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DBS shines showing benefits in dry sowing

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Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu branch manager James Mitchell (left) and Buntine farmer Mike Dodd, discuss the Pro-D blades and leading coulters on Mike’s DBS precision seeder.

Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu branch manager James Mitchell (left) and Buntine farmer Mike Dodd, discuss the Pro-D blades and leading coulters on Mike’s DBS precision seeder.

By KEN WILSON
HINDSIGHT always provides lessons.
And one that Buntine farmer Mike Dodd recalled recently was his decision to buy a seeding rig in 2008.
The context was that he was coming off a drought and money was tight. And throw in the Global Financial Crisis.
“I was in the market for a seeding rig and I was deciding between a 60 foot (18.2 metres) DBS and a spring tine 60 foot overseas model,” he said. “I went for the overseas model, with the bar, bin and liquid cart leaving $35,000 in my pocket.
“But I should have paid the $35,000 and got a DBS.”
The reason for that comment was that he bought a DBS in 2017 and it has taken only two seasons to see the benefits in terms of even crop germination and higher yields.
In 2016, he bought a liquid-compatible Ausplow Multistream air seeder to replace a tow-behind liquid cart and a tow-Between airseeder cart so it felt like a natural progression to add the DBS to the Multistream the following year.
“We generally dry sow at the start to get our program in during the optimum sowing window,” Mike said. “And in the first year the crop was very even and I’d never seen it like that.
“It was very obvious the difference between having hydraulic tines on the DBS as against the spring tines which tended to chatter in dry working.
“When it rained you’d see more staggered germinations which showed the variations in seed depth because of the spring tine and sowing boots.
“With the DBS, the parallelogram module gives you more scope in tight country where the press wheel and parallelogram can operate at a different angle but it doesn’t affect the set seeding depth.
“And having the ability to dig deeper without affecting seed depth is huge.”
Interestingly, Mike said there were no problems seeding with the DBS on deep ripped sandplain, even though it was fitted with leading coulters to cut trash and create a better stubble flow.
Tines spacings were 300 millimetres (12 inches) and the upgrade to the wider flotation tyres on the bar really helped.
“This did change, however, post-rainfall but an hour fine-tuning the bar level soon sent us on our way,” Mike said.
Coil packers were employed behind the Ausplow deep ripper so there was a measure of firmness in the topsoil.
“We’ve got the Pro-D blades so we can adjust them to work between seven and nine inches (175 millimetres and 225mm) and that’s easily achieved without compromising seed depth,” Mike said.
“We started dry sowing on April 19 this year working at eight inches (200mm) but I think in a few years we’ll be down to nine inches (225mm) because I think the deeper you can go the better.”
Having said that Mike admitted the deeper working caused canola seed to go in deeper.
“We should have used the canola boot,” he said. “We wanted 5-10mm but we ended up seeding at 15-20mm.
“It was slow away but when it rained it all came up and the germination was pretty even, though the deeper-sown stuff was probably a week behind the neighbour’s canola.”
With an opening rain on May 25, Mike said the dry sowing paid off with the crop now set up.
“We just need a good finishing rain,” he said.
Mike also is happy using the 19,500 litre capacity Multistream, with five tanks.
This year he used 50 litres a hectare of Flexi-N and considered the Friction Flow tubing kit supplied by Furrow Management Systems as “brilliant”.
“We didn’t get any blockages, which takes one less hassle out of the equation,” he said. (With kind permission FARM WEEKLY).

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018