Since the 1890s, the Dieckmann family has farmed their land at Kalbar in the Scenic Rim region of South East Queensland.
Originally running dairy cattle before turning for many years to vegetable crops, the 80 hectare farm has been producing lucerne hay – and using iconic red Case IH equipment - for as many years as current owner Trevor Dieckmann can remember.
“It’s always been hay since I was a kid in the early sixties,” Trevor said. “I remember driving the big red tractor and baling hay at night,” Mr Dieckmann said.
“Although this used to be a big area for vegetable growing; at one time the region produced one third of Queensland’s potato crop and had dedicated ‘potato trains’ that were so full they had to back out of the station first to build up speed to get out of Kalbar.”
Like many of the farms in the region, the Dieckmann farm turned to lucerne hay as the crop of choice, which they sell through their business, Kalbar Lucerne, for several reasons.
The first is the development of a thriving equine industry, the second is the soil, which is perfect for lucerne, and the third the climate - the Scenic Rim region is one of the few areas in the world where farming can be maintained 12 months of the year.
The Dieckmanns are faithfully assisted in their busy, year-round baling schedule by their Case IH tractors which include a treasured old International 434, International 454, Case IH 585 and 585 2WD, Case IH 4210, JX1090U, CX60, CX90, JX70 Cab and 956, and their three most recent purchases - a Farmall 115U Cab, Farmall 60B, and Farmall 105U with loader.
“The Farmall 115U we have is big enough for all our general needs and a good size to handle,” Mr Dieckmann said.
“Each tractor has its own dedicated attachments and roles, and the hay gear never comes off except for maintenance; mowers, rakes, balers – they all stay on constantly, particularly in summer when we seldom stop.
“We run straight Rhodes grass, grassy lucerne, green lucerne, shedded lucerne, a lucerne-barley mix, barley, mixed chaff and lucerne chaff and we aim for eight cuts of hay each year, depending on the weather, with an average of 50 units per acre cut.
“That’s 400 bales per acre per year, so we produce around 80,000 bales each year on average.”
While Mr Dieckmann admits to a soft spot for his old 585 2WD that’s been used on the property for almost 40 years, he thinks highly of the two more recent additions to the fleet, the Farmall tractors.
“We bought the Farmall 115U in 2015 when the series was first released - I think we got the first one in Australia; it’s a good size tractor for this sort of farm and it suits what we do perfectly, so we use it constantly,” he said.
“My brother comes up from Brisbane on weekends and he hadn’t been in a tractor for about 40 years, but we showed him how to use the buttons and off he went - it’s easy to operate, being top of the range with all the bells and whistles.
“It pulls our new disc mower, our big square balers and the semis we load with hay; baling and mowing are dusty work, so having the comfort of the cab makes a big difference there.
“We then got the Farmall 60B in late-2015, because we thought we’d have to retire the old 585, and it’s a great little run-around; we bale with it, slash with it and do general ground work with it – we went cabless with that because we’re literally in and out of it all the time, we use it so much.”
With such a busy operation, it’s clear Trevor appreciates the trusted performance of his Case IH equipment and the equally trusted support he receives from Dover and Sons, his Case IH dealer in nearby Boonah.
“I can ring Dovers’ sales rep Michael Gnech at any time and Dovers will help us out with any need,” Mr Dieckmann said. “You need that – you need good service – and we’ve always had that with Dovers.”
Michael Gnech is equally enthusiastic about Dover and Sons’ relationship with the Dieckmanns – a relationship that has spanned the entire 116 years that Dovers has been in business and which he has handled for the past 26 years.
“The Dieckmann family have been lifelong customers, you could say,” Mr Gnech said. “In this area, families all know each other and we have a very local community style of doing business that is more personal. We know Trevor well, we know how he operates and we ensure he has the support he needs in terms of equipment, parts and service to keep his business running smoothly.”
With the exceptional quality of his Case IH equipment and dealer, Mr Dieckmann said he didn’t believe in compromising on quality for the sake of a small saving.
“We stick with Case IH because I can’t see any advantage in going elsewhere - the performance we need is there and the service we need is there,” Mr Dieckmann said.
“There’s no point buying something because it might be $5 cheaper when in the long-run it will cost you a lot more in many regards. We’ve always had red and we’ve always been taken care of – so if it’s not red, don’t bring it here.”