TESTIMONIALS ( New South Wales )

CRAIG BARDNEY, YENDA, NSW

Craig Bardney and RFM Ag’s Paul Ryan in Craig’s rice crop, six weeks after sowing

 

Craig Bardney, from Yenda,in the Riverina district just east of Griffith, heard about RFM discs more than ten years ago and liked the idea, but had never sowed with double discs, even though he had used triple discs in the past. His family has been growing rice here since the mid-1920’s when Craig’s grandfather took up a soldier settlement on return from the First World War.

He recently purchased a set of RFM Ag double discs to use in his rice seeding in the last half of 2017 and was originally planning to put the tines back on for the sowing of the winter cereals.

Craig has a nine metre Horwood Bagshaw bar and air seeder with 43 rows of double discs, with 10” spacings and Flexicoil rubber press wheels. He pulls the set-up with a 340hp Case Magnum.

He believes that this spacing is the maximum he needs to go and if you space them at more than 10” it gives yield reduction.

He planted 220 hectares of rice in late October and has now decided to leave the discs on because of the performance.

“I bought the discs too late for the winter cereal planting”, he said.

He has been employing different chemical strategies to combat certain weed resistance, which usually involved aerial sowing which can be an expensive exercise. He now has a completely different chemical with the discs and has found no resistance.

The property consists of red Yenda loam soil, with some sandier soil and one of the main reasons for converting to the RFM discs is that they provide a flatter finish to the paddocks, which was not possible with the tines.

“The level finish to the bays aids irrigation efficiency and it means that you don’t use as much water to get it over the ridges left by the usual tines”, Craig explained.

He aimed for a 20 to 30mm seed depth and the set-up even worked well at 12kph.

“8.7kph is ideal,” he said, “We experienced better fuel consumption; 18 litres/hour compared with a usual 30 litres/hour with the tines.”

Craig Bardney is impressed with the efficiency of the RFM double discs; “So far, so good –I really like them, eight or nine days after watering we are seeing excellent germination. We got accurate seed placing with the front boot. Depending on the seed variety we were sowing at 150 to 120 kg/ha., plus we were putting on 100kg/ha of fertiliser.

“All in all, the faster sowing speed, better fuel consumption and better germination so far, is an all-round good result.”




BEAU WALLISS, BERRIGAN, NSW

 

Beau Walliss has been farming the 3,500 acre (1416 hectares) property, ‘Glen Moidart’, near Berrigan, for the past thirty years and currently grows wheat, canola and field peas, as well as fattening up around 2500 prime lambs each year, which are bred up on another family property at Balranald. The lambs graze on sub-pasture and pea stubble.

‘Glen Moidart’ features red loam soil with a few pockets of red clay. About 3,000 acres are cropped annually and about 40% of the paddocks are irrigated from Murray Irrigation and the Corrugan private irrigation scheme, the rest is dryland.

Five years ago Beau purchased 55 sets of RFM Ryan tines and six sets of press harrows to retro-fit to his Gason 5100 Cultimaster.

The bar is 41’ feet wide and the tines are set at 8-inch spacings. Beau says that this tighter spacing gives a better weed kill and the crop can smother the weeds. The RFM Ryan tines have a universal clamp that fits most toolbars and the adjustable pressure from a high breakout of 400lb to 600 lb make them ideal for no-till farming. Beau has left the tines at the original 400lb breakout, as supplied, and says that he has never needed to set them at more than that.

He pulls the rig with a CASE 240 Magnum with duals all round and says that it handles it without difficulty: “It pulls easier than other set-ups I’ve used, and we get better fuel consumption.”

A Gason 8 tonne triple-box airseeder is used for seeding and they sow the wheat to 2½ inches and the canola to about one inch deep. A small seed box is used to sow the pastures.

“Generally, we top-dress with urea and put DAP through the tubes at sowing time. A lot of people here are going back to top-dressing with urea. We also have the option to sow the canola through the tines.”

Beau has been using this set-up each year for all his cropping and is very satisfied with the performance. Recently a next-door neighbour came in for a look, borrowed a gang to try out and has since bought a set for his own machine.

“I would recommend this equipment to other farmers”, explained Beau Wallis. “We have run the RFM Ryan gear for five years with no bearing problems and we have done very little maintenance in that time – that impressed the neighbour.”

“We put the tines on for a better breakout than the original tines fitted to the bar. It’s more stable and goes well into most stubble. The press harrows handle it all with no problem.”

Beau is happy with the results of this season’s harvest: “We had good yields overall, averaging 5 tonne to the hectare for the wheat and 2 to 2½ tonne to the hectare for the canola. Some of the irrigated wheat went to 7 tonne/hectare.”

BRAD COGAN, AGRONOMIST, MOREE, NSW

Moree agronomist, Brad Cogan, is impressed with what he has seen of the RFM Auspoint coil gauge and closing wheels.

