Conservation tillage will be critical for farmers across the country this summer, with an equal chance of wetter or drier conditions for most of Australia.
Jarrod Maskell, a territory manager for Kuhn Farm Machinery, said minimum tillage offers farmers the opportunity to make better use of weather windows.
“Weather conditions often only allow a brief period in which to complete crop establishment – picking the right time and acting quickly is important” Jarrod said.
“Where minimum tillage is adopted, although the weather window may be shorter, output is greater, therefore making better use of the available time.”
Jarrod said farmers are also looking to minimum tillage this summer to maximise soil moisture and decrease sowing costs.
“Winter crop production is down on last year’s bumper season and the feedback we are getting from producers is that they are looking to maximise the benefits of conservation farming to reduce labour and fuel costs when planting this summer,” Jarrod said.
“Most farmers are aware of the benefits of minimum tillage systems over conventional tillage systems nowadays from a soil health perspective, but machinery advances have also resulted in significant production costs.”
Benefits of minimum tillage are improvements in soil structure, increased soil organic matter levels and reduced compaction, all leading to increased sustainability and productivity.
“Minimum tillage also preserves the soil structure and reduces the weed germination, but achieving a good soil-to-seed contact has traditionally been more challenging than with conventional sowing or seeding,” Jarrod explained.
“Equipment must be checked regularly to ensure that seed and fertiliser placement are satisfactory and that press wheels are assisting soil-to-seed contact.”
Weed management should also be considered.
“Mastering chemical weed control and creating an efficient stale seed bed, as soon as possible after harvest to benefit from residual soil moisture, between crops is the secret to managing weed control,” Jarrod said.
“Particular attention should be paid to keeping paddocks clear of weeds in the first few years of non-invasive tillage.”
Jarrod said choosing the right equipment will maximise the benefits of minimum till farming.
“Farmers need to cover the largest possible area with the minimum amount of labour. To do this requires suitable equipment and a satisfactory balance between the area farmed and available labour.”
“Our ESPRO 6000 RC sets the benchmark for minimum tillage farming, because it enables farmers to till and seed in one pass, including after the plough as well as minimum tillage.”
Tried and tested in countries around the world, the ESPRO 6000 RC also offers precision at high speed and the ability to work in light as well as heavy soils.
“With the ESPRO farmers can sow up to 121ha (300-ac) in one day, so it’s definitely a machine with a high capacity,” Jarrod explained.
“Due to its special design, the ESPRO keeps soil accumulation in front of the packer wheels to a minimum. In this way, it’s power requirement and fuel consumption stays remarkably low, while ensuring a higher work output – up to 16.4 per cent of power savings is possible.”
Data established in 2015 during internal testing, based on the traction power necessary for the seed drill. Power requirement may vary according to operating conditions and machine equipment.
For more information about the ESPRO 6000 RC contact your nearest Kuhn Farm Machinery dealer on tel: 03 9982 1490.