Home > Flexi-Coil's precision reduces costs and maximises yields

Flexi-Coil's precision reduces costs and maximises yields

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article image seeding bar with hydraulic tyne

Father and son growers, Roger and Mark Appleyard, used precision agriculture after a few dry years and rising input costs, to maximise the better-yielding areas of their 2,500- hectare property, Glendale, near Geraldton in Western Australia.

The Appleyards purchased a Flexi-Coil 4350 air cart and 50-foot ST820 seeding bar with hydraulic tyne and used five years’ worth of yield map prescriptions to apply through the air cart’s variable rate metering system, to complete their seeding program.

“The system was really easy to use. We used FlexControl to select the field and assign the three tanks then the Task Controller did the rest. We also had the ability to  override or resume the prescription at any time by the press of a button. 

“The system tracks the area you’ve covered on each field and provides read outs on information like ground speed, fan RPM, application rates and even alarms to warn you of low tank levels or sensor failure – all while logging the applied rates to the data card,” Mark explained.

The hydraulic tyne on the ST820 allows growers to sow to the correct depth consistently, and its gentler recoil means less wear and tear on moving parts so less maintenance. “The ST820 handled Glendale’s undulating and rocky terrain easily. “It looks like we will cover the extra cost of going to a bigger machine ($40,000) this year alone,” Mark said. 

The Flexi-Coil 4350 air cart’s huge 15,000 L (430 bu) capacity, with three tanks and a high volume auger that allows for quicker tank fills and unloads, makes seeding faster. 

“Using the bigger machine was more efficient. It saved time, labour and fuel,” Mark said. “We usually use three tanks to distribute three separate products, but this year we used two for seeds and one for fertiliser. This meant we could go for longer without refilling the tanks. 

“This is our third Flexi-Coil seeding bar in a row, and our fourth Flexi-Coil air cart,” Mark said. “When it came time to upgrade, we certainly looked closely at all the options; but with this being a critical year following the driest two years on record we didn’t want to take any chances.”

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