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Ripple effect of using a DBS

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Boekeman Machinery service manager James Gulliver (left), salesman Steve Darrah and Konnongorring farmer Jamie Bynon puictured during a post-seeding check of the new Ausplow seeding rig |Jamie bought earlier this year – a new Case IH Steiger Quadtrac, an Ausplow Multistream air seeder and an Ausplow DBS precision seeding bar.

Boekeman Machinery service manager James Gulliver (left), salesman Steve Darrah and Konnongorring farmer Jamie Bynon puictured during a post-seeding check of the new Ausplow seeding rig |Jamie bought earlier this year – a new Case IH Steiger Quadtrac, an Ausplow Multistream air seeder and an Ausplow DBS precision seeding bar.

By KEN WILSON IT almost goes without saying these days that broadacre crop establishment has improved in leaps and bounds on the back of more than 20 years of improved machinery technology. And it’s interesting to hear from farmers the ripple effect of using equipment in an essentially dryland farming environment. Take Konnongorring farmer Jamie Bynon, for example. Earlier this year he took delivery of his second Ausplow DBS precision seeder linked to the company’s Multistream three bin 14,000 litre air seeder from Wongan Hills machinery dealer Boekeman Machinery. The DBS is measured precisely by 54 hydraulically-activated tine assemblies spaced at 25cm (10in) spacings for a working width of 13.6m (45ft). Jamie traded a similar bar on the new rig in a move to upgrade his seeding equipment. “I bought my first DBS seven or eight years ago to handle our rocky conditions,” he said. “We have everything from sheet rock to gravel to duplex sand and red clay over gravel. “What we quickly saw with the first DBS was the frequent variations in tine pressures,” Jamie said. “But the big difference was that you didn’t get the snap-back you got with spring tines. “Restrictors on the hydraulic rams meant tines returned (to working position) slower without the seed boot shaking and moving seed placement. “On our rocky ground we just back off on the pressures and the press wheel handles it well to keep the seed boot where it should be. “When it’s wet we still pull up rocks but it’s not a major problem and there are plenty of benefits in being able to achieve under-seed cultivation.” Most visibly is lack of contour banks and old creek lines in undulating paddocks. “We filled in the old creek lines and seed over them and we’ve got rid of the contour banks because we don’t need them because they’re not holding water,” Jamie said. “With the press wheel creating the furrows and the under-seed cultivation, the water is staying where it falls. “The shape of the furrows also is handy for water harvesting small rain events which can concentrate moisture in the row.” What Jamie also is experiencing is the ability to sow dry in so-called Sunday country and tight paddocks and it got to the stage now that once you start you don’t stop. “We’ve got a 3200ha (7900ac) program and I prefer to get the canola in dry, particularly the GM varieties, because we get a better germination,” he said. “If you’ve got some moisture underneath, the DBS allows us to either sit the weed on the moisture or keep it dry depending on soil conditions where you want to avoid a wet-dry scenario.” Another plus for Jamie is the under-seed cultivation also has promoted more soil structure and he says his soils are getting softer. “But the soil’s not moving and it’s amazing to see a summer storm not shift dirt,” he said. According to Boekeman Machinery salesman Steve Darrah, DBS owners regard the seeding bar as more than just a precision seeder. “Its three-slot system has many benefits which collectively promote productivity gains in improved yields through precision placement and improved soil structure through underseed cultivation, which leads to improved soil health,” he said. “These features have remained unchanged for 20 years and still provide the most beneficial environment for plant establishment and growth.” Published in Farm Weekly in June 2015.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015