General news category

Moisture, air, key to BioFurrow

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General
This photograph clearly shows the importance of building soil structure to allow access to moisture and air. On the left is a typical ‘brick’ of compacted soil compared to a clod on the right showing roots moving at depth through aerated and structured soil. The latter is the type of result created by the DBS and clearly demonstrates the ‘pot plant’ analysis of how the DBS establishes the right environment for plant root growth.

This photograph clearly shows the importance of building soil structure to allow access to moisture and air. On the left is a typical ‘brick’ of compacted soil compared to a clod on the right showing roots moving at depth through aerated and structured soil. The latter is the type of result created by the DBS and clearly demonstrates the ‘pot plant’ analysis of how the DBS establishes the right environment for plant root growth.

Soil microbiology - in the presence of moisture and air - is the key to the BioFurrow™.
That’s the opinion of former CSIRO scientist and microbiologist, Dr Margaret Roper.
Dr Roper makes the point that there are between one and two tonnes a hectare of microbes in the top soil with around 70 per cent in the top 10 centimetres, equating to more than 10 billion microbes in a kilogram of soil with literally kilometres of fungal hyphae.
Fungal hyphae spread like a network to capture nutrients and in a highly complex symbiotic relationship, bacteria and fungi provide nutrients to plant roots while accessing food in the form of exudates from the roots.
A classic visual of this process is the ‘dreadlock’ roots you find on healthy plants, with soil and microbes adhering to roots.
But conventional practices such as deep tillage, mouldboarding and spading, while deemed necessary for soil amelioration, can have a detrimental effect on drying out soils and thereby destroying microbial populations which thrive in moist conditions.
According to Dr Roper, what science is now showing, through trial research, is a better way to grow crops – by utilizing microbial communities and root systems in the soil.
And that is the pith of explaining why the BioFurrow™ - we call the furrow for life – works to enhance this microbial activity for the benefit of plant roots and to aid in building organic carbon levels.
The concept of the BioFurrow™ is not new and is often referred to as near-row sowing, with implement steering guidance.
The difference with the BioFurrow™ is that the same row is used to seed crops every year rather than ‘nudging’ across the paddock to establish the next season’s rows.
Interestingly Dr Roper’s research started 25 years ago and she is confident the hypothesis of the BioFurrow™ is now at a stage to trial over a range of moisture and soil conditions.
Dr Roper said the DBS sowing system, particularly, provided significant benefits for a developing seedling.
“Firstly, the provision of liquid nutrients directly below the seed provides a source of water vapour for seed germination,” Dr Roper said.
“The ‘precision seed bed’, created by the DBS closing tool to provide a firm and aerated base for the seed, contains fine capillaries through which water vapour (from the liquid nutrients) can rise to the seed and promote germination.
“Scientific research also has presented evidence that water vapour is the primary source of water for seed germination in unsaturated soils.
“This surprising result stems from the fact that although hydraulic conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude as soil water content decreases, relative humidity within the soil remains near 100 per cent, as long as the soil water content is above wilting point.”
Dr Roper also said the provision of liquid nutrients directly below the seed provided an immediate source of nutrients in available forms in close proximity to newly emerged roots.
“And the soft-closing press wheel of the DBS covers the seed, creating a firm but not compacted indented surface which collects water and enables air exchange around the germinating seed,” Dr Roper said.

Let's start a conversation

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General
Bencubbin farmer and Nuffield Scholar Nick Gillett said the BioFurrow™ “makes fundamental sense to build our soils and enhance water-holding capacity”.

Bencubbin farmer and Nuffield Scholar Nick Gillett said the BioFurrow™ “makes fundamental sense to build our soils and enhance water-holding capacity”.

