Clean farm focus wins the war on weeds
Carey Loton, McIntosh & Son Wongan Hills and Andrew Vearing (right), Product Support Manager with de Bruin Engineering, caught up with Toodyay grower Aaron Candeloro during the recent harvest to update the performance of the family’s latest vertical, mechanical direct drive Seed Destructors.
Toodyay, Goomalling and Victoria Plains shires, WA
Cropping 13,500 hectares to wheat, barley, canola and lupins.
How does the constant weed challenges influence your approach to farming?
“You never farm for maximum profit; you farm for maximum cleanliness – and then you will win. We can aim for the highest yields and all talk about big yields and profits, but with that focus you can end up with dirty paddocks. Depending on the weeds, we may need to change our rotation plans at times and perhaps go with canola more. Ryegrass, radish and brome grass can all give us a headache. Herbicide-resistant weeds are an issue. We have 100 per cent Roundup resistance off firebreaks.’’
What was behind your decision to choose the latest vertical, mechanical direct drive Seed Destructor for your five New Holland CR10.90 harvesters?
“As our headers got bigger, the Seed Destructor kept up with the horsepower requirements to handle the bigger machines. It has a good drive package, so belts don’t slip and you can drive to the load of the header motor – you want to harvest at full capacity. We can harvest with the Seed Destructor at 6-7 kilometres per hour.’’
The Candeloros have Seed Destructors on all five of their New Holland CR10.90 harvesters, with several pictured in full swing during the recent harvest.
What are some of the key benefits you see with the destructors?
“They are very easy to operate and there is little maintenance – we just grease a bearing. And the mills are worn-out now, but we got 570 hours with them, which we were happy with. We harvested green canola and swathed canola and we had no problems with any blockages. The stone trap is also a handy feature.’’
Are you confident that you are bringing your weed seed banks levels down?
“After finishing just about the best harvest we have ever had, we are starting to see that radish is not a problem. We have still got isolated areas with radish problems, but we are not seeing whole farms as well. We have still got ryegrass, but previously we had patches with more ryegrass and less wheat. Now we have more wheat and less ryegrass. And if a weed problem does come up, we don’t have the header rows and so we are not spreading it throughout the paddock.’’