RFM Ag products helping no-till farmers

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Innovations from RFM Ag help keep the no-till products developer out in front

RFM Ag says its range of Australian-manufactured tillage equipment can take this season’s wet, sticky and heavy trash conditions in its stride, while adding faster sowing speeds, reduced fuel usage and improved germination.

Based in Coolamon, in southern NSW, RFM Ag has been developing revolutionary technology for efficient no-till planting since 2008.

The RFM Ag press harrows are a levelling harrow and coil packer in one product, using three spring coils to eliminate mud and trash build-up

Director and sales manager Bruce Hutcheon says sales of the company’s press harrows, retrofit double discs, spring coil press wheels and tines had been particularly strong over the past two years; off the back of grower demand for quality Australian-made products amid good seasonal conditions.

"There is plenty of subsoil moisture and the seasonal outlook is good, but growers will no doubt be having issues with their stubble loads," Hutcheon says.

"All our machines are now fully made in Australia for Australian conditions, with design modifications made in conjunction with customer feedback.

"With the RFM Ag press harrows, we have made some durability and maintenance upgrades by redesigning the hinge-point on the main arm and the clamps where the coils bolt onto."

The RFM Ag press harrows are a levelling harrow and coil packer in one product, using three spring coils to eliminate mud and trash build up. They feature a quick-change angle and level position and have a low maintenance bearing design.

"We also have the new RFM Ag parallelogram tine-mounted press wheel, a dual-purpose design which can be bolted onto the back of a tine or disc unit, [which] has adjustable spring tensions and the ability to fit the majority of machines on the market," Hutcheon says.

"The action of the parallelogram allows for a constant seeding depth. The press wheel has the RFM Ag-patented coil wheel which brings soft soil back over the top of the seed, leaving a firm tilth without smearing or crusting."

"Growers can also choose our standard coil press wheel, which mounts across the back of any bar and comes with the narrow two coil press wheel.

"The press wheels have a self-cleaning action, avoiding the use of a chain, and self-close the furrows."

With RFM Ag’s popular retrofit double discs, growers have been achieving faster sowing speeds, better fuel consumption and better germination.

The company has constantly developed the retrofit conversions for over 14 years to adapt to more than 50 planters worldwide, with the double discs allowing growers to convert their existing planting tine tip to a dual-purpose machine also suitable for pasture.

The disc has a 15-degree angle, giving it the ability to cut through the toughest stubble load – a serrated lead disc is 25mm in front of the following plain disc for easier penetration.

The large 450mm x 4mm plates are recessed to handle the roughest of conditions and are fitted with a newly designed axle-free hub with a non-greaseable sealed bearing reducing maintenance.

Hutcheon says the new hubs can be retrofitted to the existing older style machines, with the RFM Ag double discs available in single or double boot models, with diameters of 15 or 18 inches (38 or 46cm) and fitted with a tungsten scraper.

"The reduced draft and drag of the discs mean less fuel usage, better seed placement, moisture retention and faster seeding rate," he says.

"The fact you can retrofit your old machine and quickly adapt from disc back to tine gives flexibility in busy seeding periods.

"Optional double plain discs are available and give a reduced soil throw for pasture seeding.

"Customer feedback has revealed using the RFM double disc results in 20–30 per cent higher planting speeds, and this is combined with 30 per cent less fuel," Hutcheon adds.

"The double discs are out working in the sandy soils in Western Australia through to the rocky soils of South Australia, the Mallee soils in Victoria, the self-mulching soils in NSW and the grey and black soils in Queensland.

"In light conditions, growers can start seeding earlier with the discs over a tine machine and, at the end of the day, the disc angle is not minimising soil disturbance."

RFM Ag continues to stock the standard tine with a universal clamp to fit most tool bars. It has adjustable pressure with a high breakout of 400–600lb (180-270kg) making them ideal for no-till farming.

"Over the years we have improved the tine with a brass bush, solid tapered bolt and nut, and a grease point, and it comes with a single or double bolt hole tine leg.

"Our in-house design team has come up with another tine design which is adaptable, simply by moving one pin to place the tension spring in different spots to run from 350lb to 700lb (158– 317kg) pressure. This tine can also be converted to a hydraulic tine."

RFM Ag has a full range of spare parts and back-up service at its Coolamon manufacturing plant, with products in stock and payment on delivery.

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