By JOHN RYAN AM
Since announcing our BioFurrow™ story last year I have received a lot of positive feedback from DBS owners.
And the most striking comment came from New South Wales farmer Greg Chappell, Glen Innes.
“Wouldn’t it be great if every farmer in Australia had a goal to lift the organic carbon levels on their farms by one per cent,” Greg said.
“Imagine the enormous impact that would have on the nation’s effort to sequester carbon and the increased respect it would have for agriculture.”
I think Greg has hit the nail on the head and it is the reason, I think, we should start a conversation on the BioFurrow™.
Central to everything we have written thus far on the benefits of the BioFurrow™, is the ability to sequester carbon while improving our soils and farm profits.
We are already planning our 2021 trial program at our Quairading Research and Development Centre and we also are excited about several DBS owners who are keen to be involved in trials on their own properties.
As part of the conversation on the BioFurrow™ we also present the following comments from DBS owners:
Theo Cunningham, Cranbrook:
We’ve been doing implement-steer near-row sowing for five years and this year we started trialling the BioFurrow™.
Previously we had been nudging across the paddock and I thought why not stick to the same row so we did a trial paddock where we nudged left about two centimetres and didn’t disturb the stubble.
There were no negatives and it made it easier for the air seeder driver using the shift on our guidance.
We’ve kept a record of what we’ve done and for 2021 we’ll nudge right near the same row and I expect that from now on we’ll do it for our entire program.
It just makes sense and I’m excited by the innovation which can employ the latest technologies.
I think we’ll also see some cost efficiencies because we will be using less diesel and perhaps we won’t have to deep rip if we can maintain furrows for life.
(Theo’s trial work this year was the inspiration for the Bio Furrow™).

Greg Chappell, Glenn Innes, NSW:
I’ve always said it’s important to get the biology working and the BioFurrow™ will do just that.
It makes a lot of sense, particularly providing a stable environment where we can have a crack at building our organic carbon levels.
That’s the crux to improve our water-holding capacity for growing crops in our variable climates.
Wouldn’t it be great if every farmer in Australia had a goal to lift the organic carbon levels on their farms by one per cent.
Imagine the enormous impact that would have on the nation’s effort to sequester carbon and the increased respect it would have for agriculture.
Brendan Smart, Keith, SA:
The BioFurrow™ makes irrefutable sense.
Although we don’t have the guidance technology of implement steering to do it yet, I knew something was going on in the late 1990s when we were establishing crops with the DBS on the inter-row with no guidance.
We were on 10 inch spacings and you could see every time we got closer to last year’s row, the crops were better.
We still see that today and we have put it down to roots accessing more nutrients near the old row.
But I 100 per cent agree with the BioFurrow™ concept.
Nick Gillett, Bencubbin, WA
I definitely agree we should start a conversation about this concept because it makes fundamental sense to build our soils and enhance water-holding capacity for our broadacre cropping systems.
We have been inter-row sowing since 2003 with a sidearm marker but it was generally seeding freehand and we definitely noticed a positive to crop growth with plants closer the last year’s rows.
Since 2005 we have been on RTK guidance and in years when conditions are right we will sow into the old rows chasing moisture where’s there’s not a great stubble load.
In principle I support the work being done by Ausplow and I’m keen to do some trials.
Peter Alexander, Glenn Innes, NSW:
I think the BioFurrow™ is just comment sense and it’s certainly the way to go for broadacre cropping.
At the moment we’re trying to combat new country with the DBS and it’s not the sort of country that lends itself to precision guidance.
But with our experience with the DBS and what it is achieving for us it is easy to understand why establishing a furrow for life would have a lot of benefits.
Jeff Edwards, Kweda, WA:
We’ll definitely give it a go because it makes sense to us.
It will cost us about $8000 to upgrade to RTK guidance and there’s a tower next to the farm so that will get us started.
I’m excited that we’re now getting opportunities to build organic carbon with a lot more tools in the toolbox.
It’s a big challenge but we’re up for a goal of lifting our organic carbon by one per cent.
At the moment it ranges from 0.5 to two in the long term pasture paddocks.
One subject that came up with many DBS owners we spoke with related to stubble, particularly if it’s a wet season.
Implement steering to a large extent should mitigate problems with stubble wrapping around tines but leading disc coulters will greatly assist by cutting old lateral plant roots to prevent bulldozing which can also lead to dragging in stubble into the tines.
Those involved in near-row sowing know that while we’ve had several years of dry starts it’s only a matter of time before a decent wet start is experienced again.
In any event, please let know of your experiences or ideas to continue our conversation.
You can contact me at john@ausplow.com.au

Science shows a way for pathway for BioFurrow

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General
Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left), Ausplow R & D Coordinator Dr Margaret Roper and Ausplow trial consultant Dave Seagreen pictured during trial establishment at Ausplow’s Research and Development Centre, Quairading, the site of on-going trials involving the BioFurrow crop establishment system.

Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left), Ausplow R & D Coordinator Dr Margaret Roper and Ausplow trial consultant Dave Seagreen pictured during trial establishment at Ausplow’s Research and Development Centre, Quairading, the site of on-going trials involving the BioFurrow crop establishment system.

Classic root 'dreadlocks' are a sign of a healthy plant in healthy soil.

Classic root 'dreadlocks' are a sign of a healthy plant in healthy soil.

Ausplow R & D Coordinator Dr Margaret Roper is a keen supporter of Ausplow’s BioFurrow.
According to Dr Roper, who is a former CSIRO scientist and microbiologist, the key to the BioFurrow™ is soil microbiology - in the presence of moisture – and air.
Dr Roper makes the point that there are between one and two tonnes a hectare of microbes in the top soil with around 70 per cent in the top 10 centimetres, equating to more than 10 billion microbes in a kilogram of soil with literally kilometres of fungal hyphae.
Fungal hyphae spread like a network to capture nutrients and in a highly complex symbiotic relationship, bacteria and fungi provide nutrients to plant roots while accessing food in the form of exudates from the roots.
A classic visual of this process is the ‘dreadlock’ roots you find on healthy plants, the layer of soil plus microbes adhering to roots, known as the rhizosphere.
According to Dr Roper, what science is now showing, through trial research, is a better way to grow crops – by utilizing microbial communities and root systems in the soil.
Plant roots, preserved by no-till, behave as pathways for water infiltration, particularly in water repellent soils, and support large and diverse microbial communities that supply nutrients to plants and contribute to soil health.
Dr Roper said the DBS sowing system also provided significant benefits for a developing seedling.
“Firstly, the provision of liquid nutrients directly below the seed provides a source of water vapour for seed germination,” Dr Roper said.
“The ‘precision seed bed’, created by the DBS closing tool to provide a firm and aerated base for the seed, contains fine capillaries through which water vapour (from the liquid nutrients) can rise to the seed and promote germination.
“Scientific research also has presented evidence that water vapour is the primary source of water for seed germination in unsaturated soils.
“This surprising result stems from the fact that although hydraulic conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude as soil water content decreases, relative humidity within the soil remains near 100 per cent, as long as the soil water content is above wilting point.”
Dr Roper also said the provision of liquid nutrients directly below the seed provided an immediate source of nutrients in available forms in close proximity to newly emerged roots.
“And the soft-closing press wheel of the DBS covers the seed, creating a firm but not compacted indented surface which collects water and enables air exchange around the germinating seed,” Dr Roper said.

BioFurrow a furrow for life

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General
Ausplow’s Biofurrow ™ hypothesis could see annual crop establishments achieved in the same furrow.

Ausplow’s Biofurrow ™ hypothesis could see annual crop establishments achieved in the same furrow.

It is nearing nearly three decades since I started the concept of the Deep Blade Sowing (DBS) system.
And apart from the usual improvements that come with any new system, the basic principles have remained the same.
But now I want to introduce an hypothesis which I believe could help DBS owners move forward on a new pathway.
I call it the BioFurrow™ system of crop establishment ... a furrow for life.
Basically, it a system that enhances what my uncle Percival Yeomans achieved with the Keyline Plan and the Yeoman’s plough (See April Ausfacts).
What Percival couldn’t achieve then, we can now, thanks to technological advances.
I’m talking about in-furrow liquid nutrient management and it’s the focus of our trial work at our Quairading Research and Development Centre.
You are very aware of my pot plant analogy of how the DBS works and I regard the BioFurrow™ as the ultimate broadacre pot plant and ideally suited to in-furrow liquid management.
Essentially it is near-row sowing which encourages plant roots to seek out moisture and nutrients, in the presence of air, by following old root pathways in the same furrow.
Employing guidance technology, it is possible to establish a left-side, right-side alternating sowing pattern each year.
In effect, each crop row can become a ‘furrow for life’ as it takes on similar characteristics you would find in market gardens, where moisture and air and bacteria combine to build fertile soils.
I am convinced the BioFurrow™ system can have application in market gardens too.
We see the benefits as:
1. Re-building and aerating soils, increasing organic carbon levels and elevating moisture-holding capacity, while moderating topsoil pH.
2. Greatly reducing, and in some soil types, eliminating the symptoms of non-wetting.
3. Greatly reducing wet-dry sowing scenarios which lead to staggered plant germinations.
4. Defacto soil amelioration through in-furrow nutrient inputs, eliminating costly conventional amelioration practices such as deep ripping, mould boarding and spading.
5. Enhanced moisture penetration in structure-building furrows, through greater mycorrhizal fungi growth.
6. Retention of beneficial bacteria not destroyed by cultivation.
7. Resultant presence of beneficial bacteria in the ‘pot plant’ rows may mitigate plant root diseases.
8. Less cost through tailored liquid nutrients (no fertiliser or other product spreading necessary) and less fuel due to less horsepower requirements in pulling the DBS seeding rig.
9. Side-to-side near-row sowing will also provide sufficient sub-soil shattering via DBS blades to act as a ‘furrow renovation’ each year, preventing soil-settling that can cause hardpans.
10. Establishing a defacto Keyline system that allows moisture to stay where it falls.
11. Possible frost mitigation through increased Brix readings in healthier plants.
12. Potential for lower seeding rates.
13. Greater competition against weeds
14. A more sustainable crop establishment system.
As with any new system, the initial object is to start with trials to make your own assessments.
Good luck for the rest of the season.

