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The Gisborne Photo News



Seed Inoculating Machine

What's New In Industry

Housed in the grain store of Common Shelton Ltd is an unobtrusive looking machine which is playing a vital role in giving the New Zealand farmer vigorous green pastures.

The machine, a Gardner Pelleter, is a prototype designed by a N.Z. farmer. It applies a double coating to clover seed, the inner one an inoculum comprising millions of bacteria, and the outer one a protective layer against harmful elements, mainly sunshine and superphosphate.

The purpose of the inoculum is to stimulate the growth of nodules on the clover plants, oversown in existing or new pastures. The nodules feed the grasses with nitrogen, the vital element for plant growth, which results in lush and vigorous pasture land.

Most of the 11 varieties of Legumes (clover) sold from the store are inoculated. Since its installation two-and-a-half years ago the machine has handled 60-80,000 lbs of seed per season, which has been supplied to a large area of the North Island, from Whangarei to Dannevirke.


Operator Doug Smith fills the seed hopper atop the machine.


The machine in operation, with Doug Smith checking the application of the bacteria inoculum


Produce manager Brian Powell, who has followed the progress of seed inoculation since its inception in this country, examines a bag of treated seed.