With the widespread adoption of conservation farming techniques such as zero/minimum till and controlled traffic, modern farmers are finding themselves faced with both emerging challenges and opportunities in the broadacre farming industry.
Improved soil structure, reduced water run off, better soil moisture retention are all by-products of the adoption of these conservation farming techniques and are the driving factors behind growth in profitability and sustainability for the industry.
When it came to replacing a 15 year old Flexi-Coil tine planter Coonamble farmer Dan Keady wanted a machine that was strong, versatile and simple.
And based on conservation techniques Dan also wanted a machine that could easily cut through grass residues as he moved his focus to a pasture cropping operation.
Assessing the Stubble Warrior
After planting 4,000 acres of wheat, barley, chickpeas and vetch Dan has had a good opportunity to assess the Stubble Warrior in various soil types.
“Its versatility has struck me in that it can be set shallow or deep for say, chick peas and it’s easy to adjust. It has displayed a good even germination across all crops and it’s pretty accurate,” Dan said.
Dan’s Stubble Warrior is a trailing 12 metre frame fitted with 36 CR600 parallelogram tine planter units spaced at 26" or 650mm.
His decision to purchase an Excel Agriculture Stubble Warrior was made last year whilst visiting Ag Quip.
“I was looking for something that didn’t leave a big track and for a while I thought seriously about disc seeding but stuck with the tines and press wheel.
“The main benefit of the machine is the strength and simplicity of it.
“The maintenance requirement is minimal with the coulters and press wheel only needing greasing every 2,500 acres.
“The other feature is the high lift which allows you to walk under the machine without having to crawl.
“The guy who works for me just loves it,” Dan said.
Unlike some manufacturers Excel Ag have an ongoing relationship with their clients as much of their research and development is customer led with improvements of the machinery being continually sought.
Standing by the quality of their product potential purchasers of Excel equipment can be given a complete tour of the Excel Agriculture factory in Toowomba where you can get a better appreciation of what goes into Excel equipment.
“The after sales help provided by Excel is pretty good,” Dan said.
“They want to help and they are keen to listen to any queries you may have.”
The advantages in the adoption of conservation farming techniques do not come without challenges, particularly in the area of the specialised machinery required.
The high level of stubble retained from previous crops provides many benefits to the soil, but makes the task of planting the next crop into it a real challenge.
Within the field of planting machinery, the broad distinction can be made between tine planters and disc planters.
Disc or tine?
Many farmers can be heard to swear by tine planters, as do an equal number sing the praises of disc planters.
Manufacturers, naturally, are convinced that the particular type of machine that they make is the solution to all situations.
With this in mind, the Stubble Warrior has been conceived as a modular planting system that can be configured with disc openers or tines, or both, to suit the changing needs and conditions associated with the adoption of modern conservation farming techniques.
The range of interchangeable tooling options is extensive and caters particularly for the need to change between a disc opener and tine opener depending on the given conditions.
The Stubble Warrior planting system ensures that a farmer is not locked into, or out of either disc or tine planting.
The Stubble Warrior row units are available independently and suit 6", 7", & 8" toolbars, or setup as complete machines in linkage or trailing configuration.
Trailing frames are available in 1-4 bar models with a large variety of options including: 90° to 110° Hydraulic fold, contour following pivots for working over contour banks.
Linkage machines are available in 1 bar models with a number of folding, contour following, and end tow options available.
Linkage Lift assist machines are available in 2-3 bar models with either trailing lift assist only, or of the heavy duty Quad-Lift style.
Excel also recognises the need to satisfy the individual needs of the customer and are able to custom build solutions for even the most unusual requirements.
In addition to the manufacture and supply of the Stubble Warrior, Excel Agriculture is also an OEM dealer for Simplicity Australia, which allows them to provide the complete solution from planter to air seeder, setup ready to begin planting ‘right out of the box’.
For further information on Excel's complete range of agricultural products, contact us.