Renovated DBS #53 still going strong

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General
Manoora, South Australia farmer Peter McInerney with his refurbished 30 foot DBS which completed 2000 acres of cereals and pasture establishment this year.

Manoora, South Australia farmer Peter McInerney with his refurbished 30 foot DBS which completed 2000 acres of cereals and pasture establishment this year.

Ten years ago, Manoora, South Australia farmers the McInerny’s bought a 23 foot DBS precision seeder.

It was a second hand machine originally owned by fellow DBS owner and WA farmer Barry Kowald, Katanning. It was bought for Peter by his brother Tom, an agronomist who manages the Nutrien Ag Solutions agency in Gnowangerup, south east of Perth, with Zac Walsh.

Hearing his brother wanted a bigger bar, Tom last year secured a 30-foot S Series DBS D260 (serial number 053) from Ian Laurie, Gnowangerup, with extensions for a wider working width of 36 feet.

Tom dismantled the bar and had it sand-blasted and painted in Gnowangerup before sending the frame and seeding modules to Peter, who renovated it in February this year with the help of Ausplow’s service manager Ray Beacham and staff from Ausplow South Australian dealer Ramsay Bros at Riverton.

“We re-bushed and upgraded all of the tine assemblies to second hand ‘Version 3’ assemblies, resealed all of the hydraulic tine cylinders, installed a new air kit and replaced all of the hydraulic hoses across the bar,” Peter said.

"It might be an old bar but after renovating it came up like a brand new bar and worked really well for us establishing 2000 acres of cereal and pasture.”
According to Peter he used six-inch DBS blades with 50mm split seed spreader boots, effectively creating eight-inch rows on 10-inch spacing’s, which is ideal for his hay crops and increasing weed competition between rows.

We also run RTK guidance between rows mainly for trash flow so we’re not disturbing stubbles and the competition we’re creating with hay crops in the rotation is helping us control our ryegrass weeds better.”

Peter says the big benefit of using the DBS is its precision seeding and excellent plant establishment.

“In some paddocks we still pull up some rocks but 90 per cent of the time the DBS works really well and the tine stays in the ground” he said.

Low profile magic bullets in soil profile

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General
Former CSIRO scientist and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper says her research shows current soil amelioration cultivation practices are harming the soil microbial population responsible for building fertile soils.

Former CSIRO scientist and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper says her research shows current soil amelioration cultivation practices are harming the soil microbial population responsible for building fertile soils.

Stubble removed and cultivated prior to seeding. The dye shows the pathways for water movement have been destroyed. Photo: Margaret Roper and Phil Ward, CSIRO.

Stubble removed and cultivated prior to seeding. The dye shows the pathways for water movement have been destroyed. Photo: Margaret Roper and Phil Ward, CSIRO.

Blue dye shows infiltration down new and old rows in a zero-tilled row. Photo: Margaret Roper and Phil Ward, CSIRO.

Blue dye shows infiltration down new and old rows in a zero-tilled row. Photo: Margaret Roper and Phil Ward, CSIRO.

