De la Rey Lategan from the farm Platdrift near Aberdeen was the lucky farmer who picked the right key to win the Landini Solis HST with a Belly Mower during Nampo Cape 2023.
Entries for the competition opened in May this year on the first day of Nampo Bothaville en closed end of August 2023. Three finalists were picked from the 521 entries and all three were invited to the draw on Thursday 14 September at Nampo Cape. The other finalists were Koert Grobler from Lichtenburg and NJ de Kock from Ventersdorp.
Lategan and his family have been on the farm Platdrift since 1938 and when his son joins, he will be the fourth generation Lategan on the farm. At the moment De la Rey farms alone, but he is looking forward to the end of the year when his son, Kobus, will join the family full-time. “Kobus has been working on a soya farm in the US for the past year. He did a degree in Irrigation Management and Soil Science at the University of the Free State before going to the US and when he joins, he will be excellently qualified to take on the irrigation part of the farming operations,” Lategan said.
Lategan says they just went through a 6-year drought and after just trying to cope and get through the tough times during this period, he did not think good things would ever happen again. “When I heard my name, I was lost for words and was reminded that good things can still happen.”
Lategan’s preferred Landini dealer is in George, S Haddad Agricultural Service. “I am very satisfied with the customer service we receive at the Haddad dealership.” Incidentally, Lategan took in one of his tractors to Haddad Landini in George to replace a windscreen when he saw the competition notification and decided to enter.
He has 200 ha under irrigation at the bottom of the Kamdeboo mountain range in the Karoo where he plants wheat, lucerne and maize in rotation. The lucerne is mainly used for ostrich feed. The rest of the farm comprises typical Karoo veld where they keep Angora goats and Merino sheep.
“With the small stock we keep, pest animals are a nuisance. To address this, we are increasing our focus on planting pastures. To use our water and electricity more effectively, we switched half of the flood irrigation to centre pivots. We installed a 300 mm pipeline for approximately 1,5 km from our biggest dam enabling us to irrigate more effectively through gravitation.”
“To farm sustainable is becoming increasingly important, but sometimes nature can through you a curve ball and then you have no other choice than to adapt your plans. I believe nature has its cycles and one must weather the challenges brought on by these cycles by continuously focusing on good and sound farming practices. If one can diversify your operation, it gives one the opportunity to better mitigate the upward and downward fluctuations in each of the individual sectors.”
Lategan uses two other Landini tractors on the farm. The Landini Legend 105 is used for soil preparations and cultivation as well as for baling lucerne hay. He also has a Landini PowerMondiall 115.
Lategan’s father bought their first Landini tractor at the Humansdorp Show many years ago and coincidently, half of the buying price at the time also came from a lotto ticket he won. With history repeating itself, Lategan plans to utilise the Landini tractor he won during Nampo Cape this year in the new vegetable addition to the farming operation. He also plans to purchase a rotavator for this purpose. “My son Kobus is especially keen to use the tractor to cut the grass around the two farmhouses.”
The three Landini tractors on the farm Platdrift near Aberdeen where De la Rey Lategan farms.