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Christmas cheer from Ausplow

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General
Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM and his partner Bernadette Turner enjoyed mixing with the staff at yesterday’s wind-up held at the Fremantle Sailing Club.

Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM and his partner Bernadette Turner enjoyed mixing with the staff at yesterday’s wind-up held at the Fremantle Sailing Club.

Ausplow sales and marketing manager Chris Blight (middle) was recognised for his 10 years’ service with the company. Flanking him are Managing Director John Ryan AM and General Manager Chris Farmer.

Ausplow sales and marketing manager Chris Blight (middle) was recognised for his 10 years’ service with the company. Flanking him are Managing Director John Ryan AM and General Manager Chris Farmer.

Independent liquid nutrient consultant and chemist Dave Seagreen with his wife Chantelle. Dave is involved in Ausplow’s liquid trials at the company’s Quairading trial site.

Independent liquid nutrient consultant and chemist Dave Seagreen with his wife Chantelle. Dave is involved in Ausplow’s liquid trials at the company’s Quairading trial site.

Dr Margaret Roper and Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM. Dr Roper is playing a pivotal role in Ausplow’s research and development program with her background as a CSIRO scientist specialising in micro-biology.

Dr Margaret Roper and Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM. Dr Roper is playing a pivotal role in Ausplow’s research and development program with her background as a CSIRO scientist specialising in micro-biology.

Enjoying yesterday’s company wind-up at the Fremantle Sailing Club were Ausplow service manager Ray Beacham and his wife Kay.

Enjoying yesterday’s company wind-up at the Fremantle Sailing Club were Ausplow service manager Ray Beacham and his wife Kay.

Production manager Titus Galsorthy (left) and sales and marketing manager Chris Blight.

Production manager Titus Galsorthy (left) and sales and marketing manager Chris Blight.

Assembly supervisor Claude Vinci and his wife Ronnalyn.

Assembly supervisor Claude Vinci and his wife Ronnalyn.

Production management administrator Adam Baldwin with his wife Cindy and son Chayton.

Production management administrator Adam Baldwin with his wife Cindy and son Chayton.

Company engineer Comy Sumoro (left) with Borka and Slobodan Rajkovic. Slobodan also is an engineer with the company.

Company engineer Comy Sumoro (left) with Borka and Slobodan Rajkovic. Slobodan also is an engineer with the company.

Operations manager Gary Andrews and partner Kris Metcher.

Operations manager Gary Andrews and partner Kris Metcher.

This happy group of welders and boilermakers included father-son combination, fabricator Nolan Panaligan (right front) and Christian (left front), who is a welder.  Behind Nolan are welders Jerson and Teo and boilermaker Nick.

This happy group of welders and boilermakers included father-son combination, fabricator Nolan Panaligan (right front) and Christian (left front), who is a welder. Behind Nolan are welders Jerson and Teo and boilermaker Nick.

Ausplow warehouse manager Stuart Kerr (left) and his wife Jo enjoyed yesterday’s wind-up.

Ausplow warehouse manager Stuart Kerr (left) and his wife Jo enjoyed yesterday’s wind-up.

Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM with production engineer Krunal Patel.

Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM with production engineer Krunal Patel.

It’s onwards and upwards for Ausplow.
That’s the message from Managing Director and owner John Ryan AM at the company’s annual Christmas staff party held at Fremantle Sailing Club yesterday.
“It has been another good year with strong sales,” he said. “Looking at our efforts, we’re actually defying the downturn in the economy and the drought-ravaged States.
“We’ve got a full order bank for 2020 and we’ve already taken orders for 2021 so we’re in a good position.
“I think we can look forward to another exciting year, particularly our research and development program which among things is focusing on our liquid nutrient trials at Quairading.
“Our new Multistream II was released this year and going forward I expect that will become a big part of our product portfolio, particularly with the development of optional liquid section control. We will also trial a patented granular section control system next year.
“I would like to thank our dedicated staff for their efforts this year and wish everybody, including our customers and suppliers, a very Merry Christmas.”

Section control for new Multistream

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General
Final checks had just been completed when this picture was taken recently of the latest Series 2 five tank Ausplow M22000 Multistream liquid-ready air seeder on tracks, bound for the eastern Wheatbelt. On hand at the company’s Jandakot factory were, from left, sales and marketing manager Chris Blight, assembly supervisor Claude Vinci, service manager Ray Beacham and assemblers Adam Reeves and Tony Kennedy.