By KEN WILSON
THERE are no magic bullets.
You have probably heard that ad nauseum in agriculture while encountering such problems as chemical resistance, low soil pH, plant diseases, et al.
As far as you’re concerned it’s a truism, based on self evidence.
But things are changing to a point where CSIRO and GRDC scientists and researchers are pointing to neglected ‘magic bullets’ that exist literally under your feet.
You know them as bacteria, fungi and small soil animals, otherwise referred to as soil microorganisms or soil microbes, which basically are the building blocks of fertile soil.
There are between one and two tonnes a hectare of microbes in the top soil with 70 per cent in the top 10 centimetres, providing more than 10 billion microbes in a kilogram of soil with literally kilometres of fungal hyphae.
The hyphae spreads like a network to capture nutrients and in a highly complex symbiotic relationship, provides these nutrients to plant roots while accessing food in the form of exudates from the roots.
A classic visual of this process is the ‘dreadlock’ roots you find on healthy plants.
What science is now showing, through trial research, is a better way to grow crops - better than what might be regarded as the game-changer for broadacre farming in the 1990s when no-till became the norm.
And better than the evolution from deep ripping (dating back to the late 1960s) to wholesale soil amelioration techniques which has seen ‘rediscoveries’ of the mouldboard plough and the one-way plough.
Today’s focus is on eliminating non-wetting soils, where possible to invert and bury weed seeds (mouldboarding) and mixing lime, clay and gypsum to elevate soil pH (at least in the top 10-20cm of the soil) and to create more water-holding capacity, through an improvement in soil structure.
Ironically, these cultivation solutions, which have given economic responses and on face value appear to be sensible management practices, also promote problems, ie, chiefly, upsetting or destroying fungal hyphae networks.
There is conjecture about how soil microbes and organic matter are affected by technology.
But former CSIRO scientist and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper is in no doubt, on the back of more than a decade of trials, that cultivation practices can reduce organic matter and water-holding capacity in WA’s water-repellent sandy soils.
“We have consistently found in trials over the years that cultivation (and stubble burning) will result in the loss of organic matter in the soil,” Dr Roper said.
In 2008, Dr Roper was involved in a trial program at Munglinup and after four years of measuring organic matter in ‘district practice’ plots (cultivation and stubble burning), a noticeable depletion in organic matter levels occurred in the top soil down to 10cm, compared with no-till plots.
“It happened quite quickly from 2009 onwards,” Dr Roper said. “It was so consistent that we stopped the burning in 2011 but we retained the plots in our overall trial program.
“From 2012 to 2017 we returned all plots to no-till and stubble retention.
“After six years, the plots that were previously burned and cultivated in the first four years of the trial, showed little or no recovery in terms of organic matter levels, water-holding capacity and crop yields, when compared with the plots which had been under no-till and stubble-retention from the beginning of the trial.
“It can really take a long time for the soil to recover from burning stubbles.”
According to Dr Roper, there is world research that shows if you create an environment that increases organic matter, you can achieve a significant increase in available water-holding capacity, and this can be more pronounced in sandier soils.
The problem is getting to that level of soil fertility. It’s not a quick fix.
Understanding how long it takes to restore soil to its optimum fertility remains elusive.
And in an economic environment where every paddock must make money, it’s problematic that any paradigm shift, alluded to here, will occur, particularly with farmers cropping in sandy soils.
But Dr Roper points to trials involving near-row sowing in South Australia and WA which have shown promise.
“At this stage it remains a hypothesis because of the lack of long term trial data,” Dr Roper said. “But initial work I have been involved with for more than a decade does point to a range of benefits.
“Near-row sowing implies establishing crops close to the previous year’s crop rows where there is a high likelihood of moisture, which new roots gravitate towards and establish in old root pathways.
‘It is in this environment, where moisture is present, that beneficial soil microbes populate, including wax-degrading bacteria (eliminating non-wetting).
“And compared to the non-wetting inter-row, the microbial population is far greater than that in the inter-row by a factor of 10.”
It follows that a soil that hasn’t been dried out by cultivation, has the potential to build carbon levels to create more water-holding capacity and increase soil fertility leading to healthier crop plants with high yield potential.
The obvious question is how sustainable is planting in virtually the same row year after year, which can induce plant root diseases.
According to Dr Roper the sheer population of beneficial microbes can play a positive role in suppressing diseases, with trials already showing suppression of crown root rot in cereals.
And the bonus of maintaining the same planting rows, creates a hostile, dry (from non-wetting) inter-row where weeds will struggle to grow.
Additionally, with growing soil fertility implying structured soil, there may be no need for the costly type of deep ripping, spading or mouldboarding.
“I believe near-row crop establishment is the closest thing yet to sustainability,” Dr Roper said.
And she believes there is more to come from research efforts, particularly related to in-furrow liquid nutrient applications.
Currently Dr Roper is working with Ausplow Farming Systems on a trial program at Quairading specifically assessing the attributes of in-furrow liquid nutrient applications.
“We could be on the cusp of something really exciting but it is still early days,” she said.
(Published in Farm Weekly, September 3, 2020 and used with kind permission).

