New carts part of York seeding program

New carts part of York seeding program


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 York farmer Erin Emin estimated he spends six months of the year on a sprayer with some relief this year after limited summer rains. Mr Emin is now spraying knock down and pre-emergent before the air seeder. "It takes you out of doing other jobs on the farm, but it's just what we have to do," he said.

York farmer Erin Emin estimated he spends six months of the year on a sprayer with some relief this year after limited summer rains. Mr Emin is now spraying knock down and pre-emergent before the air seeder. "It takes you out of doing other jobs on the farm, but it's just what we have to do," he said.

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TWO new 9550CT Morris air carts joined the seeding fleet on the Emin family farm at York for this year's seeding program.

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TWO new 9550CT Morris air carts joined the seeding fleet on the Emin family farm at York for this year's seeding program.

Erin Emin, who runs the spraying side of the farm, said both seeding boxes were section-controlled and now had liquid functions.

He said they were still learning how to use them a few days into seeding, which started in the last week of April.

"We spent a bit of time prior to seeding getting the new gear sorted," Mr Emin said.

"We have never had to do liquid before, so that's new and filling the cart is a little more difficult.

But Mr Emin said putting liquid through the bar would take some time off spraying which was beneficial in the long run.

Mr Emin's full-time worker David Hooper said it took him a few days to get used to the computer system behind the new box.

"Once you get your head around the monitors, it's a good system," Mr Hooper said.

"We used to do about 40 hectares with the old box and now the new ones will do between 70-80ha."

Eight people are working on the property.

Mr Emin said between feeding sheep, disc ploughing, seeding, spraying and burning, everyone was keeping on their toes.

"We run 10,000 sheep which my brother Adrian looks after," Mr Emin said.

"We both run the cropping program in parts as it's a big part of our operation.

"My dad Kim, who started here in the late 1960s, also helps a lot around the farm."

Another two casual workers are expected to start working on the property to keep the tractor moving for longer hours.

"It takes up to six weeks to put the whole program in with the two 12 metre bars," Mr Emin said.

"I would like to upgrade the two bars to 18m which would make it easier.

"In a 12-hour shift you have done your hectares for the day."

But big machinery can be challenging in some areas, especially the hills of York.

Mr Emin said used the autosteer on the GPS runs when they could, but it was not spot-on yet.

"It's very hard to go around rock heaps which don't line up and you are constantly doing laps," he said.

"But machinery being auto shut-off makes it easier, especially with the bigger bars, because you aren't overlapping seed and fertiliser, just the wheel tracks."

This year the Emins started their 6000ha seeding program two weeks later than normal due to the dry start.

"We weren't really in a rush with the weather and there was no motivation to just get going," he said.

Mr Emin said they also weren't ready earlier because they were setting up the seeding boxes.

The program consists of a majority of barley and wheat, with oats and canola making up the rest.

They also grow a few hundred hectares of lupins, on their sand country.

This season the Emins have also dropped 200ha of canola out of their program which will be replaced by barley and wheat.

"We have been caught before," Mr Emin said.

"Last year was a very late start for us with canola and it didn't work out very well in the end.

"For what it cost to put in, it was quite a poor return so we are cautious of that now."

A big issue for Mr Emin this year is the lack of sub-soil moisture.

Last year they had 200mm of summer rain underneath before they started seeding.

"I think we would have been lucky to have 10mm since January this year," he said.

"Which is good because I wasn't spraying and it saved a chemical cost, but it is good to have something in the ground so when it does rain you don't need much to get it all started.

"It's also not as hard on the gear - at the moment the ground is pretty solid."

Last year's wet winter created challenges on the farm, with some paddocks resulting in 30 per cent water logging.

"Sometimes we get water logging worse than frost here," he said.

"When it gets wet here, it's wet, so a drier year is sometimes better.

"There is a difference between good rain and too much."

Mr Emin said a lot of the wet areas last year filled up with ryegrass and eventuated to nothing with the crops becoming quite dirty.

"The rains were so big and everything went from too dry to too wet," he said.

"But the later crops that come up were clean and yielded just as well so this year we don't see the rush."

Taking their time to get into the season, Mr Emin said they were still burning some of their paddocks.

"We have held of burning because we run sheep and we couldn't burn much with the sheep only been shifted in the last week or so," he said.

"We are lucky with the sheep over summer because it was so dry the feed held on.

"They have been really easy up until now.

"We will start pushing them off the stubbles and now is the time they will need feed."

Each year they leave 3000ha out to the sheep, which includes pastures and unarable country.

"We crop everything that is able to be cropped and leave every- thing else for the sheep," Mr Emin said.

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