Liquid Systems News

New liquid injection system delivers greater accuracy

QLD growers Ross and Mitch Faint have upgraded to Liquid Systems (SA) equipment and not only eliminated costly down-time caused by their self-built set-up but also achieved more accurate nutrient placement.

  • WHO: Mitch and Ross Faint
  • WHERE: Clermont, Queensland
  • CROP: 4,500ha mixed enterprise farm, crops wheat, chickpeas, sorghum and mungbeans
  • INPUTS: Actify NP mixed with water, Macronutreints (NPKS), Innoculants
  • EQUIPMENT: Liquid Systems (SA) – LQS-PR-1 Module – Stacker Distribution Kit.
  • System set-up completed easily by the grower
  • Ability to apply chickpea inoculate with fertiliser saves time and effort
  • Spot-on accuracy delivers liquid where the plant needs it and avoids any product wastage.

Queensland growers Mitch Faint and his father Ross first attempted liquid injection of starter fertiliser and inoculant on their mixed property back in 2014.

The resourceful duo based at Clermont in Queensland’s Central Highlands region, installed a self-built system on their 12-metre Boss Supa-Flex planter, but soon encountered issues with the set-up.

“We built the system ourselves and ran it from a 12-volt electric pump but were having all sorts of trouble with leaks in the lines,” said Mitch. “It meant we were having a lot of down-time trying to maintain the system.”

The issues led Mitch to research liquid injection systems online, where he discovered Liquid Systems (SA) and purchased the PR-1 module and Stacker Kit in November 2017. “I like that Liquid Systems is an Australian company. And the fact that they specialise solely in liquid systems – putting the time, research and money into perfecting their equipment – that’s what moved me to purchase their system,” he said.

Mitch and Ross,  grow 1200ha of summer and winter crops and 3200ha of buffel grass and bluegrass to feed 800 head of Charbray cross-bred cattle.

Since starting with liquid fertilisers the pair have fine-tuned their approach. Experimenting with high rates of UAN and starter fertilisers  (up to 40-70L/ha) they experienced some poor germination results due to toxicity.

“ With our seeder the liquid fertilisers are applied just behind the disc opener so that seed and fertiliser are in the same furrow. We had to replant some areas, so we have cut back our rates and will spread more urea,”  he said.

They now inject 10-15L/ha of Structure – a liquid starter fertiliser together with 10-20L/ha of UAN and 10-15L/ha of water across all their crops, including summer crops of sorghum and mungbeans and winter crops of wheat and chickpeas. They also add inoculant to their chickpea fertiliser mix which Mitch says is easy, convenient and saves a lot of mucking around.

“I’m very happy with the accuracy of the system,” said Mitch. “It’s been on point with holding the rate, which means we’re not overusing any of the products and we’re also getting the liquid to the plant where it needs it.”

“All of the Liquid Systems hardware is really well built,” said Mitch. “That’s what stood out to me the most compared to what we were using before; everything from the custom fittings through to flow metering and the module controller unit. All the manifolds on the planter work really well too; it’s all good hardware.”

“The installation was great. Liquid Systems provide very clear instructions, so it’s really easy for anyone to assemble,” he said. “I think one of the biggest benefits from choosing this system is how simple and easy it is to use.”

The Faints were already equipped with the extra equipment required at seeding, including a small, single-axle body truck fitted with a 3000L tank and a 3000L tank mounted on their airseeder. The Faints purchase 1000L shuttles with starter fertiliser from a local agent, which is poured into the body truck’s tank with a forklift and mixed using a small Honda motor.

Having used the Liquid System for four years, in late 2021 they upgraded to a better, larger liquid cart, 3,400 L. “We needed something a little bigger so we could increase the rate, but still be able to get reasonable hectares per load.” said Mitch.

More recently they have purchased a new Boss Agriculture summer crop planter, which is configured to 1.5 metre row spacings and provides better seed placement for sorghum planting. Keen to stick with liquid fertilisers, Mitch and Ross set the new seeder up with Liquid Systems (SA) equipment so they can tow the liquid cart and PR-1 module behind.

“We found it straight forward to set up the new planter. It’s all pretty easy to do and it’s all there- the Liquid Systems team provide everything you need to set the module up and get going.”

And for those thinking about making the switch to liquid fertilisers Mitch says you wont regret it.

“Having the flexibility to easily adjust the system for every crop we grow here was a crucial part of our decision to go with Liquid Systems,” said Mitch. “

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