Customer focus hallmark of success

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General
Wongan Hills dealership Boekeman Machinery toured Ausplow’s Naval Base factory last month with Ausplow owners and prospective clients keen to hear the company’s latest news. Here, company managing director and DBS inventor John Ryan (left) talks with Bindoon farmer Kristen Kelly and Boekeman Machinery salesman Ben Boekeman. Kristen has owned a 12.2 metre DBS for three years and picked up some handy information during the tour.

Wongan Hills dealership Boekeman Machinery toured Ausplow’s Naval Base factory last month with Ausplow owners and prospective clients keen to hear the company’s latest news. Here, company managing director and DBS inventor John Ryan (left) talks with Bindoon farmer Kristen Kelly and Boekeman Machinery salesman Ben Boekeman. Kristen has owned a 12.2 metre DBS for three years and picked up some handy information during the tour.

ONE of the main reasons for the success of WA manufacturer Ausplow is its focus on customers.
According to sales and marketing manager Chris Blight, Ausplow staff travel throughout Australia to talk with customers.
“Our after-sales service doesn’t stop,” he said. “We are always focusing on building good relationships and the bonus for us is the good feedback we get that is important to our research and development work.”
A more recent example was a northern Wheatbelt farmer who suggested bigger floatation wheels for the DBS to better negotiate deep-ripped country.
“About 70 per cent of our bars are now sold with floatation tyres,” Chris said.
Another example was a suggestion from the company’s South Australia representative, who after speaking with customers, suggested changes to the mud scraper on the seeding assembly.
“That’s now a standard feature,” Chris said.
Being the biggest seeding and tillage manufacturer in Australia does draw copy-cat designs but according to company general manager Chris Farmer, the salient difference between the company and the copy-cats is the reason why Ausplow entered the market.
“We’ve always been focused on the agronomic aspects of tillage and seeding when we design equipment,” he said. “We’re not just making steel.
“There’s more to it than planting seed.”

Precision move to back manufacturing

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General
Seeding’s over, now for the follow-up rain. That was the topic of discussion between Jennacubbine farmer Darren West (left), his son Dylan, Ag Implements Northam branch manager Luke Siddons and salesman Ted Chester, as they reviewed the performance of Mr West’s new DBS precision seeder recently.

Seeding’s over, now for the follow-up rain. That was the topic of discussion between Jennacubbine farmer Darren West (left), his son Dylan, Ag Implements Northam branch manager Luke Siddons and salesman Ted Chester, as they reviewed the performance of Mr West’s new DBS precision seeder recently.

Jennacubbine farmers Dylan West (left) and his father Darren discuss the performance of the paired row boot which was a specific addition to the DBS because the majority of the West program is growing oats for export hay.

Jennacubbine farmers Dylan West (left) and his father Darren discuss the performance of the paired row boot which was a specific addition to the DBS because the majority of the West program is growing oats for export hay.

