TESTIMONIALS ( Queensland )

ALEX MORRIS, CLITON, QLD

Alex Morris works for Layton Free at ‘Colliery Park’ near Clifton on the Darling Downs in Queensland.

They have been trialling four RFM Auspoint coil gauge wheels on a 16 row Excel single disc machine and have planted oats, barley and wheat into their coal black soils.

“The gauge wheels have worked well,” said Alex. “The rubber wheels were always blocking up. We are now keen to get gauge wheels for all of the rows on the machine for our next planting. We find that they perform better than a spoked rubber wheel.”

Alex said that the gauge wheel also acts as a scraper against the disc to clear mud build-up. The farm also operates a John Deere MaxEmerge XP planter and they will have four 12”closing wheels on trial for sowing chick peas in mid-2017.




GLENN ROGAN, ST. GEORGE, QUEENSLAND

Glenn Rogan, from St. George, Queensland grows cotton on around 3000 hectares of brown self-mulching clay soils, under irrigation from Beardmore dam in a ‘paddock to fabric’operation.

He has been using RFM Auspoint coil gauge wheels and closing wheels on a John Deere MaxEmerge XP planter which he has run for 12 years.

“We always had the original equipment gauge and closing wheels,” explained Glenn, “but we had specific compaction problems with the closing wheels which compromised emergence of the plant in certain conditions – about 30% of the time.”

The main issue was with closure, the moist soils would build up on the rubber gauge wheels. About two years ago Glenn heard about the RFM coil wheels; “I had looked at lots of different configurations and thought – this is going to work!”

“Once we did a comparative trial with a couple of coil wheels we decided to go with coil gauge and closing wheels across the lot.”

He has now used the RFM Auspoint equipment on all eight rows of the planter for one season, in 700 hectares planted in mid-October 2017. “We planted dry and watered up.”

“Now I can confidently go into a paddock, knowing that the wheels won’t block up. Because the gauge wheel is self-cleaning, it overcomes the wet and dry layers of soil build-up.

“We believe that between seed planting and emergence, we would normally lose around 20%, so we can now recoup the investment on these coil wheels. The planter runs smoother with coil gauge wheels than rubber wheels, because it breaks up the clods instead of riding over them, and that gives more accurate seed placement.

“Plus, we are now sowing faster – at 10.5 kph instead of 9kph. An unintended bonus is that we use liquid inject and it is easy to see the nozzles now through the coils.

“This has made a good planter an even better planter.”

IAN VALLER, HOPELANDS, QUEENSLAND

Ian Valler from Hopelands, near Chinchilla in Queensland grows cotton and sorghum on Brigalow scrub soil, and has been using RFM Auspoint three coil gauge wheels and closing wheels on his Kinze disc opener, with four rows on one metre spacings, during the planting.

”We planted half the cotton and the last half of the sorghum with the RFM gauge wheels and the closing wheels and that was around 800 to 1000 acres,” said Ian. “The gauge wheels handled the mud well and they act as a scraper for the disc to clear the soil build-up.”

“I thought the coil gauge wheels and closing wheels were doing a good job, I’m happy with them, and I’d recommend them to other farmers.”

Ian commented that he would like to see both left and right versions of the coil wheels and those modifications are currently being developed by the RFM Ag.

Ian also has RFM Auspoint press harrows at 12” spacing on a 12’ John Deere Chiselplow and says they have done a good levelling job in wheat stubble. He would like to do a bit finer job on the soil, so will add more press wheels to bring them back to 8” spacings.




JEFF JONES, GOONDIWINDI, QUEENSLAND

Jeff Jones has 35 years cropping experience at ‘Micron Downs’ near Goondiwindi, in Queensland, and for his seeding program he uses 34 RFM Ag double discs and coil press wheels fitted to his 2006 model Janke parallelogram planter.

So far he has done three seasons with a total of about 4,500 acres of wheat and barley sowing, including side dressing with urea.

“The press wheels are self-cleaning and give great seed to soil contact”, said Jeff. “They really stood out on the last seeding; the coils don’t pluck the seed out of the ground when it’s wet, compared with rubber-tyred press wheels.”

Jeff used 15” plain double discs disc after trial work to get a smaller incision to avoid smearing and moisture loss. As he said: “There was less fracturing and drying out of the soil. It gives even soil contact, with no air pockets. And we have no maintenance issues.”

They plant wheat in mid-late May and he plans to rotate with chick peas.

“This is a simple concept, which allows us to get going a bit earlier and we can plant in wetter conditions.”

JULIAN CROSS, KUMBIA, QUEENSLAND

Julian Cross from Kumbia, near Kingaroy Queensland, trialled two rows of RFM Auspoint coil closing wheels on his 12 row John Deere MaxEmerge planter when he sowed peanuts in December 2016 through to January 2017, into wheat and corn stubble.

“It was heavy residual stubble and I was impressed with how level the coil closing wheels left it,” Julian said. The soil on the property is chocolate forest country to red soil.

“I loved the coil wheels, the maize stubble kept fouling up the normal rubber wheels, but these worked a treat. We’ve now planted all our corn and mung beans with them. There was no trouble with corn getting stuck between the wheels. We avoided cracking in the black soil, but we got 60 points of rain a few days later.”

