THE aptly-named Bullet disc seeder is proving a popular choice for grain growers looking to get their crop in quickly and efficiently.
The Bullet is manufactured by Tobin Disc Drills at Forbes in NSW.
Managing director Noel Tobin said there had been an explosion in the popularity of disc seeders in the past four or five years, driven by the need to get crops sown quickly and accurately.
“With the fluctuations in grain prices, cropping is all about reducing input costs,” Noel said.
“One of the easiest ways of doing that is to increase sowing speed and efficiency and the Bullet is quite capable of ground speeds of up to 18km/h,” Noel said.
“When you compare that to tined implements which may be running at 9km/h, it’s a big advantage.”
Noel said there had been considerable gains made in disc seeding design in recent years to enable the high speeds with minimal soil disturbance.
“Our single disc units have a 610mm diameter disc and each disc unit has a muffler wheel beside it to reduce soil throw,” Noel said.
“The large diameter of the disc means a big rolling radius and helps the machine to continue to operate effectively in wet, sticky conditions.”
Noel also made reference to recent trial work in Western Australia where a Tobin disc seeder had performed well against two tined seeders.
The trial was conducted by the Corrigin Farm Improvement Group on a 52ha site where wheat was sown last year.
The CFIG performed the trial to specifically compare sowing speeds.
The Tobin Bullet disc seeder sowed the wheat at 16-18km/h while the two tined machines sowed at 9km/h.
The disc seeder was set up at row spacings of 30cm while the tined machines had row widths of 25cm.
The trial’s agronomist Simon Wallwork said the Bullet outperformed the tined machines and worked well across all soil types.”
“Its plots yielded slightly better than the tined ones as well but the biggest gains were from it operating at higher speeds.”
Simon said the trial paddock was mostly flat, with no rocks and the crops yielded about 1.3 tonne/ha.
“There was about 180mm growing season rainfall, so it was a pretty dry year.”
The trial will be run again this year.
The Bullet disc seeder is available in several working widths up to 22m.
Row widths can be varied to virtually any spacings required, starting at 250mm.