How to protect your farm's biggest assets in drought

Published: September 2019 |  Sponsored content for Telfords 

SPONSORED: Custom designed fodder storage sheds prove a smart investment for farmers looking to drought-proof their property. 

Supplied by Telfords. 
WITH increasingly tough drought conditions affecting near 100% of NSW, the pressure is on to protect farm assets, increase fodder storage capacity and plan for the future.  
There’s a growing trend for custom design fodder storage sheds, along with machinery sheds, says Andrew Telford, managing director of Telfords Building Systems. The trend reflects the widespread prevalence and growing concern about drought. 

“Farmers are looking at protecting their assets, like headers and tractors, that cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and protect them for the long term – and the same goes for fodder,” Andrew says.

“It’s all their assets, and quite often the thing they’re putting inside the building is more valuable than the actual building.” 

Telfords, a 36-year-old family-run business based in Shepparton, Victoria, delivers projects across the country, including NSW and Queensland. 

Andrew acknowledges that no one property is the same, and the sheds they build cater for every need and purpose, whether it’s a giant warehouse, manufacturing building, commercial saleyard, hay shed, horse arena or garage. 

“Every customer need will be different and we create solutions that best suit those needs,” he says. Their Total Control process is a complete in-house package including architect design, CAD (computer-aided design) plans and all manufacture – plus delivery with their own transportation fleet and specially trained drivers.

Building a secure future in agriculture 

Right now it all comes back to drought preparedness, he adds, and it’s only timely that the federal government continues to support the tax break for fodder storage for hay, grain and other livestock feeds that complements the existing $20,000 write-off available for small businesses. 

“The instant $20,000 write-off means a producer ‘may’ be able to claim back their money on a hay shed instantly, instead of it depreciating over the life of the asset.”

Primary producers are entitled to claim a deduction for capital expenses for fodder storage assets like construction, manufacture, installation or acquisition of a shed that helps producers increase storing ability and invest in future drought-proofing assets.
Saving time and money on farm assets

Like any smart business, efficiency is key and Telfords knows farmers are short on time, especially when feeding stock. The Total Control process alleviates this pressure on customers by providing the whole building in its whole form all delivered on the one truck.   

“You’re only dealing with one supplier with us. We coordinate all the other trades, we do it all in-house and all the supply chain is managed by us, rather than the farmer having to manage it.”  

Custom design and complete supply chain management means limited waste on-site, from the drafting and engineering right through to installation. A two bay hay shed can take as little as two months to turn around, Andrew says, from the time of quoting – and the quality is top notch. 

Telfords roll their own steel, roll form purlins, cladding and rainwater goods, as well as batch their own concrete.

“Our sheds have a fully welded and fabricated frame, which is much stronger than others on the market, like kit-shed manufactures that are bolted together with brackets and tek screws.” 

Andrew says their projects really do range in size, whether it be a two-car garage, six acres under roof for a manufacturing facility or other agricultural constructions like 400 metre long saleyards.

Protecting valuable assets during drought  

Understanding industry concerns has helped Telfords to provide customers with relevant and timely products. In the past few years, rural crime has become a nationwide challenge, with an increasing number of incidents in NSW as commodities, especially lamb, remain high value despite drought conditions.    

Andrew says protecting the asset is the most important concern for a farmer, “whether it be from weather or unwanted visitors”. 

Telfords custom design Total Control system reinforces customers’ needs for straightforward, no-bull business that saves time and money. 

“Our point of difference with the Total Control system is farmers are dealing with our direct employees. Some of our competitors have agent agreements. With us you know what you’re getting and you’ll always get an upfront and honest answer.”   

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