IN its first season at Coorow, WA, a new Australian-engineered heavy duty soil renovator appears on track to deliver yield increases reaching 25 per cent.
Grain grower and grazier Clint Hunt crops more than 5000 ha each year on his midwest property using no-till methods.
He had been deep ripping up to 200 hectares (depending on summer rainfall) of the yellow sand plain country for some years, but with a chisel plough that could only work down to around 30cm and suspected he was still missing out on yield.
It emerged that the sand was heavily compacted deeper in the soil profile, impeding root development.
A few different trials that others had done with the new Paxton Plow demonstrated that the pan could be ripped and so he placed an order.
Mr Hunt said he now works down to 45cm or 50cm with a Paxton SR4 Soil Renovator, breaking up the compacted sand layer.
The linkage mounted implement features 13 tines set at 525mm spacings and covers covers 6.8 metres. It is drawn by their 450 kW Case-IH Quadtrac 600.
“We got the Paxton early in May this year and it went to work on the first day,” Mr Hunt recalled.
“It has done about 250ha this season. We could see the effects very early on – from around emergence onwards.
“They say if you can see a visible difference in the crop then that could represent a yield increase of up to 30 per cent.
“We normally achieve about 2.0 tonnes/ha here; we’re hoping for 2.5 tonnes off the deep ripped blocks this season.”
Mr Hunt said he appreciated Paxton Plow features including the depth adjustable tines, the heavy duty frame, hydraulically adjustable breakout capacity and its straight ‘non-inversion’ type tine shanks that tend not to bring subsoil to the surface.
Paxton Plows were designed to be “simple, strong and reliable”. Agricultural engineer Wade Smith who developed the implement, said he believed it was the only trailed model machine of its type boasting a heavy duty 400 x 400 x 16 mm RHS main beam-drawbar. The frame is 150 x 150 x 9 mm RHS.
Mr Smith said the Paxton had “more meat around the heel” of the tine, had a unique design incorporating a full face shinguard and adjustment of working depth was made by varying shank length as evidence of the unit’s working credentials.
“This is an innovation in hard pan or subsoil renovation,” he said. “Every farm’s hardpan is at a different depth and every hardpan is of a different thickness.
“That’s why our SR4 series has tine shanks adjustable to suit working depths up to 535mm.”
He said the adjustable hydraulic breakout – up to 95 KPa (2000 lb/f), would also appeal as there were few options on the market that could achieve that.