FREE QUOTES & CUSTOM SOLUTIONS

CONTACT US:1800 254 594

The History of Irrigation with Padman Stops

The Farmers Friend in Irrigation for over 30 years

Padman Stops has been “The Farmers’ Friend” for over 30 years, transforming water efficiency for farmers and reducing labour, time and cost with innovative products and technology.

From humble beginnings that began with founder, John Padman, inventing products from his backyard shed – to now with up to 50 staff working from their Strathmerton factory and site, it’s certainly been a labour of love. The aim is not to just to help farms become more profitable and easier to run, but also to give farmers a better quality of life, with more time off to relax with their family.

Forever innovating, the Padman Group doesn’t just produce and sell products. Instead, their dedicated teams design and customise entire specialised surface irrigation solutions for farms right across Australia. We’re here to help you.

OUR MISSION

“To lead the way in the surface irrigation industry with innovative products that enhance farm efficiency and maximise profitability – all while supporting farmers, local communities and our team members to lead a more balanced and enjoyable lifestyle.”

WHO WE ARE

The Padman Group is headed up by John Padman and his son, Shawn Padman.

As founder and head innovator, John looks after the research and product development side of the business.

Shawn, as General Manager works to move the business forward, by investigating all avenues of diversification and discovering new markets, while managing their enthusiastic workforce.

JOHN PADMAN – FOUNDER

John grew up on a dairy farm so was well versed in the challenges of farming from an early age. Long hours, muddy fields and tricky, manually operated equipment were always a constant battle.

In the 1980’s he developed his first solution to a pressing farming problem – flood irrigation gates that leaked and an entirely manual operation.

The ‘Padman Stop’ was born.

The original Padman Stop product had a precast concrete outlet with a hinged door and rubber flap to seal it and make it completely watertight. More products followed this initial success, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Johns passion and dedication has come from always looking to the farmers for inspiration. Talking to them, seeking out their very specific problems and designing effective products to not only solve those problems – but enhance farm efficiency even further.

SHAWN PADMAN – GENERAL MANAGER

Shawn was inspired by his father’s passion for designing innovative irrigation solutions and officially joined the business in 2008.

He successfully worked his way through several roles within the company, before becoming General Manager.

Due to the seasonal nature of farming, Shawn has sought out new markets to diversify the types of farms they can help , and therefore stabilising employment year-round for their dedicated team.

He is very passionate about looking after their employees, developing each person, with an emphasis on effective leadership and team building, and establishing a strong, cohesive and happy culture.

For Shawn, it’s all about sustainability, listening to farmers to develop solutions, and empowering their team to perform at the top of their game.

different_img

WHY WE’RE DIFFERENT

Padman Stops is different. From our unique product designs through to our collaborative approach.We work alongside farmers – we speak to them, get to know them and discover the every-day problems and frustrations they encounter. We then design the products they, and most likely you, actually need.

Our solutions are indeed complete solutions, customised to your unique farm. One single product or component in isolation may help you a little, but nothing quite beats that streamlined feeling when an entire paddock, field or property runs like clockwork. We can design you an end-to-end solution that provides the upmost of precision that operates almost on autopilot, with our superior sensors and automation technology.

Your farm will become more sustainable, more profitable and far easier to manage.

We’re also proudly:

  • Australian made and owned for 30 years.
  • Family owned and operated.
  • We look after our teams and our people, so they can look after our farmers.
  • We operate with integrity and a genuine desire to help.

In a nutshell, we help Aussie farmers grow more food and fibre with less water and less labour.

And nothing brings us more joy than providing automation solutions so farmers can win back their time and spend more quality time with their families.

Are you keen to find out how we can help your farm operate more efficiently?

Our friendly team can help.

