Raymond Harrington - Farming Legend of the Year

 Ray Harrington has been awarded as Farming Legend of the Year  Picture: Danella Bevis

Ray Harrington has been awarded as Farming Legend of the Year

Picture: Danella Bevis

Long term Agrimaster client, Raymond Harrington, was awarded Farming Legend of the Year 2018, at Parliament House on Tuesday 16th October. There were many applicants in different farming categories; Mr Harrington was one of four nominees in the Western Australian category awards. Mr Harrington has 55 years of farming experience and throughout his career, he has developed and promoted three major innovations, which have made a wide impact, both nationally and internationally.

Mr Harrington’s farm career started in 1963, together with his father Brian and brother David, working undeveloped farmland, running 3000 sheep and 50-hectare crop. By 1973, they were running about 25,000 sheep and 1200 hectare crops. All the sheep work and shearing was done by Brian, David and Ray, and saw first-hand the difficulties they’ve faced while shearing. Soon after Ray, together with his brothers David and Douglas, developed one of their very first inventions – a crutching cradle.

“The crutching cradle was born from necessity, as it allowed David and I to crutch up to 1600 sheep per day,” said Mr Harrington.

Following the success of the crutching cradle, the brothers continued to develop two other sheep equipment inventions; jetting race and V-shape machine, which are manufactured in Australia, as well as in the United Kingdom. The equipment eliminated the need for physical handling, which in turn increased the speed of the operation, allowing farmers to run up to 4-times as many sheep per man unit.

By the late 70s, Ray and his brother David, developed a reduced-cultivation style of cropping (No-till system), to prevent erosion in farms freshly cleared land. The innovation also resulted in the establishment of Western Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA), in 1997.

Raymond explained, “We thought – why not make a knife-point that cultivates below the seed, sow the seed in a row and leave the inter-row intact.”  

Ray started developing the Harrington Seed Destructor in 1996, which won him his recent title of Farming Legend of the Year 2018. From his thorough understanding of herbicide resistance, the invention reduces the overall need of the herbicides in farming.

Mr Harrington stated,

“I saw the impact herbicide resistance was having on the WA cropping system and I developed a method to devitalise the weed seed in the chaff fraction at harvest. This prolonged the life of the chemicals used and eventually, reduced our dependency on them.”

Testing began, when Ray teamed up with University of Western Australia herbicide resistance unit, Professor Steve Powels and Dr. Michael Walsh. Mr Harrington emphasised there is no ‘I’ in team and praised Professor Powels and Dr. Walsh highly. After thorough testing and continuous effort, the Harrington Seed Destructor is now recognised globally as a major tool to fight against herbicide resistance.  

Over Mr Harrington’s 50 year farm career and through his innovations, he has been recognised and awarded in several categories for his continuous improvements and involvements in the agriculture sector. Ray’s achievements include:

 Shayne and Onawe Whyte of Australind, Ray Harrington of Darkan and Steve Powles from UWA at the 2018 Western Australia Australian of the Year awards.

Shayne and Onawe Whyte of Australind, Ray Harrington of Darkan and Steve Powles from UWA at the 2018 Western Australia Australian of the Year awards.

1976 – V-shape machine was runner up on the ABC Inventors.

2013 – GRDC recognised and rewarded Excellence Award for 20 years of AG innovation.

2014 – Awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his service to agriculture.

2015 – Awarded the Global Edison award for the HSD for innovation in agriculture.

2017 – Overall winner of Transtasman Syngenta Growth Awards across the Sustainability profitability, community and people categories.

2018 – Finalist in the Australian Senior of the Year Award.

Ray offered some advice for other farming innovators out there, simply ‘just have a go’, and try to establish partnerships to further your product into the market.

If you know anyone who has been a long-term Agrimaster client, please nominate them to be featured on our blog. Email your details and your nominee’s details to marketing@agrimaster.com.au.

            


Customer Spotlight: Frank Donovan

  Image: Frank Donovan

Image: Frank Donovan

To celebrate Seniors Week, 11th-17th November 2018, we would like to honor one of our long-time, loyal Agrimaster users, Frank Donovan. Frank is 96-yrs-old and has a farm in Pintadeen, Victoria. Frank grabbed our Customer Service Team’s attention with his tech-savviness. At 96, Frank has no problem booking support calls online and managing his farm finances.