Final checks had just been completed when this picture was taken recently of the latest Series 2 five tank Ausplow M22000 Multistream liquid-ready air seeder on tracks, bound for the eastern Wheatbelt. On hand at the company’s Jandakot factory were, from left, sales and marketing manager Chris Blight, assembly supervisor Claude Vinci, service manager Ray Beacham and assemblers Adam Reeves and Tony Kennedy.

Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left), and company sales and marketing manager Chris Blight, in front of the new stainless steel-housed liquid work station mounted on the new Multistream liquid-ready air seeder.

Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left), and company sales and marketing manager Chris Blight, in front of the new stainless steel-housed liquid work station mounted on the new Multistream liquid-ready air seeder.

 Ausplow sales and marketing manager Chris Blight says the rear hitch can be configured to accept a implement guidance system with the front and rear towing hitch connections accepting Cat 4 and Cat 5 sizes to suit various tractor and seeding bar sizes.

Ausplow sales and marketing manager Chris Blight says the rear hitch can be configured to accept a implement guidance system with the front and rear towing hitch connections accepting Cat 4 and Cat 5 sizes to suit various tractor and seeding bar sizes.

By KEN WILSON
THE first completed production schedule of Ausplow’s latest Series 2 Multistream liquid-ready air seeders started hitting the road last week to WA and eastern states customers.
And the big news is that they come with optional liquid section control. The company will also trial a patented granular section control system next year with the intent of commercial production for the 2021 season.
The new models come with a host of changes which company sales and marketing manager Chris Blight represents “big value for money”.
“I think more importantly, though, is the fact we are evolving the Multistream with the DBS precision seeder to position both products at the cutting edge of new farming technologies,” he said.
“Farmers definitely want value for money but they also want products that are flexible to suit their individual needs and we’re providing that, along with equipment that is strongly-built and made in WA.”
The main new features include a stainless steel air system, implement guidance systems-ready, updated hydraulic control valve which is ISOBUS compatibility to suit the most popular controllers in the market; a fully hydraulic auger with remote control as standard; hydraulic metering to suit variable rate applications from prescription maps; a dual fan option to cater for higher rates and wider bars; a stainless steel Hypro pump with ‘dial-up’ agitation; push-button LED light package mounted on the chassis for implements, service, walkway, auger and safety; diversion of heated air from the heat exchanger into delivery hoses; separate looms for lights, cameras and controller; marine-grade stainless steel metering units; optional cameras fitted onto the granular metering unit; choice of tyres or tracks and a re-designed safety platform (tow-behind models).
“We’ve also done a lot of work to make the Multistream more functional and easier to use and service,” Mr Blight said.
“An example is the positioning of a small accumulator as oil enters toe heat exchanger radiator to eliminate oil surges.
“Such events cause high pressure and can crack the radiator.
“There’s also the ability to bridge tanks to suit product configurations.
“We have capacities from 1500 litres to 4700L which can be bridged, for example, a 4700L and a 4400L to give you 9100L of the same product.
“Another example is a separate fill station with a 75mm connection for faster fill, which comes as standard on all models.
“And the stainless cabinet which houses the liquid work station is easily accessed for service and has an added feature where you can flush the bar circuit, apart from tank rinse and purging controls.
“We’ve also designed a stand-alone hungry board to attach to the auger hopper to increase in-fill capacity.
“This can then be easily and quickly removed when the auger is used for back-fill.””
According to Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer, the company has four build spots available for the 2020 season.
“With the DBS, we’re out to May and June production now and surprisingly we’re getting orders from the eastern States for the 2021 season,” he said.
“We are now building year-round to an expanding market,” he said.
Ausplow is the biggest seeding and tillage manufacturer in Australia.
By kind permission Farm Weekly, Photo credits: Farm Weekly.

Ausplow trials showing promise

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General
Ausplow researcher and former CSIRO scientist specialising in microbiology, Dr Margaret Roper, taking plant head counts at the Ausplopw  Quairading trial site. "The plants have stood up well considering the low growing season rainfall,"she said.

Ausplow researcher and former CSIRO scientist specialising in microbiology, Dr Margaret Roper, taking plant head counts at the Ausplopw Quairading trial site. "The plants have stood up well considering the low growing season rainfall,"she said.