Padman Group Timeline

  • Back Shed
    1987 – Back Shed Experiments
    John grew up on a dairy farm so was well versed in the challenges of farming from an early age. Long hours, muddy fields and tricky, manually operated equipment were always a constant battle.   While working on the farm, John found himself in the shed more and more developing solutions to make farming more manageable.   His focus at this time was on watertight irrigation outlets with an interest in automation. During this period, John also invented his own 'automatic teat cup remover' for the dairy amongst other inventions to make farming a bit easier. A philosophy he has...
  • Back Shed Experiments Precision Irrigation
    1989 – “Precision Irrigation” open for business
    With his structures improving his own farm, it wasn't long until the bush telegraph had John pouring structures for other farmers throughout the district.   In 1989, John moved his family from the farm over the NSW border to a few acres on the outskirts of Strathmerton to develop his irrigation ideas further into commercial products.   The business was named 'Precision Irrigation' and John focused on Irrigation outlets and played around with automation which were sold to predominately dairy farmers throughout northern Vic and southern NSW.
  • John Padman in from of Padman Stop Bay Outlet
    1989 – First Padman watertight rubber flap door
    Whilst working on the family dairy farm, John continually battled flood irrigation gates that leaked with difficult manual operation and knew there must be a better way.   With the shed set up and time dedicated to product development, the ‘Padman Stop’ was born.   The original 'Padman Stop' was a precast concrete structure with a hinged door and rubber flap to seal it, and make the outlet completely watertight.   More products followed this initial success, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • Pneumatic
    1989 – First Automation System – Pneumatic irrigation
    With the first Padman watertight door, John set out to make a good thing great with automation.   Years before telemetry or the common usage of electronics in the field, John developed a pneumatic automation system that could open the Padman watertight door.   An airline was run the length of the field and when the water reached the opening, the increased air pressure in the line triggered the door release mechanism.
  • Elmore Field Days: Most innovative new product award winner
    1990 – Elmore Field Days: Most innovative new product award winner
    For over 50 years, the Elmore Field Days has served as the meeting place each year for farmers from northern Victoria and southern NSW. As a farmer, John had attended the Field Day and many others, but 1990 was the first time he went as an exhibitor.   He was eager to see what his fellow farmers thought of his 100% watertight door and was elated to be awarded the 'Most innovative new product award winner' run by the Stock & Land newspaper.   Padman Stops haven't missed an Elmore Field Days since and have included many others as we...
  • John installing irrigation outlet
    1991 – Expanding the product range
    The first collection of products were called the 'A Series', with a door depth of 300mm, which is shallow by today's standards.   The numerals on the products represent how many (approx.) feet wide the door is, as it still does today. The A1 (300mm), A2, A3 and the widest door at the time the A4 (1200mm).   There was no need for walkways as we know them today and chains were used to open and close the rubber flap door.          
  • John with early Pipe End
    1992 – New Product: Pipe Ends
    With several Padman Stops irrigation outlet options now available to his growing network, product requests began coming through to add some of that Padman design and functionality to Pipe Ends.   Taking into consideration different pipe sizes, erosion issues and the ability to automate, John came up with different Pipe End molds catering to these needs and remains one of our core products.
  • Mechanical Timer Automation
    1992 – Mechanical Timers
    While pneumatic automation was effective, it didn't suit every application and required additional materials and works so John set about developing a new automation unit operating on time.   The Padman Mechanical Timer was essentially a big, rugged egg timer that would countdown to your designated watering time and trigger the door release.
  • Padman Stops logo
    1992 – ‘Padman Stops’ name change
    After operating as Precision Irrigation for four years, the business name was changed to Padman Stops.   With other companies operating as Precision Irrigation anyway and our customers calling our products "Padman's" anyway, it made sense.   But why 'Stops'? Well, there are lots of local terms for irrigation structures around the country; weirs, gates, outlets, stops... and we're happy to represent with our local terminology.
  • John promoting an automated R7 Headwall for Rice Crops
    1993 – Rice Industry Solutions
    With a rice growing region nearby in southern NSW, it was only a matter of time until we looked for ways to develop structures suited to improving their irrigation methods.   The R4 & R7 Rice Headwalls functionality evolved from the ability to add boards in the grooves, to aluminium slide doors to 100% Watertight rubber flap doors with options for automation.   These were very popular and we supplied thousands per year until the millennium drought hit and slowed the industry down.
  • EDT Electronic Dual Time on bay outlet
    1995 – Electronic Dual Timers
    While the Mechanical Timer was an improvement on the Padman Pneumatic automation system, they were a bit limited with their use as they could both only be set for one event; to release the door to begin irrigation. John recognised the importance of setting ‘Dual Times’. The EDT was programmed to set both the time to open the outlet and the time to close it. The original EDT's used gas struts to improve the strength of the arms before integrating Linak actuators that were used for actually designed for lifting hospital beds! The functionality sounds simple, but the Electronic Dual...
