Has the adoption of the Seed Terminator changed your spraying program, as in the past the wheels of your sprayer would have been running on your high traffic run lines with the chaff mat acting as a dust abatement?
Going from putting chaff back on the Controlled Traffic Farming Trams with chaff decks and using the chaff for a dust abatement during the summer spray application, then going to Seed Terminators where we are spreading the chaff load across the cut width. We are seeing a minimal amount of change as the new sprayers are being offered with new tire technology and sizes, therefore we’ve gone with the 420 tires on both new sprayers, whereas before they were on 480’s. Reducing the footprint which in turn reduces the amount of soil disturbance equaling less dust circulation. In addition that if we had to do a double knock with dry conditions we can always perform the first spray on the high traffic run lines that we normally would spray on, while shifting to a low traffic run line to perform the second pass again reducing the amount of dust
Do you feel that reducing weed seeds, harvest losses / volunteers retained your soil moisture this year?
We've had no moisture anyway! It definitely helps, the summer weed pressures aren't there; no broadies, turnips, we don’t have radish, certainly controls all those summer weed volunteers. Doesn’t control melons, we haven't worked out how to put them through the Terminator yet.
How has this affected the time taken to clean up your new blocks?
It's certainly speeded up the cleanup process, we’ve been able to get two controls in one year. Just having that second Harvest control is certainly a win win.
How has the Terminator affected your harvester setup?
With the newer header and new mills, never really affected us at all. Plenty of horsepower and the mill screens being opened up certainly reduced the horsepower significantly, less wear and still getting the maximum kill.
Would you say the Seed Terminator is proof in the paddock
Yes, we have no ryegrass in header trails anymore, so what is going through the machine is definitely controlled. It will just be the hard seed that will take 4-5 years to try and combat, but were slowly getting on top of it.
Is there anything else that is ST pro & cons?
It's definitely a cheap alternative for controlling ryegrass when chemicals are costing $35-40/ha. I believe it's paid for itself in 2 years and it's certainly a very handy tool to control the weed seeds.
Looking at cost of operation and cost of the Seed Terminator, what are you putting that back to harvester maintenance or sprayers?
Both, our running cost on wear and tear $4.50/ha that's to replace every mill, every screen, and throughout the year. Fuel usage is only a couple bucks a ha, it's not slowing us down, only need to do one less spraying operation and were already $5/ha in front and that goes towards the capital of the machine itself.