Seed Hawk's Aussie adventure as product turns 30

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As Väderstäd celebrates the 30th anniversary of its Seed Hawk precision seeding system globally, the story of how it grew Down Under is laced with classic Australian ingenuity.

Seed Hawk's Aussie adventure as product turns 30
The Seed Hawk system is celebrating its 30th birthday

Developed by Canadian farmers in 1991, the Seed Hawk concept first made its way to Australia 13 years later.

Since then, it has become a popular product in this market with more than 750 units in use across the country and Australia accounting for about 25 per cent of global Seed Hawk sales.

The first complete Seed Hawk tool bar was imported into Australia in 2004 by New South Wales farmers Ambrose and Lisa Doolan.

They used it in their zero-till cropping system before establishing their own distribution business and exhibiting at field days in their home state.

After Väderstäd acquired the Seed Hawk’s international distribution rights, it was the company’s UK managing director Tim Needham who provided the ingenuity after moving to Brisbane.

Paired here with a Claas tractor, the Seed Hawk has 30 years of history to its name

Assigned the job of developing the Väderstäd brand in Australia, Needham realised that transporting a full-scale unit across the country to showcase it would be impractical.

Instead, he got to work on a 2.5m wide unit which featured 10 Seed Hawk openers, on-board seed and fertiliser tanks, hydraulic metering, a 25hp Honda engine and, crucially, the whole thing mounted on a standard trailer frame and couplings which meant it could be towed by a 4WD.

"The whole thing was made in my garage – the neighbours wondered what on earth was going on," he says.

"When we finished it, I had to take it down to the RTA to get it registered and their engineers didn’t know what to make of it."

This unique demonstration rig drove across Australia several times and drew plenty of interest from those who saw it along the journey.

The Seed Hawk is available in three series with eight different working widths

Another big moment in Seed Hawk’s Australian growth was when Väderstäd appointed Landpower as the product’s Australian distributor.

"We went from having six dealers to 15 overnight – and now we have nearly 30 – and this had an obvious impact on sales," Needham, who is now Landpower’s general manager – product, says.

The Seed Hawk is available in eight working widths between six and 26 metres, with row spacing options of 25cm, 30cm and 35cm.

It is split into three series – the XL, 45 and 30 – which fold to transport widths of 8.6m, 4.5m and 3m respectively.

The Seed Hawk, along with all Väderstäd products, is distributed in Australia by Landpower via Claas Harvest Centres and independent dealerships.

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