  • John with Early OverShot Door Install
    1995 – Overshot Door
    It wasn't long until the demand for deeper doors  brought about the 'B', 'C' & 'D' series for the Bay Outlet application.   With water delivery systems requiring even deeper doors, the demand was there for us to create the Overshot, which was the deepest door available at the time and capable of being used as a Channel Stop.   Being 100% watertight and easily transported due to the removable upstream and downstream anti-erosion wings, the Overshot remains a core product to this day.
  • Padman Stops Site - Aerial photo 1997
    1997 – Getting busy
    It wasn't long until the business outgrew the back shed and new sheds and an admin office popped up in the front paddock.
  • Gouburn Murray Water - Water Supply project: Channel Overshot doors
    1998 – Supplying for Goulburn Murray Water projects
    John supplied a dozen Overshot style doors to the Goulburn Murray Water supply scheme, who found them to be an excellent solution for some of their Channel stop applications. These structures were fitted with a custom automation system supplied by Ken Messner of kMed automation, our specialist electronics contractor of 20 years. GMW have remained a great client over the decades requesting a range of products for their projects.
  • Hydraulic Ram
    1999 – Hydraulic ram automation
    We designed and installed approximately a dozen Hydraulic Water Ram systems across Victoria between 1999-2004.   Many of these are still working to this day.
  • John Installing Early MaxiFlow
    2002 – MaxiFlow Culvert
    As the Padman Stops brand and our flat stops and pipe ends became more popular, we were often asked if we made pipes. With some well established companies making quality pipes that suited our product, we were happy to supply their pipes with our products. After talking to customers, installers and drivers about some of their pain points with round pipe John went into his shed again and began the design process for the MaxiFlow. The MaxiFlow is a flat bottomed structure with a high strength arched opening that can be extended with multiple units to make custom width crossings....
  • Fast Water Trials
    2004 – Fast Watering
    Definition of fast watering in 2004: Surface Irrigation applied faster than 10 ML/day per HA   In 2004, Padman Stops began their "Fast Watering" project, with the aim of creating a high efficiency irrigation system. The theory behind the system was that irrigating faster than the water can soak below the root zone would result in higher effeciency.   John Padman, with this in mind, built a pump with a flow meter that could be used in a trial to measure the effect of "Fast Watering". Trials conducted have found that the faster the water, the less water is used....
  • John and Shawn Padman next to a Padman Stop Bay Outlet
    2007 – Shawn rejoins the company
    As Shawn was in primary school when the company started, he grew up taking an interest and working within the business through his teens and early twenties.   Like many, Shawn traveled the world and put many of these skills to use in a variety of industries and returned home in his late twenties to help as the millennium drought really tested the industry, not to mention the company.
  • CottonInfo irrigation automation tour
    2008 – Cotton Industry Solutions
    While the company continued to innovate and supply the Dairy, Rice  & Cropping industries for Victoria and southern NSW, the millennium drought proved a challenge for everyone. During this period, Padman Stops began research and development on irrigators needs further away across the nation and found potential within the cotton industry. Like many R & D projects before and since, we made a big effort to understand what the farmers needed and set about using our experience to develop products that would improve their farms profitability. Our products have been well received and we look forward to continuing to innovate...
  • Save Water Award 2008
    2008 – Award Winning Innovation
    National savewater! awards® Winner: Regional & Rural category Judge's Comments: Padman Stops have been able to increase the efficiency of flood irrigation without increased energy use.   They have shown potential to make significant future improvements in the industry by means of on farm efficiency as well as environmental improvements as a flow on effect.
  • Argentina Business Venture
    2009 – The Argentinean experiment
    In a proactive attempt to look for new markets as the Millennium drought really put the squeeze on Australian agriculture, Padman Stops went global!   John and Shawn teamed up with John Schofield to setup a plant in the small regional village of Bahía Blanca, Argentina. While their soils were very porous, they benefited from fast watering from the four different molds we sent over in a shipping container, that was then converted into a concrete curing oven.   Over three memorable trips with lots of fantastic hospitality (they know how to BBQ) and great memories (lost luggage was an interesting...
  • Moira Shire Business Awards 2010
    2010 – Moira Shire Business Excellence Awards: Winner for Environmental Excellence
    Moira Shire Mayor Cr Ed Cox congratulated the nominees for their outstanding achievements and commitment to excellence. "I would like to congratulate the award winners and acknowledge the high calibre of the nominees. The business awards are an opportunity to celebrate business excellence in the Moira Shire" Cr Cox said.   Nominees have demonstrated innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and commitment. These businesses and individuals have excelled in trying economic conditions and I once again congratulate them on their achievements," Cr Cox said.
  • Walkways on Bay Outlets