He will rotate wheat after the peanuts and sow in later April – early May in 2017.

“I would recommend these to other farmers.”




JUSTIN CAMERON, ORION, QUEENSLAND

Justin Cameron, farms 5000 acres at Orion, near Springsure, in Queensland, with some of it black soil that gets sticky when it is wet.

Karingal’ features mainly open downs soil on the hills and brigalow belah on the flats. “It’s good alluvial heavy black soil”, said Justin. But it can be difficult to get through with conventional cultivation equipment when it is wet.

Justin first trialled some RFM Ag double discs and coil press wheels in a winter situation and found them to be robust.

He has now had the RFM Auspoint double discs and tyne-mounted coil press wheels on his Morris Concept 9000 bar for about two years. “They certainly do dig, the penetration is good. You need high pressure,” explained Justin. “We’ll be putting in chick peas soon at three to four inches depth and we are confident that we can do that. We haven’t had another press wheel that doesn’t jam up and we have tried a lot of other press wheels.”

The RFM double disc design has a distinctive 15 degree angle that allows it to cut through the tough stubble. The serrated lead disc is 25mm in front of the following plain disc for easier penetration. The large 450mm x 4mm plates are recessed to handle the roughest of conditions and the discs are fitted with top grade tapered bearings to reduce downtime.

The design provides reduced draft and drag which means faster planting and less fuel usage; other benefits include higher moisture retention and better seed placement.

The RFM spring coil press wheel is designed to squeeze together around the seed rather than pack it down from the top. Pressing all the air out of the ground around the seed gives good soil-to-seed contact,allowing the seed to have an easy establishment. The uniquesqueezing action of the coils enables it to self-clean of mud and trash and, most importantly,

Justin Cameron does ‘opportunity cropping’ depending on the rain; winter crops of wheat and chick peas, and he plants forage for the cows, mainly butterfly pea.

“These discs and press wheels haven’t needed any maintenance at all and we gave them a real try-out in the dry.”

MARK VALLER, DALBY, QUEENSLAND

Mark Valler has been farming near Dalby, Queensland, for sixteen years and currently has 550 acres under crop.

He has a full set of RFM Auspoint three coil gauge wheels on an eight row John Deere MaxEmerge 1700 and planted cotton last season into the heavy black soil with good clay content, which is all irrigated from ring tanks with water pumped from the Condamine River.

He sowed in late November; “It was a bit later than we wanted as we were waiting for the chook manure to arrive. We sowed at 8 to 9 kilometres/hour, with one metre spacings. We planted dry at about ¼” under the soil – if we could get less than that, we would.

“These coils are very good compared with the hard wheels – they crumble through the clods much better.

“We get more even depth in planting and less bounce on the machine. It allows you to keep going in a light shower, so we have more versatility with weather. We can sow a day or two earlier – or start earlier than usual in the mornings.

“I’m very happy with the coil gauge wheels and would definitely recommend them.”

Mark is also trialling two 12” coil covering wheels and feels that they’ll be pretty good.

At the time, RFM Ag were about to introduce 12” coil gauge wheels. Mark had 16” three coil gauge wheels and said that he will be changing these over to the new 12” wheels as he feels they will work even better.




RICHARD BUMSTEAD, DALBY, QUEENSLAND

Five years ago Richard Bumstead, ‘Bellfields’, near Dalby in Queensland, decided to change to RFM Auspoint double discs and self-cleaning, self-closing coil press wheels to overcome hairpinning and mud-build up when planting into stubble.

He now has 33 RFM Ryan tyne-trip double discs and tyne-mounted press wheels fitted to a custom-made 8” x 8” 12 metre toolbar, which is pulled by a New Holland TG285 tractor with 240 PTO horsepower.

The discs are on 15” spacings, and in the past year they have sown 300 acres of sorghum, down to about two inches, and 80 acres of millet, to about ¾”, all at 10 kph, which has posed no problem for the tractor. The property is on black Waco soil and Richard has also planted anhydrous oxide into over 2000 acres without problems. He plans to put in 2500 acres of wheat and barley for the coming season.

“The reason that we decided to go with this set-up was for low maintenance, and that has proved correct”, said Richard. “We have an 80 year old tractor driver and he doesn’t need to be stopping to sort out problems.”

ROSS KAJEWSKI, ORION, QUEENSLAND

When Ross Kajewski, at‘Orion Downs’, Orion, near Springsure in Queensland was having trouble planting into the heavy soils on the property, he trialled an RFM Auspoint spring press wheel, borrowed from his neighbour Justin Cameron.

He was so impressed by its performance that he now has had 23 tyne-mounted coil press wheels fitted to his Flexicoil bar with tynes and points for about two years. The tynes and press wheels have 400mm spacings and the cultivator is pulled by an MT765 Cat Challenger.

“This is sticky soil, you are forever kicking mud off the press wheels”, Ross explained. “Since we fitted the coil press wheels we don’t have to kick it off any more. There hasn’t been a press wheel that has worked really well in this country – until now. And it handles the stones and rocks well. There is no replacing rubber after a couple of seasons.”

