Throwback Thursday: Agricultural technology and specialisation in acceleration

(Adapted from Time Cultivates Winners. Senwes – A century in agriculture by Elize van Eeden)

A Moment in History

The application of computer technology transformed the agricultural industry into a scientifically directed industry.

Some of the largest capital expenses for Senwes during the sixties were the purchasing, reparation or upgrading of weighbridges, ousting equipment, vehicles, machinery, silos and railway bridges. The standardisation of Senwes was an ideal on which members had insisted for many years. Amongst others, it implied that Senwes had to join the manufacturing industry. On 1 April 1971, the company took a further step towards rendering tractor services by purchasing O.F.S Tractor Services(PTY) Ltd. Which had branches in Bothaville and Viljoenskroon and was trading as L.M Motors. Two years later, Senwes also acquired international Harvester, as an agency for marketing Senwes’ range of tractors, trucks, lorries and Soilmaster implements. By 1976, Senwes was responsible for the after-care of more than 4 000 tractors that had been purchased by its clients.

Towards the eighties, so much more scientific knowledge and technology was in place to ensure that the producer as well as Senwes as service provider obtained the maximum production from a harvest. For this reason, the need for services that were more professional and expert also influenced the employee profile of the cooperative company for the better.

1982 saw the opening of several commercial shops for Senwes. Heilbron was the first town to open a commercial shop with a self-service facility in May of that year. With that, Senwes entered a new era of commercial store design. A fertiliser extension plant that mixed high-concentrate granular fertiliser was erected at Viljoenskroon on an experimental basis. Senwes was well on its way to establishing an industry that deserved its status as the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.