Seed Hawk planter a high flyer

16 Mar, 2015 01:00 AM
G.J. Clarke director, Luke Hocking, with one of the 37 Seed Hawks the South Australian Mallee district business has sold in the past 2.5 years.
The Seed Hawk's sowing precision meant it created better germination
G.J. Clarke director, Luke Hocking, with one of the 37 Seed Hawks the South Australian Mallee district business has sold in the past 2.5 years.

WESTERN Australian agricultural consultant and no-till expert Bill Crabtree said the precision seed placement capabilities of the Seed Hawk planter made the machine a "class act" among sowing implements.

On a visit to the South Australian Mallee, Mr Crabtree said the Seed Hawk's sowing precision meant it created better germination, particularly in crops such as canola where seed depth was critical.

"I did a trial with the Seed Hawk in WA. We found there was just about double the establishment to what we got with machines that had a standard knife point, closer plate and press wheel behind," he said.

"We got all the seeds at the right depth, plus or minus two or three millimetres. If you were going for 15 millimetres it pretty much got 15 millimetres most of the time."

Mr Crabtree said, in effect, the Seed Hawk placed the seed on an undisturbed ledge of soil.

"It is like a laser cut. You just cut and put the seed onto undisturbed soil which is very powerful in non-wetting soils because you haven't shattered the soil and it doesn't get fluffy and dry out," he said.

"You have the seed sitting on the soil that could be a little bit wet, so it strikes better."

He said he had found the Seed Hawk is a big advantage in the harder country such as non-wetting sands and stone.

"I have heard some people say the Seed Hawk is a bit risky in stony country, but I don't think it is," he said.

"If you leave it in the ground and turn sharp corners it is very risky because the parallelogram is long. It is like a crowbar. You are putting a lot of pressure on it if you are turning sharply.

"The Seed Hawk on rocky country needs to be lifted properly and operate on nice straight runs. Backing off the packing pressure minimises the risk in rocky country."

Mr Crabtree said the Seed Hawk's capacity to keep fertiliser away from the seed was an advantage, particularly with crops that were sensitive to fertiliser toxicity.

Neil Lyon

Neil Lyon

is the national machinery writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


6/04/2015 6:47:03 AM

If the seed companies moved away from the daylight robbery upfront model and towards an EPR based fee recovery system, few would consider spending so much money of equipment to chase precision on rates. We'd all be sowing at 3kg/ha again.
Unhappy cocky
10/04/2015 4:35:02 AM

Pretty funny, D8, all your PGA mates are bemoaning the EPR model. Using the better varieties but guess what, they don't want to pay for them. If it makes commercial sense, people will pay EPR.


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