NEWS RELEASE   September 01, 2023

Cab with a view – hay contractor overlooks Bass Strait

As a hay baling contractor working in a picturesque corner of southeast Victoria, Jeff Buckland has arguably one of the best views of any workplace in Australia.

Over summer his green tractors and balers are a familiar sight working pasture hay into large round bales dotted across the dairy farms of Fish Creek, which roll down to the continent's southernmost tip at Wilsons Promontory on Bass Strait.

It all started with Jeff's father Neville doing a bit of fertiliser spreading in the 1960s to help out the neighbours around their farm between Fish Creek and Yanakie.

"Early on Dad cleared and cultivated the country on two-wheel drive tractors with no cab. Sometimes he'd come home at night and all you could see was the whites of his eyes, he was so covered in dust," Jeff remembers.

When Jeff came back home after completing his mechanic's apprenticeship, they branched out into baling small square bales of hay, buying their first baler 10 years ago.

"When we started contracting we bought our first John Deere tractor, a 128hp 4055, and the rest of the equipment followed after. We were pretty busy, because at that time nobody had much of that cultivation equipment. We baled and carted square bales everywhere with a truck and bale wagon."

Upgrade to round balers pays off

It wasn't until Jeff helped out a mate who had a round baler business that they decided to buy their own machine and sell the square baler and wagon.

Enter a John Deere 854 Round Baler, and the Bucklands haven't looked back. After the 854 had served its purpose they upgraded to the no-fuss powerhouse John Deere 960 Variable Round Baler and in 2021 notched up their biggest year ever, producing 10,000 round bales.

During the hay season they now run three John Deere tractors, plus balers and Mower-Conditioners.

"It's always worth it to go a bit overpowered, instead of being under, because then the horse power is there. We put the F310R and R310R mower conditions on the big tractor, a 6195R, and the baler on the smaller tractor, which is a 6155R," Jeff explained.

Technology in high tech cabs makes life easier

Jeff keeps the old 6430 tractor bought in 2007 down at their second block, to feed hay out to Angus beef cattle and a crossbred sheep flock, and to use as a backup rake tractor in hay season.

Where the 6430 was a case of start up and go, Jeff says the cabs of the current machines have technology that makes life a lot easier.

He's been grateful to sales consultant Shaun O'Hara at the local John Deere dealership, Brandt Leongatha, for helping him figure out how the new models work.

"Shaun has been awesome in sitting with me or being available on the phone to figure out the technical side of our new gear," Jeff said.

For more information contact your local John Deere dealer.

About John Deere:

Deere & Company is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, golf & turf, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including the John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor and See & Spray™ are just two of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at or in New Zealand at

Media enquiries:

Stacey Wordsworth
0438 394 371