By KEN WILSON
JENNACUBBINE farmer Darren West is an avid supporter of WA manufacturers.
So it was an easy decision for him assessing a new seeding bar for this season.
His choice was a DBS precision seeder built by Ausplow at its Naval Base factory.
The D260-46N CTF model was delivered in March by Ag Implements Northam, well before the start of a 1700ha cropping program, the majority of which was oats for export hay.
The model designation translates to a 12.2 metre working width on 260 millimetre spacings designed for controlled traffic farming (CTF). It also is designed with a narrow main frame to negotiate narrow gates.
While Darren has yet to change to CTF, the bar is compatible with his 36.6m boomsprayer.
He started the program on May 5 “into dry dirt” and completed most of the program before waiting for the recent rain (and wind) front to pass before completing the final 250ha of oats and 300ha of wheat on deep ripped sand.
“The bar has done everything I hoped it would do,” he said.
“It didn’t miss a beat in the dry digging to between five and seven inches (125-175mm) without compromising seeding depth and the proof of that was the even germinations.
“We added the paired row boots to the bar because we’re mainly growing oats so we’re achieving a narrower row spacing plus leaving it on for wheat helps with weed competition.
“With about 21 mills for May and June, everything is now up and away.
“And we’ve got 54 mills of summer rain sitting down there which is a good feeling.”
According to Darren, the DBS is built for dry sowing.
“It’s got the weight and it just digs and I was pleasantly surprised we didn’t have any problems with string (from hay bales) wrapping around the tines.”
Darren also praised the quality of components, including the Pro-D tool system which comprises the bolt-less DBS knife blade and adaptor, a new fertilizer boot and fertilizer shield.
All are depth adjustable simply by using a specially-designed hand tool to remove a retaining pin which holds the assembly together.
The hand tool also is used to lock the assembly in place once adjustments are made.
Its newly designed and patented closing tool also is depth adjustable using a hand tool.
“It’s a great idea because we basically have two options to use to cater for soil types,” Darren said. “Basically we can dig between five and seven inches on our heavy country and change to seven to nine inches (225mm) for lighter soils if we want to.
“But the hand tool is still in the plastic bag as we had no need to change any points this seeding.”
As far as Darren is concerned the DBS is “the best you can buy” and “it’s built in WA”.
“I’m impressed with the company’s attitude of wanting my feedback to improve the bar and the after sales services both from the company and Ag Implements,” he said. “Having everything local is really good in terms of quick responses from the company and the dealership.”
This year Ausplow improved the Pro D system with a new V2 closing tool assembly and extended-wear fertilizer shield and boot, allowing for precision granular and liquid delivery.
There’s also a V4 tine assembly with stainless steel fertilizer and seeding tubes for improved handling of mud and sticky clays, new stainless steel liquid delivery manifolds with Friction Flow tubing and stainless steel primary risers.
The top rail of the DBS frame is now 100 x 100mm (previously 100 x 50mm) which enhances strength characteristics by nearly 50 per cent with increased gussets and struts within the frame and new gusseting on the wheel arms. The drawbars also have been strengthened.
p Darren also is a member of the Legislative Council representing the Labor Party. He is currently Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Ports; Minister assisting the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade.
Story and photos courtesy Farm Weekly.

Pot of gold awaits DBS owner

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General

This striking photograph was taken by a DBS customer during seeding, with the comment that he had struck a “pot of gold” using his DBS to establish his crop.
Ausplow has received many comments from owners who have reiterated the performance of the precision seeder, particularly in dry sowing conditions.
In fact much of this year’s program was established dry before the beneficial June rains. With many owners reporting good subsoil moisture there is plenty of confidence going forward.

It’s a wrap for Ausplow 2020 trial establishment

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General
Ausplow R&D coordinator Dr Margaret Roper (left), Quairading farmer Brayden Hayes, nutrient consultant Dave Seagreen and Ausplow engineer Cony Sumoro discuss the Ausplow 2020 trial program after Brayden assisted with the trial work earlier this month pulling the Ausplow trial planter with his Case IH FWA tractor.

Ausplow R&D coordinator Dr Margaret Roper (left), Quairading farmer Brayden Hayes, nutrient consultant Dave Seagreen and Ausplow engineer Cony Sumoro discuss the Ausplow 2020 trial program after Brayden assisted with the trial work earlier this month pulling the Ausplow trial planter with his Case IH FWA tractor.

Quairading farmer Brayden Hayes swings his tractor linked to Ausplow’s trial seeder for one of the final legs of the trial program at Ausplow research and development site at Quairading.

Quairading farmer Brayden Hayes swings his tractor linked to Ausplow’s trial seeder for one of the final legs of the trial program at Ausplow research and development site at Quairading.

Ausplow’s 2020 trial program has been successfully established at the company’s research and development site at Quairading.
The final trials were established earlier this month ahead of good soaking rains in recent weeks.
The on-going program involves liquid fertilisers with the focus this year on assessing nutrient combinations.
These will include a specially-developed Ausplow formulation, designed by the company’s R&D coordinator and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper and nutrient consultant Dave Seagreen.
All the treatments in the trial will involve near-row sowing.
Already uniform germinations are appearing and hopes are high for a good season to evaluate the potential of treatments.

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