We were very intrigued and made a call to Frank to get to know more about him. We interviewed Frank and he shared a little bit of an overview of who he is and his farming life;

“I have been associated with the farm, Pintadeen, all my life as my father ran the property before I retired from full banking 36 years ago. My father, Tom, and I continued to run the farm together until his death in 1981. My son, Tom continues to have a great love of the property and perhaps in time he will also return to the farm following his career in Pharmacy.”

Frank mentioned, he and his wife Mary have been using Agrimaster for over 16 years and it has been highly beneficial fr them to manage their farm finances.

“I’ve been an Agrimaster user for around 16 years. The obvious advantage of using Agrimaster is the ability to quickly submit tax requirements to the ATO and provide continuing records which have proved to be valuable in decision making and plans for the future.”

As a long term Agrimaster user, we were interested in finding-out his thoughts on further improvements we could make to Agrimaster. Frank also praised the high capabilities of our Customer Service team.

“With Agrimaster when something goes wrong it’s challenging to determine where the problem has occurred. When this happens being able to speak with the Customer Service team on the phone has been important as this always allowed me resolve any issues. Over the years, I have dealt quite often with Ruth who I cannot speak highly enough of. Her ability to resolve difficult questions in a friendly and professional manner has always amazed me.”

Frank also mentioned the changes that can arise in the industry and he believes the challenges depend primarily on the World Economy which can have an impact on all business throughout Australia.

We are continuously working hard to put you, our customers, at the center of our product. We always value your feedback, suggestions and testimonials. If you would like to nominate a long time user of Agrimaster to be featured in our blog post, email your details and your nominee to marketing@agrimaster.com.au

Farm Software Changes Connect the Dots for Safe Data Sharing

  Agrimaster File Manager

Streamlining farmer and adviser sharing of key business accounting and management files to save time and money is the aim of a new feature added to the popular Agrimaster program.

Unveiled recently by leading farm software creator, Mastergroup, the ‘File Manager’ function is a major breakthrough in the ability to back-up, share and restore all Agrimaster files from a central ‘cloud-based’ location.

All files are housed through a secure server in Australia, from where these files can be co-accessed, updated and reviewed by farmers and their advisers.

  David Egerton-Warburton, Director of Mastergroup

David Egerton-Warburton, Director of Mastergroup

Director of Mastergroup David Egerton-Warburton said the new data centre being used for Agrimaster File Manager file back-up and storage was Microsoft-based and incorporated world-leading technologies for data security, speed of operations, reach of services and practical application.

He said data security was central to the development of File Manager to ensure safe backup, sharing and restoring of files between clients and professional partners.

“Being able to confidently share files online is quicker and safer than exchanging email attachments or thumb drives,” he said.

“It will avoid issues of farmers and advisers working on different versions, when they can inadvertently over-ride each other’s changes.”

Mr. Egerton-Warburton said Agrimaster now also had a ‘single view’, where all partners could quickly check the status of a file.

“These changes demonstrate Mastergroup’s commitment to incorporating latest technologies into our popular and specialised agribusiness Agrimaster software to improve functionality for farmers and advisers,” he said.

“It will save them time and help manage the underlying farm management data that drives business productivity and profits.”

Some key changes that Agrimaster users will notice with File Manager include:

  • Quick file status view – who’s changed or opened it

  • Easier and faster file sharing online

  • Automatic back-up to Mastergroup cloud servers

  • Faster file searches

  • Permission functions for accessing files

  • Notice of ‘last changed’ details

  • Single view of all files shared from clients for advisers.

Mr. Egerton Warburton said File Manager was intuitive to use and the program would automatically monitor and ensure farmers were connected to Mastergroup servers for file back-up.

He said farmers would need to download the new feature using the Agrimaster upgrade installer and the company offered support and training to assist users.

More details about File Manager, how to prepare to install it and tips for users when the software is in place are outlined in a series of webinars that can be accessed on the Mastergroup website.

Upgrade to Agrimaster-Plus subscription here, or fill out the contact form below to find out more.

