James runs ‘Talbragar Park’ as part of a family farming operation, producing dryland and irrigated cereal crops and lucerne, breeding and finishing prime lambs, and backgrounding weaner cattle for the family’s Merriwa feedlot.
The property runs five centre pivots, watering about 220ha of grain and forage crops.
In early December 2013 James was faced with the prospect of losing a 15 hectare sorghum crop after a centre pivot collapsed.
“The crop was being grown for grain for the feedlot,” James said.
“It was being watered by an old centre pivot and as I was switching it on one morning it collapsed.
“That’s when the TEAM Irrigation boys came into their own. They got a new one built and operational just before Christmas, which was no mean feat.
“They managed to find enough parts from the Brisbane depot and their shop in Dubbo to build the three-and-a-half span pivot and have it running in two weeks.
“Another week without water and the crop would have been a write-off.”
James said he was impressed by TEAM Irrigation’s responsiveness, which he puts down to the fact they run their own service teams, with experienced electricians and boilermakers on hand.
“They can fabricate and build equipment and they’re always available,” James said.
“When it comes to any machinery we own, it doesn’t matter what it is or what it does, it’s all about service.
“TEAM Irrigation seems very client-focused and they’re also very experienced.
“We’ve worked pretty closely with (TEAM Irrigation owner) Bob Johnson and he has a lot of experience in the world of irrigation – you can’t beat that.”
The breakdown wasn’t James’ first introduction to TEAM Irrigation.
In winter 2013 he purchased an eight-span poly-lined centre pivot from the Dubbo-based irrigation company.
“The pivot is working well and does everything required of it,” James said.
“We chose a poly-lined pivot because it gives you a few more management options, for example you can put liquid fertiliser through the pivot and not rust it out.
“It also means the pivot will have a longer lifespan. Given that a centre pivot is a big investment, you might as well do it right the first time.”