Harrington Seed Destructor drawing eyes

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Harvester-integrated seed destructors are garnering interest in South Australia’s Mid North region according to a local machinery branch

Growers tune-in to hear about the workings of the latest Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) during a Ramsey Bros Riverton demonstration day held at Owen
Growers tune-in to hear about the workings of the latest Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) during a Ramsey Bros Riverton demonstration day held at Owen

Ramsey Bros branch manager Justin Smorti says the limited rainfall received in the South Australia’s Mid North region has hindered the activation of pre-emergent herbicides, ultimately disturbing the management of ryegrass, wild radish and brome weed populations.

This has led growers to seek out various weed killing strategies to help control weed seed banks at harvest, including cutting hay and straw, using chaff carts and narrow windrow burning, but last year saw several growers opt for head-installed Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD).

"It’s definitely a positive to be able to control the weed seeds while you are harvesting and it eliminates the need for some of those labour-intensive strategies like windrow burning," Smorti says.

Earlier this year Ramsey Bros demonstrated the Harrington Seed Destructor with its latest vertical mill design to growers at Owen, near Riverton, in a wheat crop being harvested to raise funds for the local football Club.

"The old design used horizontal mills and had uneven wear, this has now been resolved with a vertical mill design and positive displacement auger. It allows the material to feed evenly into the mills," Smorti says.

To maximise mill capacity, the Harrington Seed Destructor is designed to operate at 3000 RPM. Independent testing confirmed the Harrington Seed Destructor destroys up to 99 per cent of targeted weed species at various harvester speeds.

"Definitely in relation to the high seed kill rate numbers, the cost is the lowest we see of all available products," Smorti adds.

"The horsepower draw on the machine has been improved by using a mechanical drive," Smorti adds. "We saw a small increase in fuel consumption, but there was no effect on any harvester capacity at all.

"They don’t have to harvest slower; most farmers don’t even know it (the Harrington Seed Destructor) is there."

A rear hatch with the vertical design allows for easy grain loss checks and a chute to be installed for chaff windrowing. The Harrington Seed Destructor also features a stone trap.

"With other systems, objects can go into the mills, but with the Seed Destructor they fall into the stone trap, you can see anything that would have otherwise gone through the mills," Smorti says.

Ramsey Bros Riverton branch has installed Harrington Seed Destructors on Case-IH, New Holland and John Deere headers before the last harvest and is expecting increased activity for the 2020 harvest.

"There are plenty of keen eyes out there now looking at the results of the systems," Smorti says.

"One grower with an 8000-hectare program who installed a Seed Destructor on one of his harvesters last year is already considering a second one," he adds. 

The Harrington Seed Destructor was invented by WA grower Ray Harrington and is designed and manufactured by de Bruin Engineering and distributed nationally by McIntosh Distribution.

Its core mill technology was developed by UniSA with funding and support from GRDC.

The latest mechanical-drive system can be fitted to later model John Deere, Case IH, New Holland and Claas harvesters, with no permanent modifications required.

Growers are being encouraged to lock in their "build slot’’ to upgrade their harvesters with the machines at the earliest opportunity for the 2020 harvest as Harrington Seed Destructors are in limited supply Australia-wide.

Producers also can take advantage of the Federal Government’s $150,000 instant asset write-off until June 30 under its latest stimulus package to aid their purchases.

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