Disc demo kicks off field days

Countryman

The WA No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA) disc demo day kicked off the start of the group's 2012 field day season.

Interest in disc seeder technology has gained pace in WA with more than 60 farmers and industry representatives turning up to Beacon farmer Ty Kirby's property this month to see his new NDF SA650 disc seeder in action.

Although the concept is not new, Mr Kirby said Australian company NDF had taken the advantages of the seeding method to a higher level with its new disc machines.

One of the main reasons the 100 per cent cropper decided to try discs was for moisture conservation, however he said the immediate measurable benefits were also fuel savings and seeding efficiency.

After four seasons Mr Kirby is now starting to see many of the long-term benefits of disc seeding, including soil and weed management improvements.

He seeds at 15.5km/h using 2.4L/ha of fuel and pulls the machine with 450 horse power but is confident he could do it easily with 350hp or less.

"There is a direct saving just from using less fuel," he said.

Disc seeders have been shown to improve soil moisture storage and structure but farmers who have used them will know they have had many fundamental problems.

But Mr Kirby, who has been using discs since 2008, said he had never seen a disc machine do what his new machine could.

"NDF have smoothed out all the problems that the old machines had," he said. "My first disc seeder was high maintenance but this machine is as good, if not better, to manage than a tine machine."

Next on the WANTFA events calendar will be the Post Seeding Field Walk on Monday, July 16, in Cunderdin, followed by one in Mingenew on Thursday, July 26, and the annual Spring Field Day on Tuesday, September 4, in Cunderdin.

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