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Sawyers Reaping Benefits from Farm Software Changes

 WA farmer Wendy Sawyer, of Dalwallinu, says she is saving time and money at peak times of the year thanks to new features in the Agrimaster farm management and accounting software

WA farmer Wendy Sawyer, of Dalwallinu, says she is saving time and money at peak times of the year thanks to new features in the Agrimaster farm management and accounting software

Streamlining payroll and accounting processes is saving the Sawyer family time and money at peak times of the year, when they employ up to 16 people in their grain production business at Dalwallinu.

The last thing they want to be doing after spending long days in the paddock is double-entering data for accounting and cashbooks.

Wendy Sawyer, who farms with husband Rob, his brother Gary and wife Marisa, is the main administrator for the business and is finding recent upgrades to Agrimaster software to be highly beneficial.

She is a long-time user of Agrimaster, developed specifically for farmers by Western Australian-based Mastergroup, and said incorporating Wagemaster into the program meant she could undertake all necessary accounting, payroll and cashbook tasks in one system.

Mrs Sawyer continued to say, it is much faster and less repetitive for her to manage cashbooks, internet banking, budget, wages, superannuation payments and also adhering to other payroll compliance requirements.

“The accountant, the farm adviser and I are now working on the same version of the file, which we access, share and back-up online. This is not only more efficient for all of our businesses, but means we are not duplicating files and there is now less margin for error.”


The Sawyers grain operation spans 34,000 hectares, predominantly sown to wheat, barley and canola, and the business employs five full-time-equivalent staff and an extra 10-16 casuals at peak periods of seeding and harvesting.

Mrs Sawyer said these were always frantic times of the year and having one farm accounting software system to rapidly process staff time-sheets, wages, superannuation requirements, payslips, wage summaries and group certificates was a big time saver.

She said all payroll data now fed directly into the Agrimaster cashbook to avoid double-entries and improve accuracy of information.

“I can send the ATO all employees’ tax file declarations and forms immediately online and our staff get their necessary paperwork via email, rather than me having to print and distribute it.”


Mrs Sawyer also expressed, she is someone who still likes to calculate time-sheets manually, but now she has more confident in completing them, as she is able to cross-check against Agrimaster data.

Agrimaster is used by the Sawyers as the main financial budgeting, planning and forecasting tool for the farm business. 

Mastergroup managing director David Warburton said a suite of new features had been added to Agrimaster software in response to rapidly changing and innovative data management technologies.

He continued to state new features will include, in-program back-up, restore and share functions for Agrimaster files online, which aim to simplify version control and file storage for farmers and their professional partners.

Mrs Sawyer said the new Agrimaster ‘File Manager’ function, which replaces the ‘m:drive’ in application option, was particularly valuable.

She praised on the convenience of File Manager, as it completely eliminate having to download files to a USB to provide to the farm accountant and then having to update her version with accountant’s entries when she receives it back.

Mrs Sawyer said the new technologies being incorporated into business accounting software, such as Agrimaster, were making the day-to-day financial management of big businesses much simpler and faster.

New features also mean we will be compliant with the Australian Taxation Office Single Touch Payroll changes for businesses that employ staff when these are rolled-out – from the 1st July 2019.”

The File Manager release comes shortly after the Agrimaster-Plus release which is Agrimaster’s new integrated payroll option. Agrimaster-Plus is Single Touch Payroll compliant and you can manage up to 5 full-time and 30 seasonal employees. The Agrimaster-Plus subscription includes cashbook, budgeting, farm business analysis, reporting and an integrated payroll solution program- Wagemaster.

Upgrade online today here or fill out the contact form below to find out more.

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6 Steps To A Paperless Business

6 Steps To A Paperless Business

In our previous article Top 5 Benefits Of Your Farming Business Going Paperless, we talked about why your business should go paperless. In this article we’re sharing some ideas on how your business can go paperless.
Here are six steps you can start taking today to move towards becoming a paperless office.

1.      Storage and Sharing

Instead of filing all your documents, you can now store them on the cloud. This will give you easy access to any documents and you’ll also be able to share them with your business partners. Some easily available programs include Google Docs, which allow you to collaborate on documents with others and Dropbox to share larger files.
You may also have cloud storage available in the current programs that you use, such as m:drive with Agrimaster.

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