    2010 – Walkways on Bay Outlets
    With farmers realising the benefits of fast watering, the bay outlets started getting wider. To further improve OH&S for the farmer we reconfigured our structures with a walkway to allow for safe crossing.
  • Early SMS Chatterbox Prototype
    2011 – SMS Chatterbox
    Having ventured into electronics with the Electronic Dual Timer and having it establish itself as one of the most portable and affordable automation devices, John was looking for new ways to help farmers with their irrigation.   With the advancement of mobile communications and the importance of water conservation, knowing where your water was became very important.   The SMS chatterbox is effectively a witches hat placed at the bottom of the bay that sends you a text message when it's feet get wet.   A simple concept and a wonderful innovation that has saved lots of water and sleep!...
  • New Concrete Plant
    2013 – New Concrete Plant
    With a broadening product range and increased production, the demand on the facilities got to a point where another plant was required.   Another shed was setup nearby that became a production line for the flat stops, which improved the quality of the product even further.
  • New Fitting Shed
    2015 – New Fitting Shed
    With the success of the new concrete plant and the employment of a professional continuous improvement manager, we turned our attention to the processes related to fitting our products.   This resulted in the construction of a fitting shed production line which allowed products to move freely throughout the site more efficiently, improving quality and work place satisfaction as a result.
  • SamC Diagram
    2016 – SamC System
    With the Electric Dual Timer and the SMS Chatterbox spearheading our Automation department, why not try and make them talk to each other?   We invested a lot of time and effort into developing the Sensor Activated Monitor Controller (SamC), which enabled the Master unit to communicate with the bay sensor at the bottom of the bay and trigger the changeover to irrigate the next bay.   While this product didn't progress past the trial stage, a lot of the learnings resulted in the new wave of products we've developed since, namely the AutoWinch and the whole PRO system.
  • RD Shed
    2017 – Research & Development Shed
    With the company continuing to grow and more professionals coming onboard, this allowed John the luxury to do what he does best, look to the future!   Equipped with a new shed built to his requirements, a handful of good men and a whiteboard, John has focused on some revolutionary products.   Some have hit the market, such as the PosiDrive and F10 Bay Outlet, with some industry changing products still in development, due to be released in the near future.
  • Pocket winch drawing
    2017 – Pocket Timer
    As we were building larger structures and lifting heavier doors, we were reaching the limitations of our actuators used on the EDT's and the SamC system.   This lead us to develop the Pocket Timer. The aim was to produce a portable, compact unit that ditched the actuator for a winch.   The winch proved to be a great innovation and the Pocket Timer worked well. However, like the SamC, the Pocket Timer didn't progress past the prototype stage but did significantly influence the future makeup of the Padman Winch and the PRO automation range.
  • Padman Winch
    2017 – Padman Winch
    Another lesson learned while upgrading our automation was the need for a universal winch that could be used manually or connect to all of our automation units.   The Padman Winch has provided a flexible platform for all of our automation devices and the OH&S standards for manual operation have improved considerably.   The Padman Winch is installed on every unit making them automation ready when you are.
  • Cane Solutions
    2018 – Sugarcane Solutions
    In a bid to continue to innovate and tap into new markets, in 2018, Padmans began research and development on the needs of sugarcane farmers. We are still currently working closely with our cane growing customers to trial and advance our technologies and infrastructure to suit the harsh conditions of the tropical north. So far our products have been well received and we look forward to continuing to innovate to find more efficient ways to conserve water and operational costs for the industry.
  • Farm Automation Showroom
    2018 – Automation showroom opened
    A beautifully designed space with interactive product displays was created in 2018. The automation showroom allows customers the opportunity to come in and see how the products work get more information from either a sales person or our interactive touch screen.
  • PosiDrive
    2018 – New Product: PosiDrive
    For customers with multiple doors in a bay we understood the difficulty of having to open and close each door manually, so we came up with this unique rack and pinon design that allows operators to open and close multiple doors from the one automation unit, or from the one manual winch. With the added benefit of being able to open the door in both directions. We then needed to find ways to allow our automation to operate multiple heavy doors at once using our existing AutoWinch system. This led to the PosiDrive. Padman Stops’ first automation product that utilises...
  • Quick Culverts
    2019 – Padman Quick Culverts company formed
    Quick Culverts was formed to service the civil industry. With Iso 45001, Iso 14001 and Iso 9001 Certified Quality Assurance being granted in 2020.
  • Padman Water Solutions - Logo
    2020 – Padman Water Solutions company formed
    Padman Water Solutions is an especially exciting new arm to the Padman Group. Servicing Queensland, with products designed specifically for the tropical conditions of the state and to solve the niche problems they face. Transforming water efficiency for farmers and reducing labour, time and cost with innovative products and technology.

