Seeding steers better course

Countryman

Dalwallinu neighbours Kevin Jones and Barry Batterham like straight lines, so much so that in 2009 they both decided to autosteer their seeding tractors with Trimble automated steering products.

Since then they have seeded a lot of their paddocks with straight lines thanks to the automated steering systems in their tractors and by using Boekeman Machinery’s RTK differential signal network.

They now look back and wonder how they managed to be as efficient before this improvement in their farming methods.

When local farm machinery dealer Boekeman Machinery began erecting RTK towers in and around the Dalwallinu Shire in 2009, Kevin and Barry were interested to know more.

The fact that they could receive a differential signal from their local dealer who would in turn handle any of the support issues related to this service and that they would only pay $1500 (plus GST) for a year’s subscription, sounded like the way to get the most accurate autosteer available.

When asked about the negatives of their local dealer’s RTK network they looked at each other and started to really think.

Without much to say, they were then asked what was positive about a service that offered 2.5cm accuracy 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

They didn’t hesitate — off they went both wanting to speak at once.

Kevin said he liked the fact that with his seeder bar set at 10-inch tine spacings he could seed in the inter-row the following year or if he chose he could go back into the same trench the next year.

Barry said he needed to do this once when he had a small miss in the paddock and he lined up on his original A-B line and went back and resowed exactly where he had forgotten to switch on the airseeder tank.

Thankfully it was only a small miss and with the RTK 2.5cm accuracy he did it with ease.

When asked about the reliability of the Boekeman Machinery RTK network, Barry and Kevin said reliability was probably the best part of moving into RTK.

“It is more reliable to his way of thinking than some of the competitors’ differential signal offerings, ” Kevin said.

“The thing I really like is you get instantaneous signal when you start the seeder up at the beginning of the shift.

“This is something we find very useful — no waiting around for 10 minutes or longer to get a signal.”

With more than 30 RTK towers erected throughout the Wheatbelt, from as far north as Buntine, west to Miling and New Norcia, east to Goodlands, Cleary, Koorda and Trayning and as far south as Beverley, Barry and Kevin are two satisfied customers that Boekeman’s have utilising their RTK network.

With four support staff throughout their four branches, happy, satisfied customers like Barry and Kevin are what they like to see.

Boekeman’s Dalwallinu precision farming specialist, Matthew Joyner, thinks support is what sells the RTK network.

After a very busy May and June tending to many of his customers’ issues, Matt is hoping for a quieter July.

With good rains recently throughout the shire and a lot of post spraying and spreading going on he will likely be just as busy heading into harvest.

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