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The 'Clayton's Rip' with a DBS

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East Latham farmers Mark (left) his wife Suzanna and son Tom talk with Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu salesman Wayne Stoner.

East Latham farmers Mark (left) his wife Suzanna and son Tom talk with Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu salesman Wayne Stoner.

Ausplow Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Blight checks this DBS and Multistream rig at East Latham, delivered by local dealers Boekeman Machinery. Chris said the owner was happy with the new rig, set on 30cm (12in) spacings. While training schools are a priority for the Ausplow team, there's nothing like getting out in the paddock with owners to discuss the machine's performance.

Ausplow Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Blight checks this DBS and Multistream rig at East Latham, delivered by local dealers Boekeman Machinery. Chris said the owner was happy with the new rig, set on 30cm (12in) spacings. While training schools are a priority for the Ausplow team, there's nothing like getting out in the paddock with owners to discuss the machine's performance.

WA farmer Mark Wilson can testify to the long term benefits of using a DBS. The East Latham farmer, who farms 4700ha with his wife Suzanne and son Tom, recently traded in a 10.9 metre (36ft) Ausplow DBS precision seeder on a new 18m (59ft) model and a five tank 22,600 litre Ausplow Multistream liquid-ready, air seeder. The deal was completed by Boekeman Machinery, Dalwallinu. Interestingly, with 14 years working the DBS to a depth of about 20cm (8in), they have created a “Clayton’s rip” throughout the farm. “The soil is softer and we don’t have any compaction problems,” Mark said. “But our issue on these mainly wodgil soils is acid and we’re applying a lot of lime (6t/ha over 10 years) to elevate soil pH and that’s working well.” Mark also opted for widening row spacings from 26cm (10in) to 30cm (12in). As Mark explains, there’s only so much moisture to go around, with 60-65mm of summer rainfall on the family farm in February, with nothing since. “In marginal moisture conditions, we found on 10 inch spacings there was a lot more competition in the row with plants using too much moisture too quickly and sometimes we found crops bursting out, looking really good then crashing, in a dry spell,” he said. “On the wider spacings, it tends to stretch the moisture availability and plants will hold on longer. “I would say in wetter areas, 10 inch spacings would work better than 12 inch. “Basically, by going to 12 inch spacings, we want to get more from less and stop the plants growing as quickly in marginal moisture conditions.” The second strategy for going to wider spacings was to prevent soil throw into adjacent rows. “Due to our softer soils, with the 10 inch spacings too much soil was being thrown into the next row which basically covered the seed again and changed the seed depth. “The 12 inch spacings also allows us to band all pre-emergent chemicals completely between the row giving the crop a chemical-free environment to start. “We have very few weeds coming up in the row due to no stock for the last 16 years.” “The result of the seed depth being changed was staggered germinations and in some cases where it was really bad we only got about 20 per cent of the crop coming up. “It meant operating at 7km/h and slowing down the program, whereas now we’re on about 8km/h-plus which has quickened things up a bit more. “Last year it took us five weeks to put in the crop working six days a week on 24 hour shifts. “This year because we’ve got a wider bar, we’re at a less frenetic pace working 18 hour shifts and covering more ground, aiming for 200ha a day.” “Before, if you got 150ha done you’d say it was a good day.” The new bar comes with the Pro-D tool system, which essentially is a bolt-less tool assembly comprising an adjustable DBS blade and shrouded fertiliser boot and a new closing tool. The 90mm (3.5in)-wide press wheel (135mm, 5.5in, width is optional) is equipped with a so-called mud rib, or scraper, with vertical arms placing the scraper lower on the wheel for a quicker ‘attack” at any mud build-up. (In all likelihood, the Wilsons won’t be able to appraise that feature this year). But Mark likes the adjustable Pro-D system. “We went for a seven (17.5cm) to nine inch (22.5cm) blade, which is adjusted to dig around seven inches,” he said. “When it starts to wear, we can easily adjust it down another inch to maintain the seven inch working depth and repeat that again, so effectively we’ve got three blades in one.” The five bin tow-between Multistream also was given the thumbs up. It is employed in a four-one configuration with four bins holding seed and “starter” granular fertiliser and the fifth bin used for UAN liquid fertiliser and trace elements. “We decided to use Friction Flow tubing to deep band the UAN and it has worked extremely well with no blockages up to date,” Tom said. A remote control allows easy auger clean-out after filling the bins and cameras are employed in the top and bottom of the bins to monitor bin levels and product being metered out. Cameras also have been mounted directly behind the Multistream for instant viewing on the console in the tractor cab where sight is obscured by the box. The Multistream fan is hydraulically-controlled and with such a big rig, all six remotes are employed on the Case IH Steiger 4WD tractor which has a power rating of 448kW (600hp) with a power boost to 485kW (650hp). “When we are working in light soils it operates in seventh gear between 1600 and 1650rpm, while in hard red soils we flick down to sixth gear with revs between 1800 and 1850rpm,” Tom said. Overall, Mark is happy with the DBS and its ability to provide underseed cultivation, place the seed accurately and provide a water-harvesting furrow. “It’s a premium price but I’m willing to pay that because it works and there’s a great deal of peace of mind knowing that seeds are being planted exactly where you want them,” he said. “Having owned a DBS for the last 14 years and Ausplow being a local WA company, we already know the backup service will be second to none.” (Reproduced with kind permission from Farm Weekly). Mark is happy to speak with farmers about his experiences with the Ausplow rig. You can contact him on 0427 611 111.

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Monday, June 5, 2017