The benefits of a double disc system for no-till planting in standing stubble has really paid off for a central Victoria farmer, through minimal wasting of conserved moisture by not busting the soil structure.

Mike Connally has been sharefarming at ‘Woodlands’, near Goornong, just north-east of Bendigo, for about five years. Currently he is growing cereals, canola, lupins and lucerne.

Mike has an RFM Guidance CT 2340 planter, which he bought in early 2010, so it has been used in three sowing seasons. The bar has 33 sets of double discs with 15” spacings, and RFM coil press wheels.

The RFM double disc design has a distinctive 15 degree angle that allows it cut through tough stubble. The serrated lead disc is 25mm in front of the following plain disc which makes for easier penetration. Large 450mm x 4mm plates are recessed for extra strength.

The country on ‘Woodlands’varies from loamy to black heavier soil and Mike pulls the planter with a John Deere 8450, with a 180 bushel Morris air seeder hooked up behind.

“We’ve found that depth penetration is not as problem,” said Mike, “except in the first year with very hard soil. Seed germination is much better with this machine than any other we’ve ever had. I really like the press wheels, especially in mud.”

The patented RFM 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 allows it to self-clean of mud and trash and, most importantly, not pick up seed.

“The RFM planter is easy to use. I’ve been happy with it. It’s easy to get in and around it while you’re working on it,” Mike said.

“We sowed into the patchy areas of a paddock of canola that had been established two months earlier. We couldn’t tell where the original crop was.

“I’m satisfied that it has done the job in hard soil. The double discs are the equivalent or better than expensive hardened points. I’m happy with them. We used single discs before suffering from hair-pinning in trash; this alleviates it, and creates loose dirt around the seed to aid germination. They are better in wet conditions than single discs because they don’t plug up.”

Mike explained that the 15” spacing is to get the crop to put more tillers up, plus for stubble retention and inter-row sowing. “After the drought the crops can finish off well in dry conditions, they are not moisture-stressed.”

For a contract customer he has set the bar up for 7½” spacing for inter-row seeding in oats for hay and said that inter-row sowing, disc over disc, is not a problem, and not as bad as disc over tine.

The RFM Guidance CT 2340 planter has worked 20,000 acres in total so far. In that time Mike fitted a new set of double discs halfway through last season.


Neale Postlethwaite, on the right, chats about the RFM double discs


Neale Postlethwaite, is cropping at St Arnaud, in Victoria and identified a rhizoctonia problem some years ago.

“Our aim is to cultivate below the seed placement so we use deep banding to open up the soil to put the fertiliser below the seed placement and fix the rhizoctonia.

They operate their own design planter and bought 35 RFM double discs for the 2014 planting because their tractor’s front wheel assist failed and as they were planting in very wet conditions, their tynes would not have been pulled. Using the double discs there was 40% less horsepower required.

“We can certainly see the benefit in their use for dry sowing in conserving moisture. There are benefits in using the discs without having to lock in a whole machine. It is certainly a lot cheaper. We can change the tyne system to discs in a couple of hours.”



Lawry Simpson grows wheat, canola, barley and sheep on a 600ha property between Jerilderie, Berrigan and Oaklands in southern NSW and has a CT Guidance 3340 with 12" spacings and press wheels, pulled by a Case 305 Magnum.

The soil is light and sandy through to very heavy sticky black clay, which he says proves the versatility of the double discs.

“We found that this would go through the ‘plasticiny’ stuff very well. It handles and incorporates the stubble very well. No issues of trash building or blocking.”

“We sowed the canola at 3kg/ha and we had good enough germination that we could have sowed lighter. The wheat was sowed at 2cm depth, and we could have gone down deeper with this machine.”

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