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.
Our second legends of the month are Mick and Heather Schutz from Grass Patch Western Australia. Mick is the owner of the 'Triplets', three John Deere S680's fitted up with three Seed Terminators. He has been instrumental in our Research & Development program, traveling to Kangaroo Island with our Test Stand to work with Nick on power with Aero-Impact 2.0 in early 2018. We caught up with Mick in June 2018.
About Schutz Grains
Mick, Heather and sons Dylan and Tyson crop 7500 Hectares at Grass Patch WA. They have always planned and farmed for the long term future by setting up CTF (Control Traffic Farming) interrow seeding and making their own chaff decks to maintain stubble and place weed seed on tramlines.
2017 was your First Year with Seed Terminator, what encouraged you to invest in three units?
We had taken a keen interest in mechanically devitalising weed seeds at harvest but know the power losses associated with a hydraulic drive from our own design and engineering work. When Seed Terminator evolved we got interested again with the Mechanical Drive and 4 modes of killing weed seeds. We were only going to fit one Seed Terminator, but we saw the new drive on the 2017 models, we bit the bullet and went to three to start the next step into the future of weed seed control. This also allowed us to compare wear and performance against each header. We don't have any major weed seed issues but just wanted to stay in front of control, we believe this is the next step on from chaff decks.
How important is residue retention?
Retaining chaff and stubble is critical organic material to maintain soil health, we have never burnt stubble for weed control!
Why are you passionate about seed terminator?
Using a mechanical method (not cultivation) to control weeds is brilliant. This year we had no mouse problem because they got hungry and died. After one year we had no weed seed germination in relation to chaff spread from headers - very happy one year down.
What about the future?
Power and wear were our two Big Questions after 2017! After being on Kangaroo Island helping Nick with testing this has been address for the 2018 season.
< Nick, Mick and Mark 'the three amigos' at the Kangaroo Island Research & Development Facility in January 2018 working on Aero-IMPACT 2.0 31% reduction in power.