In-furrow nutrient management is clearly showing promising signs at Ausplow’s 190ha research and development site (143 acres arable) at Quairading.
This year the company established 40 innovative trials to compare granular and liquid fertilisers, with a long-term viewpoint to analyse the benefits of near-row sowing.
Particular focus is on ‘new age’ liquid nutrients developed in conjunction with Loveland Agri Products Research and Development Director Dave Seagreen. Loveland Agri products is a subsidiary of Landmark.
The trials, with controls, are being overseen by Dr Roper, in conjunction with Primaries trial Project Manager John Simpson.
“Essentially we’re evaluating Ausplow’s current system of granular and liquid delivery with a range of new liquid fertilisers, nutrients and trace elements,” Dr Roper said.
“The 10 treatments have been replicated four times in four randomised blocks.
“The plants have stood up well considering the low growing season rainfall,” she said.
Mr Seagreen agreed pointing to the value of in-furrow nutrient management.
“I think what we’re seeing here is the start of a revolution in broadacre crop establishment,” he said.
“The idea of near-row crop establishment essentially sets up nutrient furrows for the life of the paddock, with incremental movement away from the previous year’s crop rows without disturbing the stubble.
“It provides an ideal environment to better manage nutrient application via liquids, concentrating on achieving a balanced nutrient ration, so to speak, to plants.
“This then sets up plants, in the presence of moisture, to better withstand disease pressures and frost events while meeting yield targets.”
“We have introduced nano technology with our liquid nutrients for faster uptake by plants but also to improve delivery flow from the tank to the bar without blockages.
“Our Calbud product, for example, has a dual action in correcting pH in the furrow to allow roots to get through chemical barriers to access moisture and providing good potassium and carbon management.
“This is part of the process which elevates plant sugar content and creates a moisture-holding environment around roots which reduces plant transpiration.
“So with good nutrient management balance, moisture and microbiology, I see furrow management as the best cost effective way of growing good crops.
“I believe it’s the way of the future world-wide.”
According to Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer, the trials mark the start of an on-going R&D project by Ausplow to not only evaluate products but also assess efficient product delivery and machinery design.
“We’re taking a holistic approach to crop establishment which has always been a feature of Ausplow as a manufacturer, to adapt technology to make agriculture more sustainable,” he said.

DBS valuable tool in NSW dry

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General
Chicory pasture sown by a DBS planter in Glenn Innes, NSW, is surviving despite below average rainfall.

Chicory pasture sown by a DBS planter in Glenn Innes, NSW, is surviving despite below average rainfall.

Glen Innes, New South Wales cattle producers Greg and Sally Chappell have faced a tough year like many of their peers.
But despite below average rain, his pasture paddocks are hanging on.
This week he sent across the above picture of a paddock of Commander Chicory, sown on September 23, 2018 at a rate of 1kg/ha, with Cocksfoot Clover and Broome prairie grass.
Since then he has recorded 432.5mm in the paddock against an average of 880mm.
Greg puts down the ability of the chicory to survive to the plant’s long tap root.
But he also has praise for his DBS planter.
“It has penetrated the soil and fractured it with blades working to a depth of between 16 and 18 centimetres,” he said. “This has broken up the old plough pan and enabled moisture infiltration giving access to stored nutrients at depth outside normal root penetrations.”
The Chappell’s next door neighbours Peter and Ros Alexander, who also use a DBS, also report their triticale pastures are “hanging on” in the dry conditions.

Ausplow at Yorke Peninsula field days

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General
Ausplow service manager Ray Beecham (left) and Ausplow Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Blight at last week’s Yorke Peninsula Machinery Field Days. “The reception was pretty good considering it has been a challenging growing season this year,” Chris said.

Ausplow service manager Ray Beecham (left) and Ausplow Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Blight at last week’s Yorke Peninsula Machinery Field Days. “The reception was pretty good considering it has been a challenging growing season this year,” Chris said.

Despite a tough growing season, Ausplow Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Blight said the Ausplow display at last week’s Yorke Peninsula Machinery Field Days ended positively.
“The reception was pretty good considering it has been a challenging growing season this year across the country,” he said. “We met up with existing owners keen to hear about our new developments, along with prospects keen at looking at a DBS for 2021 season.
“There are limited factory allocations for the DBS for 2020 and we’re out to late February with the Multistream,” he said.

