of farmers at the site were
told the idea behind irrigation was "to
supply soil moisture during dry periods
so that growth would not slow down
and eventually die".
Endeavours were being made to ascer-
tain which plants could be adapted to
the soils it was proposed to irrigate.
Cocksfoot, sub clover and Lucerne
would withstand dry conditions at cer-
tain periods of the year. The application
of lime and superphosphate did much
to build up the soil.
In Canterbury, by adapting certain
plants to dry conditions, improvements
to the soil were being carried out but
when there was not enough soil mois-
ture, not enough food went through to
A Mr C.W.Stafford told attendees half
products of irrigated land.
"Any farmer who has irrigation avail-
able is crazy if he wants to increase his
production and does not use it. Two
weeks ago, many farmers would have
paid 200 pounds for an inch of rain."
At Winchmore water was available at 6
shillings an acre foot without a contract
and as low as 3 shillings if a contract
somewhat paradoxical; it would pay the
government to let the farmers have the
water free and yet it would pay the farm-
ers handsomely if they paid three times
as much for the water.
Anything handicapping irrigation in
Mid Canterbury was immaterial as it
was necessary to get the water on to the
land when it was needed.
Mistakes would be made but it was
Some farms were big enough for a liv-
ing to be made from them without the
use of irrigation but all the department
was concerned with was to get the best
out of the land.
He predicted that the scheme was a
forerunner for others that would eventu-
ally cover the whole of Mid Canterbury.
Irrigation is introduced to farmers
he late 1940s, Kiwi farmers
re applauding the advent of a
htweight but effective tractor
Britain which was to become
wn as the Little Grey Fergie.
erestingly the new "wet liner"
e was also to be used in cars
as the Vanguard.
e revolutionary Ferguson sys-
f linkages at the back for
hing implements was the secret
phenomenal success world-
TE20 was Harry Ferguson's
successful design and manu-
ed from 1946 to 1956 and
it is a highly prized machine
"Ferguson system" had been
mployed in the US as early as
nd it was made to design a
h and linkage to integrate the
tractor and the automatic control
system is now employed by all trac-
tor manufacturers in the world.
In 1948 Straight Furrow reported
that the British Ferguson tractors
and accompanying implements,
which had been available since
1945 but due to the supply situation,
were only now becoming freely
available in this country.
In approaching the Ferguson sys-
tem of tractor farming, Straight
Furrow told readers, it must be
understood that the tractor was
considered to be only one part of a
complete machine for each specific
The design was therefore dominat-
ed largely by the idea that the trac-
tor would always work in conjunc-
tion with some other piece of equip-
In combination, the tractor and its
attachment provided a single tool
for a particular job. Real adaptability
implied a rapid and simple change
of attachments such as plough, har-
row, cultivator etc.
When, for example, the tractor and
the plough were joined up, the vari-
ous tasks were performed as by a
single machine designed for the pur-
pose of ploughing.
Each implement had one major
control -- the lift of the plough, the
angle of the discs, the lift of the
mower etc and this control was so
arranged that it could be operated
with little effort on the part of the
driver by means of a small lever
with a hydraulic cylinder and pump
attached to the tractor.
"The Ferguson system of farming
will enable farmers to reduce their
production costs, increase output
and materially assist in the drive for
greater food supplies for Britain."
HE LITTLE GREY FERGIE
Suzuki TF125 Mudbug
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