New Kuhn spreader does the job for Dookie farmer

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When it came time for fifth generation broadacre farmer Steve Ludeman to replace his old spreader, the new Kuhn Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W spreader caught his eye. He bought it, took it home and never looked back.

New Kuhn spreader does the job for Dookie farmer
Steve Ludeman with his trusty Kuhn Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W precision spreader.

For Ludeman who runs a 5000-acre cropping enterprise in Waggarandall near Dookie in north-east Victoria, owning and operating machinery that offers maximum efficiency is of paramount importance.

Ludeman runs the business with his older brother Tony and younger brother Chris. They crop around 3000 acres of wheat and 2000 acres of canola with fava beans to be added to the field sometime next year.

The brothers apply two or three applications of urea and one variable rate spread of sulphate of ammonia through winter; June to late September.

The canola is the first to be topdressed in the crop at the six leaf stage.

"Then four weeks later we give the first application on the wheat and the second on the canola, "Ludeman says.

"At first node stage we apply the second application on the wheat and the third on the canola at the rosette stage.



"Our hard wheat gets a third application for protein if the season warrants it."

All the fertiliser was applied using the Kuhn Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W precision spreader that has just completed its second season on the Ludeman farm. The brothers also use the machine to put out snail bait.

The Kuhn Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W is the third generation of Kuhn’s centrifugal spreaders with individual hydraulic drive of the spreading discs and has been designed for large scale farms. It is available in 3000 and 4000 litre capacities and spreading widths from 18 to 50m.

Read NFM machinery expert Tom Dickson’s detailed appraisal of the Kuhn AXIS 50.1 H-EMC-W spreader

Ludeman says it was the spreader's new hydraulically-driven electronic variable set-up that really stood out for him.

"The auto-shut off saves overlapping which saves on fertiliser and from an agronomic point of view gives a much more consistent spread," he says.

"The section control was particularly attractive, as at the time other manufacturers didn’t have it."

Kuhn’s ‘electronic mass control’ system measures and continuously – once every second- regulates the fertiliser flow to each disc independently.

A weighing frame fitted with two weight scales continuously indicates the quantity remaining in the hopper for better management of the operation.

Ludeman operates the spreader with a John Deere 8235R tractor and he says the two machines are very compatible. The spreader has been purchased through ag-machinery dealership Hutcheon & Pearce’s Albury branch.

Ludeman Farm Kuhn Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W Spreader
Kuhn's Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W precision spreader regulates the fertiliser flow to each of the two discs independently by measuring every second.

"We get most of our machinery through them, and we were particularly impressed with their knowledge of the GPS system and their back-up service."

According to Ludeman, there were several minor teething issues at first with his Kuhn Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W that were mainly to do with the ISOBUS connection but they came as no surprise to him.

"You expect that on a new model. This was the first machine in Australia."

"The Kuhn spreader plugs into the John Deere GreenStar system. The Kuhn technicians worked with John Deere to organise the compatibility of the systems so there is no separate monitor for the spreader.

"It uses the John Deere in-cab monitor, unlike a lot of other brands."

Ludeman shares the spreading and sowing workload with his younger brother Chris while older brother Tony looks after the spraying operations.

"The best thing about the Kuhn is that it works well in all conditions; humid or dry, regardless of the quality of the product that you are applying, it adjusts the rate to what you need," he says.

"That means good economics and peace of mind.

"Other benefits are the hydraulically-driven motors for the two spinners which give a constant spread pattern and it is soft on the material – which is important."

Ludeman says ease of operation is another standout feature of the Kuhn Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W.

"Once you set the parameters into the GPS and the rate of application, you can forget it," he says.

The tractor’s GPS follows the perimeters of the paddock first, creating ‘shaded areas’ and then steers up and down the paddock. As the machine goes into each shaded area, it automatically shuts off and resumes spreading as it comes out.

Find out more about the Kuhn Axis 50.1 H-EMC-W or Kuhn’s range of spreaders on the company’s website.

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