Raking in the hay business

Berrima Engineering owner Martin Morona and employee Aaron Litchfield with their hay rake.

With a reputation for versatility, durability and great service, Berrima Engineering has been providing the country with quality made hay rakes and chaser bins for nearly three decades.

Owner Martin Morona started the company back in 1995.

“I have a background in engineering and farming and at the time I knew there was a gap in the market for quality roller bar rakes — over the decades our business has gone from strength to strength,” Martin said.

The business is run out of Deniliquin in southern NSW, and currently employs nine staff.

During peak season, Berrima has two rakes rolling out of the shopfront every week. They are sold right across the country.

The business is proud to source as many Australian-made components as possible, including steel.

The raking action of the roller bar lifts the hay up rather than dragging it along the ground, which helps to leave the dirt and rocks behind and contribute to creating a better quality hay.

The roller bar also pulls the hay up and out of any regrowth if it has had to stay on the ground for any length of time.

Berrima rakes are capable of raking light hay up to heavy silage.

“The Berrima Engineering roller bar system allows for easy adjustment to the pitch of the baskets — pitching up prevents roping in silage conditions while pitching down creates tight windrows for windy conditions,” Martin said.

He said their rakes also make perfect windrows with shoulders for filling the bale chamber evenly.

“They increase the capacity of balers and allow the baler to perform at capacity rather than chasing hay.”

Martin said from the ground-breaking BR1200 Idler system to the latest innovation of the BRX1400 and BRX1600, which are the largest roller bar rakes in production anywhere, the business is always looking to innovate designs to meet customer needs.

The rakes come in a variety of sizes from the smallest raking width of 3.5 metres with the BRS350 (suitable for smaller jobs) up to the BRX 1600 for large, broadacre fodder production.

“Our rakes have a simple and reliable fingertip control system which allows for adjustment for raking width, basket angles, windrow width and basket height without leaving the comfort of the tractor seat,” Martin said.

“The flexibility of our rakes also makes transport very easy for our farmers.”

The Berrima V Roller Bay Hay Rake was on display at the Fodder Festival at Elmore.

An opportunity for Berrima to participate in the Australian Fodder Industry Association biennial Fodder Festival at Elmore recently allowed Martin to showcase the V Roller Bay Hay Rake to the large crowd.

He said there was a lot of farmer interest in the demonstrations and he received a great response to his own.

“Participants showed great interest in our rakes which is always pleasing to know.

“We have had a very busy last few years but I do think demand is stabilising. It will be interesting to see how this season pans out — there is a lot of optimism out there after last year’s terrible season.”

Martin said Berrima also manufactures chaser bins, which are sold across the country.

“Demand for the bins has certainly ramped up, driven largely by a lack of chaser bin supply and increased crop plantings over the last years due to strong prices and water availability.”

The Berrima hay rake is made in Deniliquin.