SOUTH Australian-based Seed Terminator has established itself in the Western Australian market with more than 100 units in operation.
In its third year of production it has more than 150 units in total operating throughout Australia and six units are being used in Canada, Europe and the United States, operating in conditions and crop types not normally seen throughout Australia.
According to the company's WA representative Joe Limbaugh, the Seed Terminators incorporate a 100 per cent mechanical drive system, that is a driven by the harvester engine, with minimal moving parts, incorporating only shafts, belts and a gearbox.
Recently, Case IH teamed up with Seed Terminator to incorporate a factory design drive.
Year 2019 models incorporate a new multi-stage hammer mill technology trade-marked as Aero-IMPACT 3.
"The three-stage hammer mill gives you the reassurance of a 98pc kill no matter the moisture level or mill speeds between 2500 and 3000rpm," Mr Limbaugh said.
"The mill set will totally devitalise volunteers at 1500rpm whereas other mills have to operate at 3000rpm to achieve the same result.
"And the Seed Terminator has the ability to spread the chaff fraction the full-cut width, improving potassium value in the soil, which can be worth between four and five dollars a tonne of grain, dependent on the crop type."
Last week Mr Limbaugh was speaking with Seed Terminator owners, including east Wubin farmers Keith and Boyd Carter.
The pair bought two Seed Terminators from AFGRI Dalwallinu and Boekeman Machinery Dalwallinu to fit to respective John Deere S680 and Case IH 7240 headers, as part of their integrated weed management (IWM) strategy.
"We're on the edge of resistant weeds and we want to put as much pressure as we can on weed seed burdens," Boyd Carter said.
"The terminators are new tools in the toolbox and we're hopeful they can help us achieve a reduction in weed populations without burning.
"We've also got sheep and we've had chaff carts in the past, so the terminators will be an extra hammer on the weeds."
Boyd's father Keith agrees saying the strategy to kill weeds exiting the headers was "a better way to go"
"We no longer burn windrows so we can leave the trash and spread it like fertiliser," he said.
As far as power draw is concerned Boyd Carter said it was similar to pulling a chaff cart.
"What surprised us a bit was the good wear on the mills," he said.
"It was better than what we expected."
A nuance of using the Seed Terminator was the importance of setting up the headers.
"You've got to keep as little straw as possible going over the sieves to keep it out of the terminator," Boyd said.
"You know when you're not doing a good job because the terminator lets you know if there's too much straw going into it.
"It can be a trap for inexperienced drivers."
According to Mr Limbaugh a big part of the company's focus in WA is to stay connected with the market by speaking with owners and dealers about the product line and how it fits in with harvest operations.
"The company is in a continued mode of receiving feedback from owners to improve wear and reduce power requirements," he said.
"From a weed kill viewpoint, measurements in WA are at 98pc and we've just received kill test results for the Seed Terminators working in Europe, with a mid-90pc kill rate for European black grass, which is a predominant problem, much like our ryegrass, but much harder to fully kill.
"This is exciting for all parties involved from the potential customer base as well as Zurn Harvesting which is marketing the product throughout the European countries as well as the CIS and Russia."
Mr Limbaugh said the units in operation within Australia represented 281 completed harvests totalling 716,000 hectares, with an average kill rate of 98pc.
"That means farmers have terminated 4.296 billion weed seeds," he said.
"We're now honing in on our cost per hectare and that is being achieved by cost efficient production.
"For example, we've lowered the cost of a set of new screens by $2300 while making them, 60 per cent thicker.
"This is due to sourcing locally manufactured steel in conjunction with changing our methods of manufacturing.
"And our initial 2016 prototype units are now running on 2019 technology, due to our future-proof platform, allowing for latest mill technology to plug into the existing chassis, leaving no one behind when it comes to the latest mill technology.
"The refinements we have made to the system are showing less power draw and longer-wearing mill components, equalling lower cost of both ownership and operation."
Mr Limbaugh said the Seed Terminator can be installed in six makes of combine harvesters - Case IH, CLAAS, AGCO IDEAL, Massey Ferguson and New Holland - representing 24 different models.
"Another interesting statistic is that 80pc of the harvest weeds are captured by the combine harvester," he said.
"We need to stop the combine harvesters unintended role as a weed seeder and stop the spread of weeds.
"It's not just about reducing the overall population of harvest weeds; it's about reducing the spread of patches of weeds.
"We need to think about capturing and destroying the weed seeds as we harvest, rather than spreading them 300 metres down the paddock."
The Seed Terminator dealership network in WA includes AFGRI Equipment, AG Implements, Baxters Rural Centre, Boekeman Machinery, Coote Motors, Farmers Centre 1978, Farmers Centre WA, Geoff Perkins Farm Machinery, Hutton and Northey Sales, and Staines Esperance.
More information: Joe Limbaugh 0428 822 409 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit seedterminator.com.au