Boekeman Machinery Wongan Hills salesmen Ben Boekeman (left) and Ewan McLintock, Nathan Davey, Konnongorring and tractor driver Kane Corsini check out Mr Davey’s new DBS precision seeder, replacing his original DBS which he had for 20 years.
Kondut farmer Peter Latham (left) and son Tyler (right), KONDUT, take a break during a recent canola program employing a new Ausplow seeding rig and a new Case IH Steiger Quadtrac 550, bought from Boekeman Machinery, Wongan Hills.
ARTICLE BY KEN WILSON FARM WEEKLY.
TWENTY years is a fair test for any seeding bar. Basically, you’re looking for its ability to sow at the right depth with a high degree of repeatability over a range of soil types and soil conditions. And in the case of Konnongorring farmer Nathan Davey, a bar than can provide a substantial amount of underseed cultivation, especially in drier years. For Mr Davey, his 12.2 metre DBS precision seeder ticks those boxes and he believes he wouldn’t be farming but for the DBS. The claim is made against a backdrop of dry starts, which always can be problematic in achieving good crop germinations. “It’s the way it just digs in,” Mr Davey said. “You can start a program whenever you want to start and you know you’ll always get accurate seed placement. “Last year was a good example of a dry start with subsoil moisture present. “We were able to dig a little deeper and get a strike to wet up the seed bed to germinate the crop.
“This year I regard it as perfect dry conditions with no subsoil moisture so when it rains it’ll all come up at once giving us an even germination. “It’s a very strong bar and over the past 20 years we’ve ripped out a few big rocks but it hasn’t affected the integrity of the seeding modules.” When Mr Davey bought his first DBS – number 224 – it was the first in the district and this year he has stepped up to the proverbial plate with a new 1260-48E 12.2metre model on 25cm spacings. “I got my money back on the trade with Boekeman Machinery in Wongan Hills, so that was a bonus and I’m impressed with the back-up service from Boekeman and Ausplow representatives,” he said. “The fact the DBS is made by an Australian manufacturer counted a lot in my decision to buy it and they’re only a phone call away if you have any queries.” The other bonus for Nathan is that the action of the DBS has softened the soil. “There’s more structure in the soil now and rain is staying where it falls,” he said. “It’s hard to fill the dams these days because of the lack of run-off. “It has led me to lay out poly pipes and invest in tanks and pumps to get bore water for the stock.”
With his new rig, Mr Davey ordered the Ausplow Pro-D tool system with a liquid kit. “We’ll deep band the Flexi N for all our program including 600ha of Margarita clover we’re planting for sheep feed,” he said. Also employing a liquid kit for the first time are Kondut farmers Peter and Michelle Latham and their son Tyler. They bought a D300-61 DBS (18.3m working width) on 30cm spacings linked to a liquid-compatible Ausplow Multistream tow-between 24,000 litre six bin air seeder, which, according to Boekeman Machinery salesman Tim Boekeman is growing in popularity. The Lathams also bought a Case IH 550 Steiger Quadtrac with Case autosteer RTK guidance and AccuTurn – the latter is a push-button facility that automatically turns the tractors at end-of-row while lifting the seeding bar from working position before returning it to its original position once the turn has been completed.
According to Mr Latham, he opted for a DBS after his brother bought a model and “I tried it out”. “I put in half my program with my brother’s DBS and compared it to the other half I established with my Flexi-Coil,” he said. “The DBS crop had more even germination which told me there was more evenness of sowing depth. “The DBS also had the ability to dig in deeper in our harder soils creating a good shattering effect to get moisture in.” The Multistream also was the right fit for the farm program. “I liked the combination of multiple bins to mix products and the simplicity of it,” he said. “And we had a rig that was one brand and built locally.” The Multistream, also is variable rate-ready, which the Lathams “will look at down the track”. According to Mr Latham, the Multistream is easy to use with a single fan splitting air for seed and fertiliser through 125mm-wide hoses to secondary hoses. “There’s heaps of air and there’s an easy setting to vary the amount of air you want for sed and fertiliser,” he said. “Calibration is a one-man job and it’s easy and accurate. “I also like the new auger which has poly flighting in a stainless steel barrel and it runs quiet and is easy to manoeuvre with remote control.” The Multistream also is fitted with 10 cameras wired to in-cab screens allowing the driver ‘live’ status of the metering rollers, bin levels and the trailing DBS.
“It’s a good rig and we get plenty of support from Boekeman Machinery and Ausplow,” Peter said. According to Tim Boekeman, interest in the Multistream comes on the back of major improvements, including the stainless steel auger, which is a purpose design to greatly reduce or eliminate grain damage along with quiet running. Enhancements also have been made to the safety ladder, step-over and walkway with the option for a range of light kits. The pump station has been enclosed and is ergonomically positioned for ease of access and servicing. It also can be retro-fitted to existing Multistream models to convert to liquid or a granular-liquid mix. Another interesting option is a ProTrakker hitch with electrics supplied by Burando Hill. In tow-between configuration, the hitch attaches to the DBS for RTK guidance near-row sowing. And all hydraulic lines are laid out on ‘cable trays’ running the length of the Multistream. All poly tanks easily convert from granular to liquid reflecting the flexibility of product splits. The Multistream is available with capacities from 6000 litres to 28,000L. Interestingly, when it was first released in 2001, it was the world’s first air seeder with liquid capacity.