Seed Terminator inventor crushes 40 Under 40 Awards

Countryman
Agricultural entrepreneur Nick Berry created the Seed Terminator.
Camera IconAgricultural entrepreneur Nick Berry created the Seed Terminator. Credit: Lauren Bobridge

An inventor who created the Seed Terminator weed crushing machine five years ago has taken out the Rural and Regional Award in South Australia’s 40 under 40 Awards.

More than 300 people stood up to celebrate Nick Berry when he was crowned the winner at a presentation night on June 10, eight months after installing its 200th machine installation in South Australia.

The 33-year-old Seed Terminator founder and managing director released the Seed Terminator in 2016 and has since sold more than 250 units across Australia and overseas in the years since.

The Seed Terminator can be retrofitted to most harvesters and uses a multi-stage hammer mill driven by the harvester’s engine to pulverise weed seeds, spreading the mulch-like debris behind the header.

The Seed Terminator integrated into a combine.
Camera IconThe Seed Terminator integrated into a combine. Credit: Nick Berry

During harvest, once the chaff and grain have been separated, the harvester flings fling the chaff back onto the ground — including weed seeds that have escaped or resisted the various stages of herbicide spraying.

Tests by the University of Adelaide’s Weed Science Research Group have shown a 96 to 100 per cent kill of ryegrass seeds using the machine.

The mechanical weed seed exterminator is one of his two most notable creations, which also includes a machine to support pest control in the almond industry.

Both creations aim to reduce chemical use and in turn, chemical residue for customers.

Mr Berry grew up on a small grain and wool farm on Kangaroo Island, which sparked his interest in mechanical engineering and building new equipment.

The award, presented by ANZ, was one of eight individual awards bestowed on eight members of the 40 under 40 list.

The cost of destructive weeds to Australian grain growers is estimated to be up to $3 billion a year.

Grains Research and Development Corporation estimate yield losses caused by weed of up to 2.76 million tonnes.

Herbicide resistance is estimated to cost more than than $187 million a year through herbicide treatment costs and other weed management practices.

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