p Yerecoin farmer Cameron Waters (left) discusses the performance of his Seed Terminator with Boekeman Machinery salesman Dillan Elliott and Boekeman Machinery product specialist Brett Asphar.
Farm Weekly Article By KEN WILSON
THERE are signs.
Like a drop in self-sown weeds.
And that’s a big encouragement when you’re using almost every tool in the toolbox to reduce weed seed burdens.
It’s a slow process but Yerecoin farmer Cameron Waters is growing in confidence that he could see a fairly dramatic fall of ryegrass and radish plants in four or five years with his latest “tool” … a Seed Terminator.
He bought it from Boekeman Machinery, Wongan Hills last year and was encouraged by its performance notching up 256 mill hours with it integrated into a Case IH 7240 combine harvester.
The Seed Terminator is currently working a 2000ha cropping program and last week total mill hours had clocked onto 660 hours.
“The machine is working brilliantly,” he said.“It turns anything that goes into it into powder, like flour and that includes ryegrass and radish seeds.
“It hasn’t needed any servicing and the only addition has been a new outer screen around the rotor to improve wear.”
The Seed Terminator has been designed as a simple one-pass solution to harvest weed seed control.
Weed and volunteer seeds present in the chaff material leaving the cleaning shoe, are intercepted and pulverised using a new multi-stage hammer mill technology.
It incorporates an efficient mechanical drive system that is driven by the harvester engine, with minimal moving parts, incorporating only shafts, belts and gearboxes. The belt is driven off the chopper shaft.
The hammer mill technology incorporates trade-marked Aero-IMPACT technology, for efficient low turbulence aerodynamic impact mechanism.
One of the first questions Cameron is always asked focuses on engine power draw-down.
And his stock answer now is, “I don’t notice it. It doesn’t take any power away from the header.”
Cameron ensured he had adequate horsepower when he bought the 7240 before buying the Seed Terminator (the header is rated at 300kW, 405hp with a boost to 349kW, 468hp).
According to Boekeman Machinery product support manager Brett Asphar, horsepower draw-down is usually less than 10 per cent.
“It depends on conditions but the biggest enemy to power increases is straw,” he said.
“You can get caught out with canola so you’ve got to open the concaves and with cereals it’s about maintaining straw and chaff separation.
“This year there has been plenty of straw and headers are still cutting low so getting sieve loadings equates to mill loadings`”
According to Cameron it’s the old adage of driving the header to the crop and backing off to prevent overloads.”
Brett also said that generally a header fitted with a chopper was ideal because “it throws straw better”.
“Cameron has a beater and that can work okay in some conditions but my preference would be a chopper.”
For Cameron, the Seed Terminator is just another tool to be used in a long term plan to take pressure off using chemicals.
“Hopefully this will give us more confidence in getting cleaner paddocks.”
Cameron also said the support of Boekeman Machinery tipped the scale for his purchase.
“I would not have had the confidence to run the machine without the support of Boekeman Machinery and particularly Brett Asphar and the service team,” Cameron said. “They all made sure that the machine ran well and we had back-up service and parts available.”
According to Seed Terminator Pty Ltd director Mark Ashenden, the company has widened its options of fitment of its Seed Terminator.
According to company director Mark Ashenden, the unit is now available for Class 7, 8, 9 and 10 headers from John Deere, Case IH, New Holland and recently expanded to include Massey Ferguson and CLAAS Lexion.
“Our latest unit has also been successfully fitted to the new S7 Series John Deere models,” he said.
“From our proof of concept year in 2016 when we released nine units, which we have since upgraded, we now have 81 Seed Terminators successfully operating, including one being trialled in Canada.
“It may seem like small numbers, but we have purposefully contained growth to ensure we can maintain personal service contact with owners to improve the Terminators performance on their farms.
“Harvest Weed Seed Control (HWSC), like farming, is a journey not a destination and we are on the journey together.
“This has led us to quickly respond to improvements made after the 2017 harvest in regards to lower header power requirements and harder-wearing materials, without compromising weed seed kill.
“While it’s a bit early for a complete review, the feedback on performance is very positive and we now have 80 users providing invaluable data to enable continued fine tuning and improvement.”
Mr Ashenden said the Seed Terminator was new technology (two patents pending supported by an international legal “freedom to operate” opinion) and met a price point from $115,000 – fully fitted and commissioned on farm.
“It provides a simple one-pass solution to harvest weed seed control,” he said.
Weed and volunteer seeds present in the chaff material leaving the cleaning shoe, are intercepted and pulverised using multi-stage hammer mill technology.
It incorporates an efficient mechanical drive system that is driven by the harvester engine, with minimal moving parts, incorporating only shafts, belts and gearboxes.
“It is highly efficient with minimal transmission losses,” Mr Ashendon said.
“The hammer mill technology incorporates trade-marked Aero-IMPACT technology, for efficient low turbulence aerodynamic impact mechanism.
“The Aero-IMPACT provides the impact needed to kill more than 96 per cent of annual ryegrass seed (as tested by the University of Adelaide) while maintaining a low power draw.”
South Australian Grains Industry Trust funded research conducted by Trengove Consulting in 2017 found ryegrass weed seed kill was 98 per cent or greater at normal operating speeds (2500–3000 rpm).
Results also showed more than 99pc control of several other species including wild radish, brome grass, wild oats, bifora, bedstraw and tares and increasing chaff flow rate (harvest rate) did not reduce control of these species.
The mechanical drive system incorporates Smooth-Feed trademark technology to prevent material blockages.
Mr Ashenden, who is a “reformed” banker and a “recovering” accountant with an MBA, said the idea of the Seed Terminator came from his nephew, Kangaroo island farmer Dr Nick Berry, who after completing an engineering degree published a PhD on eliminating weed seeds.
“Nick came up with the technology and I assisted with gaining private funds to get the concept off the ground,” Mr Ashenden said.
“We will be releasing a limited number of Seed Terminators to the domestic market in 2019 and expect that demand will be sizable.”
p More information: Mark Ashenden 0418 106 177.