Ausplow announces patented section control

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General
Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left) discusses the company's patented section control system with Boekeman Machinery's Stewart Harrison, Wongan Hills.

Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left) discusses the company's patented section control system with Boekeman Machinery's Stewart Harrison, Wongan Hills.

Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM (right) with Boekeman Machinery's Tim Boekeman, checking out the new hydraulically-operated load/unload auger on the Multistream.

Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM (right) with Boekeman Machinery's Tim Boekeman, checking out the new hydraulically-operated load/unload auger on the Multistream.

Pictured at this week's Dowerin Machinery Field Days were, from left, Ausplow service technician Dave Findlay, Coote Machinery dealer Barry Coote, Brookton, Lemara Pereira, Ausplow administration, Gary  Andrews, Ausplow factory manager and Claude Vinci, Ausplow assembly supervisor.

Pictured at this week's Dowerin Machinery Field Days were, from left, Ausplow service technician Dave Findlay, Coote Machinery dealer Barry Coote, Brookton, Lemara Pereira, Ausplow administration, Gary Andrews, Ausplow factory manager and Claude Vinci, Ausplow assembly supervisor.

Ausplow's Dowerin team flank the company's managing director John Ryan AM. From left, Lemara Pereira, Gary Andrews, Chris Blight, Chris Farmer, Ray Beecham, Claude Vinci and Dave Findlay.

Ausplow's Dowerin team flank the company's managing director John Ryan AM. From left, Lemara Pereira, Gary Andrews, Chris Blight, Chris Farmer, Ray Beecham, Claude Vinci and Dave Findlay.

Discussing the company's new section control liquid kit at this week's Dowerin Machinery Field Days were, from left, market and sales manager Chris Blight, Multistream assembler Adam Reeves, service manager Ray Beecham and  service technician Dave Findlay.

Discussing the company's new section control liquid kit at this week's Dowerin Machinery Field Days were, from left, market and sales manager Chris Blight, Multistream assembler Adam Reeves, service manager Ray Beecham and service technician Dave Findlay.

The Ausplow display at this week’s Dowerin Machinery Field Days proved a popular focal point for many farmers keen to catch up on the company’s latest product developments.
And they weren’t disappointed.
Foremost was the news of the start of a research and development program with a patented section control system for the liquid-ready Multistream air seeder.
A limited number will be built for the 2020 season for final testing before commercial availability in 2021.
But DBS owners can take up an option for 2020 with the release of a variable rate liquid kit.
Also released was a hydraulically-operated load/unload auger on the Multistream.
According to Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM, the new developments herald an “exciting future” for the company.
“I’m excited with the direction we are heading,” he said. “We have a lot of projects on the drawing board all aimed at increasing the ability of farmers to grow better crops in better soil environments.
“I believe we have got the fundamentals right with the DBS and our attention remains to continue improving the crop establishment system, particularly with focus on our trials at our Quairading research farm.
“We have a very strong number of researchers and a dedicated team of staff at Ausplow all keen to continue assisting customers and that will continue to be our focus going forward.”

Ausplow trailblazers with liquids

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General
Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left), former CSIRO microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper and former Nutrian director Dave Seagreen, who is now working as a consultant for Landmark pictured at the Quairading trial site.

Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer (left), former CSIRO microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper and former Nutrian director Dave Seagreen, who is now working as a consultant for Landmark pictured at the Quairading trial site.

