Spartan strikes gold for crop farmer

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Third generation Southern Riverina farmer Jarrod Andrews traded in his five-year-old Krause 3.8 m seeder for a 6m Great Plains Spartan air drill earlier this year and hasn’t looked back since.

Spartan strikes gold for crop farmer
Crop farmer Jarrod Andrews is getting real value for money with his new 6m Great Plains Spartan air drill.

Andrews farms 1092 hectares at Blighty with his family and runs 4000 Dohne/Merino-cross sheep as well as mixed crops covering 728ha such as oats, barley, vetch, clover, grazing brassica and lucerne.

At the Elmore Tillage and Cropping Day earlier in March this year, Andrews and father Jeff clapped eyes on the Spartan in action.

"We looked at John Deere seeders and a couple of other brands but we both liked the Spartan with its double disc arrangement," he says.

Andrews ended up purchasing the Spartan air drill from Cobram Farm Equipment.

"It’s easy to use the Spartan and the uniform ground pressure is very good," he says.

"It has great trash handling even with wireweed, and those front coulters work very well."

"The better the cut, the better the seed placement, and we’ve had very good germination.

The Great Plains Spartan 607 air drill has 40 row units spaced at six inches. Each row unit is a triple disc system with front mounted turbo coulter, trailing double disc opener and press wheel.

The 43 cm front turbo coulters are mounted on big tapered roller bearings and work independently of its openers to cultivate the ground. Straight blades work the soil vertically producing equal conditions for every row.

Hydraulic down pressure and parallel linkage on the toolbar ensure optimal opener-to-ground geometry, while specifically designed hydraulic weight transfer provides uniform weight for constant ground penetration across all the row units.

"Working in soft ground with a horehound problem, we had no blockage and no dirt build-up on the discs and we got a magnificent strike with Hindmarsh barley sown at 80kg to the hectare – as close to 100 per cent germination as you’re ever going to get," Andrews says.

Andrews sows at approximately 11kmph, using both of the Spartan’s 2890-litre hoppers for seed, calibrating at half the rate. He fills up the hoppers in the morning and then just once more during the day and can sow 60 hectares a day.

The length of the Spartan drill and manoeuvrability was initially a worry for Andrews but he later found the 6m Spartan easier to manoeuvre than his old 3.8m Krause.  

"The castor wheels on the back run freely when we’re backing in and around and make it very manoeuvrable," Andrews says.

"In the paddocks, it just follows you everywhere, and it fold up to 2.8 metres for road transport."

"With is bigger hoppers, 6m width and good features, the Spartan has saved us so much time and given us better results."

The Great Plains farm equipment brand is distributed in Australia by PFG Australia.

For more information on the Spartan air drill or other Great Plains farming products, visit http://www.greatplains.com.au/

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