Binder stirs memories

Visitors to the Tapex stand at the Elmore Field days did a bit of a double-take when they saw a 1937 Sunshine 5A binder sitting amid the twine display.

The binder is still in good working condition and it reinforced the connection between that early era of machinery and Kinnears twine, an iconic Australian name that will be familiar to many farmers and contractors throughout Australia.

Geo. Kinnears and Co was established over a hundred years ago and their huge range of high quality twines, ropes and cords became an integral part of the Australian landscape. Kinnears twines are now included in the Tapex line-up. As they say, “there’s over a hundred years of history in every pack!”

The Sunshine binder was generously loaned for the occasion by Peter and Rhonda Robinson who run Robinsons Nagambie Chaff Mills, with their sons Ashley and Benjamin.

Peter Robinson told us that they are fifth generation hay growers, his ancestors being the first to grow commercial hay at Melton in 1885. They used to take loose hay in a dray to a stall at the Haymarket. The procedure was that a couple of the brothers would drive the horses and dray to about Rockbank and meet the other brother coming out from Melbourne. They’d change over and take the empty dray back to the farm.

Peter’s father and grandfather use to sheaf hay using binders like this one for chaff operators at Melton.

His family moved to Nagambie where they used to cart hay to chaff mills in the area, growing their own, mainly oaten but some wheaten, hay on about 1700 acres. They decided to start their own chaff mill about twenty years ago. They worked Sunshine binders at Nagambie up until about ten years ago, when they invested in a new self-propelled binder.

Peter says that they have used mainly Kinnears twine over the years, “You still can’t beat sheaf hay for chaff!”

Robinsons Nagambie are innovators in chaff production with an impressive automated chaff mill in a big shed on the property that includes robotic packaging of the bags of chaff.

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