Search form


Home > About Us > History

John W Ryan AM
Managing Director Ausplow Pty Ltd

John Ryan has been directly involved in the development of agricultural mechanical systems for more than 30 years. He is a nephew of the renowned Percival Yeomans, who developed the first deep cultivating plough in the early 1950s. John also gained intimate knowledge of soil agronomy through his uncle's Keyline Farming concept which is a system of farming on the contour, still used today to create efficient use of water and prevent water erosion.

Having qualified as a mechanical engineer, he won the Prince Phillip Prize in 1974 for engineering excellence in developing a soil renovating machine called the Shakeaerator. He also designed the first Agrowplow deep tillage machine and in the space of eight years between 1977 and 1985 saw 4000 models sold throughout Australia. The Agrowplow is widely acclaimed as an important contributor to soil conservation and increasing soil fertility by breaking soil hardpans and allowing roots to seek moisture in the deeper soil profile. This has had a two-fold benefit because apart from assisting in humus build-up at depth, the deep tillage achieved by the Agrowplow has also led to better crop yields.

In 1987, John established a business in Western Australia which has grown into one of the most innovative businesses in WA at the cutting edge of precision seeding technology and soil conservation. His research and development into finding a more precise method of accurately sowing seed has resulted in the Auseeder no-till seeding bar and DBS (Deep Blade System) seeding modules comprising a patented opening and closing slot system with various size blades that achieve subsoil cultivation, a form of deep tillage, while leaving the topsoil largely undisturbed.

Refinements to this machine has enabled farmers to gain added benefits in establishing crops with minimum moisture and successfully controlling weeds through inter-row chemical incorporation, achieved with the DBS. DBS owners have seen dramatic improvements on their properties in terms of elimination of water run-off and major reductions, to the point of elimination of soil erosion. Another major benefit has been the ability to produce crops that are export grade quality.

In 2001, John launched the Multistream which was the world's first totally integrated airseeder capable of accurately metering both granular and liquid product. John continues to remain at the cutting edge of agricultural mechanical systems and is currently continuing research in WA to assess liquid nutrients to replace bulk fertilisers.

One of John's hallmarks is his tireless work with farmers to challenge contempory thinking and develop new and innovative ways of improving farming systems. In this, he has provided farmers with a free font of his extensive knowledge in agronomy. He never turns inquiring farmers away and is always ready to visit farms or assist if help is needed – particularly related to improving the performance of the whole farm system. As John says: "It's not just the DBS, it's the whole package and attention to the soil."

In July, 2004, John was awarded an Australian Member in the General Division of the Queen's Birthday honours list in recognition for his services to primary industry, particularly through the innovation, design and development of specialist agricultural equipment and the promotion of environmentally sustainable cropping and soil management practices.