Ausplow has embarked on its most ambitious project in the company’s history.</p>
In May, at its 190ha research and development site (143 acres arable) at Quairading, 40 innovative trials were established to compare granular and liquid fertilisers.
Particular focus is on ‘new age’ liquid nutrients developed in conjunction with former Nutrian director Dave Seagreen, who is now working as a consultant for Landmark.
The trials, with controls, were planned and will be overseen by former CSIRO scientist Dr Margaret Roper, is working as a researcher for Ausplow.
“Essentially we’re evaluating Ausplow’s current system of granular and liquid delivery with a range of new liquid fertilisers, nutrients and trace elements,” Dr Roper said.
“The 10 treatments have been replicated four times in four randomised blocks.”
According to Ausplow general manager Chris Farmer, the trials mark the start of an on-going R&amp;D project by Ausplow to not only evaluate products but also assess efficient product delivery and machinery design.
"We’re taking a holistic approach to crop establishment which has always been a feature of Ausplow as a manufacturer, to adapt technology to make agriculture more sustainable.
“We have consistently said that using the DBS precision seeder enables farmers to improve their soil while making money at the same time.
“And this new project at Quairading aims to re-enforce that philosophy.”
Establishment of the trials involved Ausplow’s plot seeder, configured with three separate liquid delivery tanks and two tanks for seed and compound fertiliser.
The liquid products were delivered through Friction Flow tubing with the ability to experiment with three separate placements to gauge effectiveness in assisting germinating seed.
The plot seeder was towed by a John Deere 9570RT tracked tractor supplied by Ag Implements, Quairading, with liquid and compound products supplied by Primaries, who also have established their own trials on the Ausplow-owned property, north of Quairading.
Ausplow managing director John Ryan AM said the establishment of the trials was a culmination of more than five years of planning.
“As with the development of the DBS and our liquid-delivery Multistream air seeder, this marks another phase of our growth in focusing on what is the optimum way to profitably grow crops and maintain sustainable rotations,” he said.
“We have some very capable and enthusiastic people working on this project and I am excited at where we are heading because it is truly ground-breaking and of significance to farmers throughout the world.
“I have always believed we had an unfinished jigsaw puzzle relating to crop establishment and that really was a motivation for me to develop the DBS and Multistream.
“Now we’re finding more pieces of the puzzle and I think we’re closer to discovering where they fit into the whole picture.”

Using a DBS for 20 years

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General
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.

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 Tyler Latham (right) and tractor driver Gil Phillips, Ballidu, 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.

Kondut farmer Tyler Latham (right) and tractor driver Gil Phillips, Ballidu, 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.

Filling the 1500 litre small seeds box with canola. The new Ausplow Multistream air seeder

Filling the 1500 litre small seeds box with canola. The new Ausplow Multistream air seeder

By KEN WILSON
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. (Courtesy FARM WEEKLY).

Owners schools great sucess

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General
Ausplow sales and marketing manager Chris Blight has a captive audience at a recent Boekeman Machinery owners’ school at Wongan Hills. DBS owners and their workers, new and prospective owners and Boekeman staff attended the day.

Ausplow sales and marketing manager Chris Blight has a captive audience at a recent Boekeman Machinery owners’ school at Wongan Hills. DBS owners and their workers, new and prospective owners and Boekeman staff attended the day.

The DBS and Multistream were displayed so farmers could check out new changes to the products. A discussion on parts also proved popular.

The DBS and Multistream were displayed so farmers could check out new changes to the products. A discussion on parts also proved popular.

Ausplow sales and marketing manager Chris Blight recently completed an Australia-wide owners’ school trip to update dealers and new, existing and potential owners on the latest changes that have been made to the DBS Version Four and Multistream Version Two.
His five-week trip saw him overseeing tillage schools involving dealers, owners and prospective owners throughout WA, SA, Victoria and NSW.
While farmers are used to header and spraying schools, the annual Ausplow tillage schools, which have been held for two decades, are a fairly rare event in the bush.
And Chris and his team will do it all over again during seeding, visiting new owners with dealers to ensure owners get as much assistance as possible to enhance productivity.
“We want owners to have a great experience with our support,” he said. “Seeding equipment is arguably the most important equipment on the farm and we understand what a huge investment it is.
“So we want to make sure new owners, particularly, step off on the right foot, so to speak, confident they’ve got the necessary information for crop establishment.
“I think it also is important that we build relationships with owners and dealers for better communication and to ensure we’re all on the same page.
“That’s what I mean when I say being involved with Ausplow should be a great experience not just a good experience.”
According to WA dealership Boekeman Machinery, the owners’ schools just keep getting better.
“We had 20 customers attend our day along with farm workers and potential clients,” company representative Ben Boekeman said.
“It was a really positive day with Chris Blight explaining how Ausplow is improving its products to meet customer expectations,” he said. “And he was available to everybody to answer questions and take feedback.
“The school is very valuable for us as a dealership because all our staff get involved, from parts, to sales through to service, so there’s a common understanding about the products.
“And Ausplow follow that up with visits to new owners to help us with the handover and then come back again to see how our owners are doing during seeding and helping with any issues.
“Their support to us is very strong and it has meant we have developed a very good relationship with them and we regularly communicate to each other.”
According to Ben, the standout at this year’s ‘school’ was were changes made to the Multistream.
“Since Ausplow displayed the new Version Two model at last year’s Dowerin field days, we got a lot of inquiry which has since translated into orders for the 2020 season,” he said.
“We are off to a good start for 2020 with the early order discount program and I expect orders will come in strongly once farmers get a good feel for the season.”