“You can see that you can potentially plant a little faster without compromising the planting operation. They certainly make a difference, and are better than the standard press wheels.

“At planting, you need the difference –it’s very important to achieve a satisfactory even plant germination and population.

I can see a higher percentage of seeds germinating, which may ultimately mean the planting rate could be lowered, this maybe a substantial cost saving and that is beneficial because seed is an expensive component of the whole operation.

“Planting cotton or sorghum into standing stubble can be very difficult, if you can achieve a higher emergence rate, it’s a real positive. This is also the case when planting into very light stubble or none at all, where soil moisture maybe marginal. The coil gauge and closing wheels certainly give better seed soil contact, which is a major advantage.

“I would suggest to farmers that they should trial or seriously consider a change to coil closing or gauge wheels if they are looking to upgrade their equipment. It really depends on whether they want to take it on board”.




CRAIG ALLIT, DENILIQUIN

Craig Allit is a grower and contractor near Deniliquin.He has been using 37 sets of RFM Ag double discs with 9” spacings for three years behind an old RFM Airdrill that he first purchased around 1997.

“They have never blocked up and give a good level job,” he says. He fitted press harrows about 18 months ago.

This last winter planting the cereal stubble was too thick and he did half the planting with the double discs. “It was a pretty good job, we’ll find out about the difference in yield when the crop is harvested.”

Craig said that it was about a three-hour change-over job from tines to discs.

He tried the double discs in a small patch of rice planting for a customer and said that a real advantage is in the fuel consumption; “We’ve gone from 30 hours per tank to 40 hours.

“And we are planting at nearly 11 kph in good going, compared with 8 kph with the tines.

“This is a good move with the double discs, particularly with the option to change back to tines if the situation needs it. The machine is now a lot more versatile, and I would recommend it to other farmers. The ability to retrofit the discs is nowhere near the price of a new disc machine.”

GILBERT BAIN, DENILIQUIN, VIC

Gilbert Bain, from ‘Kilbury’, Deniliquin is a rice and cereal grower and has 45 RFM Ag double discs on an old RFM Airdrill with 7” spacings and two-row finger harrows.

He planted the winter cereal into 150 hectares of rice stubble from the 2017 crop and 300 hectares of cereal stubble.

“We were sowing into wet ground”, Gilbert explained, “we aim for 1½” depth and it rained before germination.

“We had slashed and burnt the rice stubble and it all came up well. There was a fair bit of stubble and we found that it retained the moisture. We sowed at speeds of up to 17 kph behind a 230hp John Deere 8400.

“Fuel consumption is half of what we used to get –we’re using less revs and more speed. The ideal speed for us is 6 mph (9.6 kph) The tines would throw too much dirt and it’s hard on the tractor.”

Gilbert said that he liked the versatility of interchanging between tines and the double discs, and that the discs would be also suitable for pasture. The property runs sheep and cattle to supplement the cropping.

Gilbert’s decision to go with the RFM Ag double discs was for the ability to plant into stubble; “The tines clag up and the discs did what they were supposed to do. It works! No maintenance – just grease them and the job’s right!”

Gilbert said that there was no mud blocking of the sowing boot and he would be prepared to try clover and ryegrass with different boot placement.




ROB WALKER, WAKOOL, NSW

Rob Walker is a graingrower farming at Wakool, in the Riverina, west of Deniliquin. Taking up the property in 1980 after getting out of dairying.

Rob bought 35 sets of RFM Ag double discs in May 2017 and has fitted them to a 20-year-old Gason Scaritil on 9” spacings.

This season he has used the set-up seeding into 250 acres of ‘all fibrous’ rice stubble, behind a 350hp Claas 930, but as Rob said, “you probably only need about 150 hp.”

“We couldn’t get a good burn of the stubble because of the rain. The placement of the seed and urea was excellent. We sowed a bit deep, but the crop came up alright.

“We found it to be a big difference to the tines. It all adds up. We will sow the rice next year with the discs. It’s cheaper to do direct drilling. You get through a lot more trash with these and it’s just a couple of hours sowing.

“My idea would be to not have to burn the stubble at all and use a post-emergent weed spray.” Comment on text

WARWICK WANNON, BULLARAH, NEW SOUTH WALES

Warwick Wannon’s family run a farm at Bullarah, near Collarenebri in northern NSW. During October 2016, they planted 500 acres of dryland cotton and 800 acres of irrigated cotton using RFM Auspoint coil closing wheels on a Kinze planter with a Cyclo Air air seeder box.

“We had as good a germination as we’ve ever had!” said Warwick. “The coil closing wheels solved the ‘opening up the crack’ problem and we had a reasonable plant stand right through the paddock.

“I’d recommend them and everyone I’ve talked to, I’ve told them about the coil wheels.”

Warwick has now ordered a second set of coil closing wheels for broadacre planting on a Gessner single disc opener planter, and a set of RFM Auspoint coil press wheels for the winter planting.



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