Superior finish

July 18, 2017

South Australian contractor Nick Pratt's new Duncan AS 6100 folding tine drill.

South Australian contractor Nick Pratt’s new Duncan AS6100 folding tine drill is creating a superior finish in pasture renovation, and he expects it will help him grow his seeding operation.

Mr Pratt contracts from his home at Penola, 50km north of Mount Gambier. The business, Emu Ridge Ag Contracting, primarily does hay baling and pasture renovation.

Mr Pratt purchased the new 6.1m-wide AS6100 drill in April. He was previously using a 26-row seed drill with six-inch spacings as his main drill.

‘‘We looked at a few different brands but I had done a dairy study in New Zealand in 1994,’’ Mr Pratt said.

‘‘I feel that farmers in New Zealand are some of the best at growing grass in the world.

‘‘The Duncan is a true pasture renovation machine and that’s the line we are going down with our contracting.’’

Mr Pratt likes the simplicity of the Duncan AS6100 seed drill which has few wearing parts.

‘‘It has the coulters on the front, with a Baker boot and rubber-tyre roller on the back. There are L-shaped finger tines for seed incorporation.

‘‘Our other drill didn’t have coulters. We had very good success without them, but we thought the coulters would probably help handle trash. The finger tines weren’t on our old machine but when the seed falls out the back on the Duncan it gets incorporated more.’’

Mr Pratt said the Duncan AS6100 created a beautiful finish. His previous drill had separate press wheels that followed the tine as it was drilling, leaving a small V mark.

‘‘The Duncan leaves a better finished product out the back of the machine. It has totally lived up to our expectations. There were a few little teething problems with it but we have sorted those out.’’

Mr Pratt and his son James have only been using the drill since the start of May and have done about 500ha with it, mostly pasture and some cereal cover crops. They have been around to check on the progress of those early jobs and have found a string of happy clients.

‘‘We tow it with a 250hp Case IH Magnum, which we bought new for the drill because we wanted to make sure we had adequate horsepower. We are very happy with the set-up and we are certainly hoping to build our clientele base over the next couple or three years to expand our contracting business.’’

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