New soil renovator allows farmers to dig deeper

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A locally designed cultivator capable of working to depths of up to 50cm looks set to deliver significant yield increases for Western Australian grain grower and grazier Clint Hunt.

New soil renovator allows farmers to dig deeper
Cultivating with the Paxton Plow SR4 soil renovator is looking set to deliver yield increases of up to 25 per cent for WA grain grower Clint Hunt.

At his property in Coorow WA, Hunt crops more than 5,000ha each year using no-till methods. Prior to purchasing his new Paxton Plow SR4 Soil Renovator, he had been deep ripping up to 200ha of the yellow sand plain country for some years with a chisel plough that could only work down to around 30cm.

However he realised that heavily compacted sand deeper in the soil profile is impeding root development of his crops, causing him to miss out on some yield.

After finding out about several trials other farmers have done with the SR4, Hunt decides to buy one to try out for himself.

He now works down to 45 or 50cm with the SR4 Soil Renovator, breaking up the compacted sand layer underneath. The linkage mounted implement which Hunt pulls with his 600hp Case-IH Quadtrac 600 has 13 tines at 525mm spacings and a width of 6.8m.

"We got the Paxton early in May this year and it went to work on the first day," Hunt says.

"It has done about 250ha this season. We could see the effects very early on – from around emergence onwards."

He says if there is a visible difference in the crop, that could represent a yield increase of up to 30 per cent.

"We normally achieve about 2.0 tonnes/ha here, we’re hoping for 2.5 tonnes off the deep ripped blocks this season," he says.

Some features of the Paxton SR4 Soil Renovator that impressed Hunt include the depth adjustable tines, heavy duty frame, Paxton’s hydraulically adjustable breakout capacity and the implement’s straight ‘non-inversion’ type tine shanks that do not bring subsoil to the surface.

Paxton Plow engineer Wade Smith believes the SR4 is the only trailed machine of its type to boast a heavy duty 400 x 400 x 16mm RHS main beam-drawbar. The frame consists of a 150 x 150 x 9mm RHS.

He adds "more meat around the heel" and a unique design incorporating a full face shinguard and inbuilt adjustment of working depth contributes to the SR4’s ability to stand out from the crowd.

"This is an innovation in hard pan or subsoil renovation," Smith says.

"Every farm’s hard pan is at a different depth and every hard pan is of a different thickness."

"That’s why our SR4 Series has tine shanks adjustable to suit working depths of up to 535mm."

He says the adjustable hydraulic breakout which goes up to 2000lbf adds to the machine’s appeal with very few options on the market able to deliver that.

"We don’t normally do business that way but on this one it paid off," he says.

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