Built by locals, for locals the Case IH Austoft sugarcane harvester is celebrating 75 years in Australian sugarcane fields.
First manufactured in 1944 by Joe Toft and his brothers in Bundaberg Qld, the groundbreaking design was one of the first commercial cane harvesters on the market.
Floated in the 1970s and later owned by a number of overseas interests, the Toft's machine 'came home' on 1986 when the company was purchased by its Australian executives and branded Austoft.
The machine continued to be manufactured in Bundaberg, Qld up until 2014, with thousands of units exported across the globe to countries such as India, China, Sudan, Papua New Guniea and South America.
Acquired by Case IH in 1996, the Bundaberg Austoft plant was finally closed in 2004 and operations moved to Brazil.
In a release, Pete McCann, the general manager for Case IH Australia and New Zealand, said 75 years was a significant milestone in the cane harvester's history.
"The Austoft is such an iconic piece of machinery and we're proud to have it in our stable of products. This anniversary is also a chance for us to pay tribute to the homegrown ingenuity that conceived the idea for that very first machine 75 years ago," he said.
"We pioneered the introduction of hydraulic systems on harvesters and continue to invest in simplifying and upgrading the efficiency of these systems.
"Last year we launched the latest Austoft into the market, the Austoft(r) 8010 Series, with 28 new features and improvements that came out of more than 18,000 hours of field-testing."
Mr McCann said the company was committed to continued investment in its research and development programs for sugarcane machinery.
"This anniversary is a chance for us, to also thank our customers and dealers throughout the nation's sugar-growing regions who inspire the ongoing quest for improvements and upgrades that will power the Austoft beyond 2020," he said.