South Australian Ausplow dealer Ramsey Bros director Hamish Ward (left), Cummins, SA and Eyre Peninsula farmer Steve Glover.

South Australian Ausplow dealer Ramsey Bros director Hamish Ward (left), Cummins, SA and Eyre Peninsula farmer Steve Glover.

Eyre Peninsula farmers Peter and Steve Glover are keen supprters of Ausplow’s BioFurow™ hypothesis.
In fact, for the past 20 years the brothers have unwittingly been using two 60-foot (18.2 metre) DBS precision seeders in what might be called defacto BioFurrow™ crop establishment.
Having bought their first DBS in 2000, the brothers, soon noticed better germinations sowing across the previous year’s furrows.
“We’ve got a significant percentage of our program (9000 hectares) that is non-wetting,” Steve Glover said. “And it was evident that where we sowed close to the old rows, we got a strike, whereas we got nothing in the dry soil between the rows.
“It ended up like a checkerboard pattern in the non-wetting paddocks and while germinations were staggered we got about 60 per cent of the plants up, which was a better result than previous attempts which might have germinated between 10 and 20pc.
“It was very obvious there was residual moisture in the old root pathways that was available to the seeds supporting information that I had heard about sowing in-furrrow.
“We wanted to retain our stubbles which is why we went for 12 inch spacings and on our worst non-wetting paddocks, crop is now established on an angle from the previous year’s rows.
“These paddocks tend to have less stubble residue, and so physically getting through the stubbles is less of an issue.
“It was no surprise to me that there would be a moisture band that seeds could capitalise on if they were closer to those old rows.”
Steve said sowing straight either inter-row, in-row or between 20-30 millimetres from the row would be a way to repeat every year.
“But we’ve two 60-footers and you can get it wrong, even with RTK guidance, if you say sow 100mm off from the row because nothing will come up (in the non-wetting soil).”
(The reason for this is that some spacings are not exactly 12 inches and some rows, because of the tine layout for stubble handling, mean spacings can be 11 inches or 13 inches).
“So sowing across the rows is all about accessing moisture and in the non-wetting soils it is a compromise but it gets a better result than sowing up and back,” Steve said.
“And with the two bars we’re not necessarily going in the same direction every year like you would if you just had one bar.”
After 20 years of “angle sowing” there remains a lot of old root pathways but interestingly Steve says the majority of moisture tends to congregate in the previous year’s rows.
The other observation is that the sandy loams, red loams and limestone soils have become softer.
“There’s no argument that the one-pass and knife blade technology of the DBS had helped considerably in making the soils softer,” he said.
“The key is moisture and air and the action of the DBS creates some deep ripping to allow moisture to get down with nutrients so there’s also some amelioration going on too.
“And we know where you’ve got moisture you got biological activity which is probably another name for Mother Nature.
“The DBS had been a great machine for us and its technology is helping us to achieve more consistent yields every year particularly in those low moisture seasons where it would have been hard to achieve meaningful yields if you didn’t have that DBS technology.
“And it really shines in the non-wetting soils.”

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Sunday, May 16, 2021