Machinery

Destructor reduces reliance on herbicides for WA farmers

Grain Central, March 31, 2020

WA producers Roger (right) and Angela (second left) Dring, Carnamah, with farmhand Phil Backman (left) and Matt Howard (second right) from McIntosh & Son, Moora, with the Dring’s New Holland CR8.90 harvester fitted with the Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD), purchased last year.

CHEMICAL resistance is a big concern for Western Australian farmers Roger and Angela Dring, so they take a keen interest in technology that can reduce their reliance.

It was a big factor in their investment in a New Holland CR8.90 header fitted with a Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) last year.

The Drings farm on ‘Lindum’ at Carnamah with their three children, Olivia (19), Jackson (17) and Reuben (15).

Their 4000-hectare property is 95 per cent cropping, with a small number of sheep and a thriving farm stay business.

The conventional cropping program generally comprises 2500ha of wheat, 1000ha of barley and 300ha of canola.

“We try and keep it as simple as we can, in terms of not relying too heavily on chemicals and not growing any GM varieties,” Mr Dring said.

“I guess we’re quite conservation-minded when it comes to our farming. Angela, in particular, is quite passionate about that side of the business.”

The Drings purchased their New Holland CR8.90 fitted with the Harrington Seed Destructor from McIntosh & Son at Moora.

The Harrington Seed Destructor, designed to operate at 3000 RPM to optimise mill capacity, has weed seed kill rates of 99pc.

Invented by WA grower Ray Harrington and developed by UniSA with investment from GRDC, the Harrington Seed Destructor has undergone continuing development in recent years by DeBruin Engineering, together with national distributor, McIntosh Distribution.

The new vertical, mechanical-drive system, which uses the same mill set as the hydraulic version, can be fitted to later model John Deere, Case IH, New Holland and Claas harvesters, with no permanent modifications required.

The Drings completed 215 hours with their new header and Seed Destructor; and are looking forward to seeing the real results over the coming years.

In the fight to reduce their weed seed bank they had been windrowing for the past 10 years, which had proven time consuming.

“It’s been a massive project burning windrows, especially pre-seeding,” Mr Dring said.

“It would normally take a couple of weeks and a lot of late nights. Now that we have the Seed Destructor, that’s a win with saved organic matter, labour and time, not to mention a plus for the environment.

“Hopefully we will be able to pull our chemical usage back, as resistance is a big concern for us. Taking the pressure off chemical can only be a good thing.”

Source: McIntosh Distribution

 

 

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