Western Australian farmer and inventor Ray Harrington had no idea his solution to problem weed control would elevate him onto the world farming stage.
As founder of the Western Australian No-Till Farmers Association (WANTFA) in 1992, Mr Harrington said he recognised the emerging problem of herbicide resistant weeds early.
“I knew I had to come up with a way of either cremating, catching, crushing, cooking or carting weed seeds at harvest time,” he said.
This led to the development of the initial trailed Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD), hitched behind a combine harvester, which included a conveyor system to transport chaff and other material to a cage mill crushing unit.
In 2012, following continual improvements to the design, the trailed Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD) was commercially launched with support and funding from the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC) and its partner project, the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI).
However, it was the move to an integrated Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) available across header brands, in 2016 that made the technology mainstream.
Manufactured by South Australian firm deBruin Engineering, the iHSD is now distributed throughout Australia by McIntosh Distribution and has been fitted to a wide range of brands.
Beaumont WA, farmer, Steve Mansell said he had a hydraulically-operated integrated Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) installed in his New Holland CR9.90 by McIntosh and Son Esperance, last year, in an effort to control ryegrass and radish.
“It gave us a big opportunity to really put pressure on weed seed burdens and in the longer term reduce chemical costs,” he said.
“With the development of an integrated model, it made a lot of sense to destroy weed seeds as they came off the sieves."
Last year, further refinements involving Ray Harrington, local farmers and McIntosh Distribution, led to the release of a vertical, mechanical-drive version of the hydraulically-operated iHSD.
McIntosh & Son, dealer principal southern branches, Devon Gilmour said benefits of the new model included a reduction in cost because there was no need to incorporate the multiple gearboxes.
"There are no gearboxes and electric pumps," he said. "It is the most direct-drive system you can get, and one of the beauties of the system is if something does arise, it is so simple to come up with a solution.
"The vertical iHSD will have a much broader appeal to the market place and can be driven off a much broader range of combines. It can also be easily fitted on-farm."