Our friendly team can help.

The Future

The team at Padman Stops is always looking for new ways to innovate and create new solutions and products for farmers across Australia. We also have a genuine desire to make our products more accessible to more farmers than ever before, no matter where they might be located.

This desire has led us to develop several new specialist ‘arms’ of the business so we can reach more farms and improve more farming lifestyles. These include Padman Automation, Padman Water Solutions and Padman Maxiflow.

Padman Water Solutions is particularly exciting as it brings our solutions further north, with a brand-new factory in Queensland to enable us to get products to Queensland farmers far more cheaply and quickly.

Learn more about these specialist businesses within the Padman Stop Group

Awards and recognition

Customer love

“Installing Padman Stops is the most important thing we’ve ever done on our farm” – Darryl Lukies.

We’re ready to help you be more efficient and win back your time

We don’t just sell unique products; we provide customised solutions for your farm and your specific needs. 

Our friendly team will guide the way forward for both water and time efficiency for your property.

Get in touch today

Padman Automation specialises in using modern technology to streamline farming operations. Our systems reduce the time required to manage properties, reduce labour costs and improve farm efficiency for maximum yields.

Our dedicated automation team aims to free up farmers’ time so they can achieve a better, and far healthier, work-life balance.

We’re forever innovating to create new and improved products that solve problems and enhancing on-farm efficiency.

Plus, even after installation, farmers never have to go it alone. Our friendly team are always on hand for continuing service and support.

Meet The Team

The Future

The team at Padman Stops is always looking for new ways to innovate and create new solutions and products for farmers across Australia. We also have a genuine desire to make our products more accessible to more farmers than ever before, no matter where they might be located.

This desire has led us to develop several new specialist ‘arms’ of the business so we can reach more farms and improve more farming lifestyles. These include Padman Automation, Padman Water Solutions and Padman Maxiflow.

Padman Water Solutions is particularly exciting as it brings our solutions further north, with a brand-new factory in Queensland to enable us to get products to Queensland farmers far more cost effectively and quickly.

Learn more about these specialist businesses within the Padman Group

Awards and recognition

Customer love

“Installing Padman Stops is the most important thing we’ve ever done on our farm” – Darryl Lukies.

We’re ready to help you be more efficient and win back your time

We don’t just sell unique products; we provide customised solutions for your farm and your specific needs. 

Our friendly team will guide the way forward for both water and time efficiency for your property.

Get in touch today

pa
We’re incredibly excited about one of our newer initiatives, Padman Water Solutions, which will bring a brand-new site to Queensland, allowing easier and more affordable access to our products up north.

Our new manufacturing plant is due to open in Ayr, QLD in the heart of the Burdekin region, in July 2020.

Not only will it make the freight and transport of our products to Queensland farmers more cost effective (rather than shipping them from Victoria), but we’ll also have products that are specifically made for the unique needs of our more northern farms and their agricultural pursuits.

Meet The Team

The Future

The team at Padman Stops is always looking for new ways to innovate and create new solutions and products for farmers across Australia. We also have a genuine desire to make our products more accessible to more farmers than ever before, no matter where they might be located.

This desire has led us to develop several new specialist ‘arms’ of the business so we can reach more farms and improve more farming lifestyles. These include Padman Automation, Padman Water Solutions and Padman Maxiflow.

Padman Water Solutions is particularly exciting as it brings our solutions further north, with a brand-new factory in Queensland to enable us to get products to Queensland farmers far more cost effectively and quickly.

Learn more about these specialist businesses within the Padman Group

Awards and recognition

Customer love

“Installing Padman Stops is the most important thing we’ve ever done on our farm” – Darryl Lukies.

We’re ready to help you be more efficient and win back your time

We don’t just sell unique products; we provide customised solutions for your farm and your specific needs. 

Our friendly team will guide the way forward for both water and time efficiency for your property.

Get in touch today