HSD receives national tick of approval

29 Sep, 2010 10:00 AM
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Darkan farmer and well-known farming inventor Ray Harrington delves into the HSD's engine room; its powerful crushing mill that he said turned weed seeds into dust and could do almost the same with blue metal.
Darkan farmer and well-known farming inventor Ray Harrington delves into the HSD's engine room; its powerful crushing mill that he said turned weed seeds into dust and could do almost the same with blue metal.

RAY Harrington has attended 25 field days throughout Australia during the past eight weeks showcasing the Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD) to eager farmers and industry members who have had enough of weeds.

Speaking at the WANTFA spring field day in Cunderdin last week, Mr Harrington said his invention had been extremely well received around the nation with an air of anticipation now building ahead of its future release.

"There's been a huge response to the HSD," he said.

"The weeds have made this machine necessary.

"You only have to look at the ryegrass in the crops here.

"If we catch those weed seeds and don't put them on the ground, we will be a lot further in front."

The machine's popularity is being underlined by the fact it is now being referred to affectionately as the HSD.

Mr Harrington said he could have sold 1000 HSD's during the recent field days roadshow, if the machine was ready for release.

"One bloke said he'd have four just like that and I said that'll be $600,000 thanks," he said.

"The farmers know what the chaff cart can do, they know what row burning and seed collection can do but they don't want to burn rows and that was my thinking 14 and a half years ago."

Mr Harrington expressed gratitude towards Professor Stephen Powles from the WA Herbicide Resistance Initiative, now the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI), for giving the invention a critical boost half way through its development.

He said when the project stumbled Professor Powles tested the original HSD prototype and was encouraged by its performance after the testing extracted good results.

"It went from there because they knew it was going to cost me a lot of money," he said.

"I ran out of money and couldn't keep going but now its GRDC (Grains Research and Development Corporation) funded.

"I'm calling it, 'The Project' because every grower that has delivered a tonne of grain (through GRDC levies) has investment in the project; it's a simple as that.

"It's not my project it's an industry project and is funded by GRDC and they have put a lot of money into it."

Mr Harrington said he would use two HSD's on his Darkan property this harvest and four would be on the market next year.

He said The Project would then set up a business plan with the aim of manufacturing it in three States.

"We are already looking for expressions of interest to manufacture under licence," he said.

Mr Harrington said the HSD's engine room was its powerful crushing mill that turned weed seeds into dust and could do almost the same with blue metal.

"The mill is the guts of the machine; that's what smashes the weed seeds to death," he said.

"It's an impact machine."

Mr Harrington said the HSD was not a silver bullet for weed management.

But he said it would certainly make a big difference on many weed-infested cropping paddocks, with AHRI testing showing that 90 per cent of the weed seeds put through its powerful crushing mill were destroyed.

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