SOUTH Australian company Seed Terminator Pty Ltd is setting up a Western Australian dealer network this week to sell and support its new seed destruction machine.
Called the Seed Terminator, it will be a direct competitor with the Integrated Harrington Seed Destructor, distributed nationally by McIntosh & Son.
But Seed Terminator director Mark Ashenden said the unit was new technology (two patents pending supported by an international legal “freedom to operate” opinion) and met a price point under $100,000.
“It will be an integrated unit designed to fit all colour combine harvesters starting at Class 7 and incorporating Class 8 and 9,” he said.
“Our whole premise in developing the Seed Terminator was that it would be colour blind and meet a more than competitive price point in the market.
“We have achieved those things and we have been swamped by farmers wanting a unit for this harvest.
“We plan to make 2017 a limited release year and our call for expressions of interest has all but shut the gate on further production.
“But we are gearing for full commercial production for the 2018 harvest and we are confident we will have a strong dealer network in place in WA to provide full product back-up.”
According to Mr Ashenden, the Seed Terminator provides a simple one-pass solution to harvest weed seed control.
Weed and volunteer seeds present in the chaff material leaving the cleaning shoe are intercepted and pulverised using a new multi-stage hammermill technology.
It incorporates an efficient mechanical drive system that is driven by the harvester engine, with minimal moving parts, incorporating only shafts, belts and gearboxes.
“It is highly efficient with minimal transmission losses,” Mr Ashenden said.
“The hammermill technology incorporates trade-marked Aero-IMPACT technology, for efficient low turbulence aerodynamic impact.
“The Aero-IMPACT provides the impact needed to kill more than 90 per cent of annual ryegrass seed (as tested by the University of Adelaide) while maintaining a low power draw.”
The mechanical drive system incorporates Smooth-Feed trademark technology to prevent material blockages.
“The power draw with the combination of the hammermill and mechanical drive system is low enough to allow for attachment to Class 7 harvesters,” Mr Ashenden said.
“This technology is only the beginning for Seed Terminator because we will continue to invest heavily in research and development to continue to provide better solutions to grain producers.”
Last harvest the company trialled nine prototype units installed on Case (7120, 8010, 8120, 9240), New Holland (CR 8090, CR 9090) and John Deere (9760 STS, 2 x S680) headers.
The prototypes were trialled in WA, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria across a variety of crops (wheat, barley, canola, lupins, oats, lentils, faba beans), soil types and key rainfall zones.
Additionally, a special project is underway to fit-up and operate the Seed Terminator on a CLAAS Lexion harvester and to investigate an option for Massey Ferguson.
The R&D plan for 2018 includes setting up multiple test-stands to proof and test settings for efficiently killing a wide range of weeds in different crop types; robustness testing of the drive and all components; robustness testing of the mill; using a torque transducer to test and measure the power draw.
“This program is an example of our commitment to improve the farmer outcomes and the value of the Seed Terminator,’’ Mr Ashenden said.
Mr Ashenden, who has extensive banking and accounting experience and holds an MBA, said the idea of the Seed Terminator came from his nephew, Kangaroo Island farmer Nick Berry, who after completing an engineering degree published a PhD on eliminating weed seeds.
“Nick came up with the technology and I assisted with gaining private funds to get the concept off the ground,” Mr Ashenden said.
“Now we are ready to take it to the market and WA will be a major market for us.
“We’ve also had massive interest from overseas, particularly in North America and Europe.”