Mark and Dave Taylor crop around 2000ha at Lockhart NSW, growing wheat, canola, fava beans and lentils. Taylor grains was one of our early adopters, we fitted up their Case IH 7120 with a Seed Terminator in time for the 2016 harvest. Despite a run of bad luck in the maiden year mainly due to factory faulty bearings, they managed to add great value by developing new chute work to spread material through MAV chopper (see tweet below).
What prompted you to move to mechanical weed control?
We used to windrow burn just on our canola. Windrow burning works really well as a weed control method, but it removes the residues from the paddock and that really goes against the grain for our farming system. The reason we moved to Seed Terminator was really our ability to retain our residues with the associated nutrients and moisture as well as doing something about weeds.
How important is spread of residue while employing Harvest Weed Seed Control Measures?
Chaff Lining, Tramlining and Chaff carts are all options, but all the nutrients from the residue are confined in lines or chaff dump sites rather than putting those nutrients back across the whole paddock. Then you have the weeds, which you have put through the header, being put back on the paddock with the residue and you either hope they rot or burn them. I believe Seed Terminator is part of the answer, chemicals do their bit, but we need to ensure their longevity.
What about the future?
Power was much higher than we thought it was going to be and an issue with our smaller 7120, but we still got 400ha done in 2017. We're looking forward to the upgrades coming out this year, 30% less power will certainly be a game changer for our operation.