WHEN you've meticulously precision-planned your 5700 hectare cropping program the next obvious step is to find the right seeding rig.
Yerecoin farmer Troy McDonald (T & S McDonald) knew exactly what he wanted when he set up the farm for a controlled traffic farming enterprise, which called for variable rate application of compound and liquid fertilisers and section control.
And it coincided with a decision to trade his seeding rig.
So this year he ordered a new rig from RedMac, Moora, comprising a Case IH Steiger 500 Quadtrac, a new Simplicity Airseeders 30 Series model airseeder and a 18.2 metre Ausplow DBS precision seeder.
Most of his attention was placed on his requirements for the air seeder and in consultation with RedMac, he chose a new four bin Simplicity Airseeders 28500, with the requirement for a 7000 litre liquid tank, which left bin splits for the remaining three bins at 9000L, 4500L and 8000L respectively.
Cameras are in all tanks.
The dual-wheel 28,500L capacity air seeder also features a 1500L small seeds box (used for canola by Mr McDonald) that has a specifically-designed metering spool for highly accurate continuous delivery.
According to farm manager Dave Forrester the capacity of the liquid tank was worked out based on hectares per fill.
"We wanted a certain amount of hectares done every shift to ensure we maximised our time out in the paddock," Mr Forrester said.
"We used 100 litres a hectare of Flexi-N and fungicides and with the small seeds box, during our canola planting, we were able to use the three remaining bins for compound fertiliser and we did about 280ha before a fill."
Mr Forrester said he was impressed with the section control.
"We do a lot of export oats and overlap using a 72 foot bar (21.8 metres) on angled headlands in controlled traffic created thicker crops that were hard to mow," he said.
"You would get a lot of material laying over in a large windrow causing blockages in the baler and quality issues.
"With the section control we overcame those issues because our mowing would be a lot easier and I expect our productivity will also improve.
"We worked out we probably saved about 90ha with section control, leaving 120 feet of headland (36m) which was seeded last."
Simplicity's section control system features internal electric actuator to engage and disengage each spool module, without the need for continuous power supply.
The company also has incorporated a manual over-ride as a standard feature in case of a malfunction, which is all monitored as each spool assembly has its own sensor system.
This system is all operated by a Topcon X35/Apollo package, which provides the capacity to easily set seed and fertiliser overlap functions independently.
Topcon's app, called Xtend, can be loaded onto a laptop to enable calibration at the side of the bin with a special hook to attach the laptop.
Seed can be set to ensure the field is fully covered with a 100 per cent overlap, and fertiliser/s can be set to a nil per cent overlap, or to any percentage required.
Simplicity has maintained its ground-drive system using the Linear Actuator VR systems with the ability to divert and blend product into different air streams.
The Quadtrac was installed with Topcon GPS and auto-steer systems to fully display the VRC and Sectional Control functions and features.
Hydraulic drive calibration is standard on the 30 Series and the sectional metering body includes a large, non-scratch inspection window.
The sectional spool system is easily accessed for visual inspection and is removable for servicing.
A neat feature is actuated bin lids, using a ground level switch to open and close bin lids.
Another switch is also positioned on the top platform and the actuation can be achieved with a remote control.
"It's a very user-friendly feature and it has worked well," Mr Forrester said.
The company also has incorporated a bin-full sensor which activates light bars positioned on the top of the bin to indicate filling progress.
According to Mr Forrester, it's a clever idea as an alert to switching off augers or pumps at the fill station.
"You can be working on something and you can time it pretty exactly when to get back to the controls," he said.
Mr Forrester said the rig worked a treat this year.
"Troy has always used liquids and was one of the first farmers in the State to use Flexi-N when it came in," he said.
"The DBS came kitted up with Friction Flow tubing and we didn't get any blockages which was great."
The 28500 was one of two 30 Series models introduced into WA this year with section control (the other model was bought by an Esperance farmer).
It is the first model Simplicity has built with a 7000L liquid tank.