THIS year's Henty Machinery Field Days was subject to a Canadian invasion - of sorts.
Three Canadians made their maiden appearance at Henty, in southern NSW, to demonstrate several grain handling products which they believe would be well suited to Australian conditions.
Sean Lepper and Trent Meyer, from Behlen Industries, exhibited a range of hangar-style storage sheds, while fellow Canadian Brian Koop displayed the unique GrainAir Tube.
The GrainAir Tube is a remarkably simple idea which helps the storage of grain in bunkers or silos.
The galvanised steel tube is placed in the bunker or silo and, thanks to convection, acts as a chimney, releasing hot air from the grain.
Brian said the tube had international patents and did a fantastic job of keeping grain at a steady temperature.
"When grain is stored in bunkers or silos, the temperature is crucial to prevent the formation of diseases and invasion by pests," Mr Koop said.
"The GrainAir Tube allows hot air to leave the silo or bunker and, in doing so, helps keep the temperature down."
The Australian importer of the GrainAir Tube, Allan Pearce, of Advantec Australasia at Wodonga, said the simple design of the tube was highly effective.
"It's basically a chimney stack for grain storage," Mr Pearce said.
"It's a galvanised-steel hollow pipe that can be fitted to grain bunkers or curved or flat-bottomed silos and it can reduce the grain temperature by two or three degrees Celsius.
"The stack or pipe concertinas so it can be used for almost any height as well and there are a variety of tops or 'hats' to suit different storage methods."
Mr Pearce said he had travelled to see the GrainAir Tubes first-hand.
"One of the great things about them is they can be used if you farm 100 hectares or a thousand," he said.
"They are portable and don't need any power, unlike fans, so they are great for storage systems in a paddock or in isolated areas."
Mr Pearce said the tubes could lead to a decreased reliance on chemicals.
"By keeping the grain cooler, it is less susceptible to pest and disease and less reliance on chemicals means less costs and better margins for the farmers." he said.
Mr Lepper and Mr Meyer visited Henty to show off Curvet sheds, another Canadian-made product handled by Mr Pearce.
Curvet sheds come in a range of sizes, from a minimum width of 12.2m to 30m, and as long as the customer wants.
The sheds are made of curved, corrugated, roll-formed galvanised-steel panels that fit together in modular units.
Mr Meyer said that, after talking to Mr Pearce last year, he decided to come and investigate the Australian market for himself.
And, he said, he was not disappointed.
"Australia is a very similar market to Canada in terms of the size of farms and the technical status of the farmers," Mr Meyer said.
"I have been very impressed with the field days and with the farmers we have met and the sheds have been warmly received."
Curvet sheds are made to ISO quality control specifications and Mr Meyer said there was a great attention to detail in the manufacturing process.
"The ISO standard ensures world's best practice is followed," he said.
"The design is a single-piece structural unit, so there is no frame required under the galvanised steel.
"Each piece is engineered with structural integrity built in.
"The walls can be side-loaded to a height of three metres, so they are ideal for grain and other food products, such as vegetables."
For more details, phone Allan Pearce on (02) 6056 2822.