FOR a lot of Western Australian farmers, controlled traffic farming is all about transitioning.
Get machinery widths right and you’re away.
But the wallet doesn’t follow the mind that quickly.
Hence the word transition, which is what Dalwallinu farmers Kevin Sawyer and his son Michael are doing.
“We’re moving to get the whole farm under controlled traffic,” Michael said.
So this year two 18.4 metre (61ft) bars left the farm and were replaced with two 24.2m (80ft) Bourgault 3320 Paralink High Flotation Hoe Drills, linked to two new Bourgault 6455 tow-between air seeders.
“We went for the Bourgaults because we had two 6350 Bourgault bins and we experienced good service from the dealers (AFGRI Equipment, Dalwallinu) and we knew we could get any major parts pretty quickly from Bourgault’s head office in Armadale,” Michael said.
“Company staff also will come up to sort out any problems.
“Plus the machine is solid and does the job.
“We’re sowing on 12 inch (30cm) spacings, digging at about 2in (50mm) and we’re sowing barley so that’s going in at half an inch (12mm).”
Michael also likes the high flotation main frame running gear and steering system.
Bourgault has incorporated a hydraulically-assisted, wagon-style steering design for safe and predictable tracking behind the tractor during field use or transport.
The main frame is carried by big 800/65R32 tyres, supported by 540/65R24 front castor tyres.
With such a wide bar, keeping it on track can be a problem, hence Bourgault’s hydraulic-assist design.
Interestingly, this has increased the Sawyers’ interest in near-furrow sowing, particularly with their intention to adopt 30 centimetres (12in) row spacings on the controlled lines.
Depth adjustment moving across typical “Heinz 57” soils is another big feature of the Bourgault bars with its QDA (quick depth adjustment) feature.
Bourgault said the 3320 was the only drill on the market that offered both independent depth control and quick seed depth adjustment – allowing you to adjust your seed depth in a matter of minutes.
To set the seed depth at the frame, hydraulic cylinders are extended to lift the frame, allowing shims to be slid in or out of position.
Once the shims are set, the cylinders are retracted back into operational position.
The QDA provides 10 shims on each ram with each shim equalling 3mm (1/8in) of seed depth adjustment for 32mm (1/¼in) of total quick depth change range.
The walk-around process to change the shims on the rams takes about two minutes.
Seeding depth can still be set on the Paralink seed opener assembly to optimise the quick depth range and for adjustment of individual openers operating in wheel tracks.
This technology provides a consistent seed depth even when seeding at an angle to the previous year’s furrows.
The 3320 has full in-cab control of packing and tine force, with one click of a pressure control toggle to adjust system pressure.
Large castor wheels minimise the ground pressure resulting in low compaction, good transport handling ability and good floatation in wet or soft conditions.
The 6455 tow-between air seeder also means less fills, in an operation that is achieving about 42 hectares an hour with both rigs.
According to Bourgault, its 6000 Series Air Seeder metering system transmits power from the wheel through a main clutch and drive shaft.
Separate gearboxes are stationed along the drive shaft, each protected with its own torque limiting clutch.
The patented interconnecting tank design means you can operate the 6455 as a two, three or four tank system with efficient use of the air seeder volume, regardless of seeding rates or product being applied.
To reconfigure, you simply open or close internal ports to redirect product flow.
The seeding rigs also comes with 7000 litre liquid carts for banding Flexi-N.