The RFM Auspoint spring coil press wheel is designed to squeeze together around the seed rather than pack it down from the top. Pressing all the air out of the ground around the seed gives good soil-to-seed contact,allowing the seed to have an easy establishment. The unique squeezing action of the coils enables it to self-clean of mud and trash and, most importantly, not pick up seed and close the furrow off, for better seed to soil contact.

“We feel we have a better strike – the press wheels are turning all the time.”

‘Orion Downs’ covers 18,000 acres and they run 1200 head of cattle. Ross plants sorghum as a summer crop, and wheat and chick peas for the winter. Lablab is planted as a forage crop for the cattle in rotation with wheat or sorghum. “There is no need for fertiliser”, he said, “it’s better than urea.”

So far the new set-up with the coil press wheels has covered 8,000 to 10,000 acres in both summer and winter planting.

“In dry conditions the press wheels should work well with the clods – for the chick peas we need to get down six inches”, Ross Kajewski said.




SHAYNE INTS, TALWOOD, QUEENSLAND

Shayne Ints is the Manager, Irrigated Farming, for Reardon Farms on their ‘Worrall Creek’property, near Talwood, Queensland.

The farm has 2000 hectares of wheat crop on red clay, chocolate and grey soils, “It is basically, all types of soil,” explained Shayne.

In June and July 2016, they planted 1000 hectares using RFM Auspoint press wheels ona Morris Contourdrill with 60 rows on 12” spacings. The planting included including 500 hectares under lateral irrigation.

“We don’t have to pull up – and there is less maintenance,” said Shayne. “They are self-cleaning and increasing speed cleans them up.”

“In drizzly rain you could see the mud flick off at 11 kph,” commented John Cassidy, who operated the machine. They cut through when the rubber wheels would build up and lift up off the ground.

“We had five different machines in a 300 hectare paddock and this was the only one with coil wheels. The coils are much better.”

GRANT BORCHARDT | TARA, QLD

Grant Borchardt, Tara (at left) with son-in-law, Peter Fourie

 

Grant Borchardt, from Tara in central Darling Downs, Queensland was one of the first owners in that state to fit RFM Auspoint double discs and coil press wheels to his toolbar, four years ago, to overcome hairpinning and mud-build up when planting into stubble.

Grant runs the 8,500 acre property, ‘The Deep’, in conjunction with his son-in-law and sharefarmer, Peter Fourie, and they have 47 double discs and coil press wheels fitted on 10" spacings operating on two metre controlled traffic tracks. “We were originally looking for a disc-type machine”, Grant explained, “we didn’t want to spend a lot of money and other machines that we had seen had mud build-up. We find that the leading scalloped disc on the RFM Ag set-up shifts the stubble and avoids hairpinning."

“With the 10 inch spacings in wheat there is a lot more weed suppression. We sow 4" deep at 11 kph – wet or dry. The coil press wheels give us very good soil to seed contact. And they do a brilliant job. They don’t block up and we don’t get that Kinze crack problem."

“The front sowing boot made a hell of a lot of difference to the precision seeding. We experienced a huge improvement in germination."

“We planted for a neighbour and it was the best crop of oats that he’s ever had.” “We have done a total of 20,000 acres and the benefits that we have found are ease of operation, lower costs and maintenance, and better germination”.




GLEN OGDEN | DALBY, QLD

 

Glen Ogden, from Dalby Qld plants cotton as his main crop, along with sorghum and wheat.

He plants anhydrous oxide into the black soil and now believes that he has the best cultivation equipment to do the job. Glen has fitted 33 RFM Ryan tyne-trip double discs and tyne-mounted RFM Auspoint coil spring press wheels to his John Deere 1610 Chiselplow.

“This set-up is doing as good a job you’ll get”, said Glen. “It is far deeper than the Excel’s single disc that we have tested. We can get going again in four to six weeks.”

They have done 3000 acres so far and Glen explained that they plant at 9 to 10 kph in very hard ground at approximately 8cms depth with variable spacings.

“It keeps more gas in the ground. When it is wet the press wheels are very good. Its ability to shed the mud is what sold me.”


BEN LAWRIE | WESTWOOD, NORTH QLD

 

Ben Lawrie, from near Rockhampton, North Queensland, was originally looking to get on top of the Feathertop Rhoads problem in his cropping program at ‘Evergreen’ when he looked around for a better cultivation set-up.

He has had 23 double discs and press wheels on half-metre spacings fitted to a very much modified Gason 3100 Trashmaster bar for two seasons now. “We wanted to try something different. This is an inexpensive conversion and we wanted something simple.”

Ben said that he has done 1,000 hectares all up so far with no problems. The cultivator is pulled with a 115 horsepower New Holland and he says that it is simple to run; “You don’t even notice the load if the soil’s good. The tractor handles the 23 discs well at just 12 litres/hour.

“The discs are much better than a tyne in the wet. We get a soft return from the disc.

“The double disc and press wheels combination has far exceeded our expectations."

Reliability is good – no bearing problems, press wheels on all the soil types are fine”.

 

 

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