Here QLD Country Life has written a story about one of our customers…Farm manager Matt Young with the dual liquid fertiliser system fitted to the new Boss disc opener planter that has been used to sow summer crops on Canning Downs South’s farms in the Killarney and Allora area. – Picture: SARAH COULTON.
DESPITE dry conditions forcing a late start to summer crop planting towards the end of last year, the 1000 hectares of maize and sorghum crops that eventually went in on Chris Shaw’s Canning Downs South farms on the southern Darling Downs are now powering away.
Handy December rains and summer storms, coupled with further falls in the past week, have given a big boost to the crops Mr Shaw grows on a number of blocks from Killarney to Allora.
The crops are grown to provide grain for the business’s on-farm feedlot. Farm manager Matt Young said they aimed to plant summer crops in September, but conditions at the time were so dry, nothing went in in that month. They sowed the first 200ha of maize at Killarney in mid-November, then December rains be-came the trigger for the full planting.
“We have ended up with 1000ha of crop in, mainly Pioneer P1813-IT corn. There are 230ha of sorghum,” he said. “It is about what we wanted to grow. It just would have been good to have been able to plant it a lot earlier.”
Mr Young said a big factor in the ultimate success of the summer crop plant was a new Boss Engineering disc opener planter that was pressed into service this season. The 12-row planter was custom-built to meet the needs of the operation.
Mr Young said importantly it had the capacity to be folded to a legal width for transportation on the roads between the farms. It was also fitted with two liquid (276 Module) and one granular fertiliser application systems that gave added flexibility; and it allowed planting operations to be conducted in one pass.
“We needed a machine that was reliable and able to get over the country quickly and take advantage of rain when we get it,” he said.
“With only a small window for sowing, being able to do everything in one pass is a big advantage. It rules out having to do about three passes and the need for three tractor drivers. If we hadn’t had it this year we wouldn’t have been able to get in what we did get in.”
With only a small window for sowing, being able to do everything in one pass is a big advantage. It rules out having to do about three passes and the need for three tractor drivers. If we hadn’t had it this year we wouldn’t have been able to get in what we did get in.
Mr Young said having the machine set up for either granular or liquid fertiliser gave him the option of using whatever product was cheaper at the time.
“We got two liquid fertiliser systems on it so we can put the liquid UAN (urea and ammonium nitrate) down in front on rows away from the corn,” he said. “We put it down away from the seed. That lets you put higher rates of fertiliser down all in the one go and not burn the seed. And we can put down the Starter right at the seed to kick the seed along before it comes up.
ABOVE: Stacker Distribution on the Boss Bar: The bottom 2 manifolds: (LQS-PS503 M3 STD Single 50-50 Split Row Stacker) The top manifold: (LQS-PSST3 M3 STD Single Stacker ) Distribution Kit. The system can be utilised as a dual, single, 50/50 or with individual row de-activation to address differing opener spacing.
It is all on one monitor in the cab so the whole operation is pretty simple. All the liquid control system is on the one screen.
“It is all on one monitor in the cab so the whole operation is pretty simple. All the liquid control system is on the one screen.”
Mr Young said he decided to use liquid Starter this season because it worked out cheaper than the granular option.
“We put down anywhere from five to 15 litres/ha (of liquid Starter) whereas if we had been using a granular Starter we probably would have been using 50 to 60 kilograms/ha, so there was a big difference,” he said.
“Also with urea, I think it is a lot easier to handle as a liquid with hoses rather than having to use augers.”
ABOVE:The 276 Module provides independent rate control of 2 separate liquids. It has been designed to complement planters applying liquid at lower rate in-furrow and higher rate between furrows. The second pump can be switched off if not required for different planting regimes.
ABOVE: Complete liquid rig ready for multiple liquid application for summer and winter planting