Growing vegies 'same as growing crops'

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General
South Fremantle market gardener Lori Sumich is totally convinced deep tillage is a required management practice growing vegetables.

South Fremantle market gardener Lori Sumich is totally convinced deep tillage is a required management practice growing vegetables.

There’s not much difference between growing vegetables and broadacre food crops.
That’s the opinion of well-known market gardener Lori Sumich who has more than 50 years’ experience in the industry.
Arguably you’ve got more control of moisture in a vegetable bed than in moisture-limited areas of the Australia’s wheatbelt, but essentially, it’s a story of air, moisture and nutrients.
And that story is where you find the origin of the Deep Blade System (DBS).
Lori has known Ausplow managing director and DBS inventor John Ryan since the 1980s and John convinced Lori that deep ripping was the way to go, along with deep banding of fertiliser.
His relationship with Lori grew after a trip to Italy to attend an agricultural conference with the late Peter Mirco, a machinery dealer specialising in market gardening, who also was a good friend of John’s.
When John moved to WA after a successful career, including designing the popular Agrowplow - 4000 units were sold between 1977 and 1985.
According to Lori, he and John talked the whole way to Italy about plant establishment and on their return
A somewhat sceptical Lori had to see it with his own eyes – massive yield increases in his lettuce crops – to be convinced, and since then deep ripping has become a management practice.
“We made several prototype rippers to get it right so we could place the fertiliser about three or four inches (75-100mm) underneath the seed.” Lori said. “The deep ripper carried fertiliser and seed hoppers with fertiliser introduced behind the ripping tines.
“Growing onions at Manjimup and Pemberton, you had to drill the super right below the seed and it had to be precise because if the roots didn’t hit it you didn’t get good plant growth,” Lori said.
“In those heavier soils down south the P can be tied up, not like the sandy soils up here where it is more soluble.
“The sort of precision we chase is what is happening with broadacre growers.”
For the majority of the 25 years Lori has been deep ripping, he has used a three-point linkage Agrowplow.
“John made it for me to suit vegie growing,” he said. “It was a five-shank machine and it did the job.
“Now I’ve got a three-row Ausplow model which is three-point linkage with four shanks and leading coulters.
“It’s 1.93 metres wide which is the bed width and it is specifically used for ripping after planting and for renovating empty beds and to improve drainage on low-lying areas.
“We generally rip between 16 and 18 inches (400-450mm) with the leading coulters opening up the ground to make it easier for the shank and the shoe.”
(Ausplow engineering manager Carol Erasmus is overseeing research and development on Lori’s Mandogalup property looking to improve shank and blade wear and overall digging efficiency).
Lori no longer employs deep banding of fertilisers, having switched to fertigation to introduce N,P,K, calcium and other trace elements.
After a crop, seed bed preparation starts for the new crop, with rotary hoeing before seeding.
Then ripping starts, typically two weeks after lettuce plantings and three weeks after celery plantings.
“Ripping puts oxygen in the soil and allows better moisture penetration for roots to access,” Lori said. “It’s very evident that breaking up the soil is beneficial to plants because we can see healthy plants growing and giving us better yields.”
And importantly for Lori, his produce has to taste good.
“If it tastes good you know it has got the right salts from the N,P,K and magnesium,” he said. “If there’s no taste, the plant is hungry for nutrients.”
Using fertigation, Lori has specific ‘nutrient blends’ for different crops and again he says it is no different to broadacre nutrient applications.
“In broadacre you would set up your nutrient requirements based on what you think you’re crops will yield,” he said.
“We do the same, only where you might plan for a three-tonne wheat crop, we plan for between 50 and 100 tonnes a hectare for our cabbages, carrots, potatoes, etc.
“It’s just working out nutrient units per volume and according to soil type.
“For example, if we know our celery will go 80 tonnes, we might out on 400kg/ha of potash in the heavier soils and it will stay there.
“But in our lighter soils we wouldn’t do that because it’ll leach so we put it on as-required by monitoring the crops.”
According to Lori, if he became a broadacre farmer, his preference would be to grow crops with centre pivots to ensure moisture management.
And for crop establishment?
“DBS is the right way,” he said.

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