The Farmtech Machinery we know today had its beginnings back in Papua New Guinea in July 1975, when Geoff Modra started an import and manufacturing company called South Pacific Machinery (SPM) in Port Moresby. The company produced slashers, trailers, sprayers, cultivators and more, and was the first company to make equipment locally, as at the time all machinery was imported from Australia or England.
They took on John Deere tractors to compete with Ford and MF, and were fortunate enough to have the Chairman of John Deere visit the site on a private trip, where the buy price was negotiated which allowed South Pacific Machinery to offer the most competitive price on tractors. SPM grew rapidly from there, with branches in Lae and Rabaul. A Cessna 210T was imported in 1979 to fly between the branches, as few roads allowed easy access, and the company continued to grow over the next decade.
A Local business looking to expand eventually bought the company in 1988. Geoff Modra moved back to Australia, settling in Nerang on the Gold Coast, where he decided to start a new import company by the name of SprayTech Australia. Using his contacts from Papua New Guinea, the business sold a spray adjuvant codacide oil which was added to liquid fertilizers and other chemicals to increase the efficacy and rain fastness, particularly with round up. Importing a range of high quality products, Geoff continued to pioneer the use of liquid fertilizers earning the ire of those that sold regular fertilizer. Eventually new businesses emerged also selling liquid fertilizers, and SprayTech was offered the opportunity to sell, and moved back to our farm machinery origins to import Tanco silage wrappers in 1992.
Derek Modra, fresh out of Gatton College, was keen to take on the marketing of wrappers. As the roots of the company was in farm machinery, it took a new direction and name change to FarmTech Machinery in 1997 and moved to Albury/Wodonga. Wrappers were gaining popularity with dairy farmers, and the Goulburn Valley was a major dairy area, so the Wodonga location served as a great central base for the new company. Geoff Modra’s sister Glen Modra soon joined the company with Geoff’s second son Brad following not long after. Brad completed his degree in Business Management/Accounting and this brought a valuable asset to expand the company.
Now 23 years on FarmTech is a true Australian business which has grown, expanding from our original 1.5 acre site to a 5 acre premises 8 years ago. Today we employ 30 staff with over 150 Dealers nationwide to distribute our specialized range of farm machinery. We are a family business manufacturing Slashers, our premiere soil aerator the “Aervator” and elevators for our Feed Mixer range.
We also import a wide range of farm equipment from more than 20 countries worldwide, to better meet the needs of the Australian farming industry.
- Cessna Plane
- Derek with wrapper
- Derek and Geoff with an AerVator