Innovative high rainfall zone growers paused harvest to see the Integrated Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) in action just east of Skipton last Friday (January 5). The iHSD is mill fitted to a header to process the chaff fraction of harvest waste. The mill destroys the weed seeds, reducing the seedbank and is an alternative to reliance on chemicals or burning.
The demonstration was hosted by Southern Farming Systems with Vern Dawson and Ben Cameron at their Mannibadar property. Vern and Ben purchased the iHSD earlier in the year, and kindly allowed SFS to host a field day demonstration in the midst of their wheat harvest.
The aim of the demonstration was to increase growers understanding of how the iHSD works and how to use it as part of an integrated weed management strategy.
SFS chief executive Jon Midwood briefed the attendees on the iHSD’s capabilities, based upon research from Western Australia - where it was developed - and how to maximise its efficiency in the longer season environment of the high rainfall zone. Ben outlined his experience in fine tuning the mechanical settings of the iHSD during this season’s harvest.
Growers were able to observe and evaluate the efficacy of the seed destructor and how much of the ryegrass population was being harvested or was left in the paddock. The demonstration followed with a casual conversation with all parties as they discussed the positives and negatives of the machine.
SFS research and extension officer James Manson provided data around the power requirements of the iHSD and the annual ryegrass seed distribution resulting from the different cutter bar heights. Overall it was an effective demonstration that informed growers of ways to improve their weed management practice for more profitable weed control.
This demonstration was funded from the GRDC project ‘Harvest Weed Control for the Southern Region’ and project results will be available in the final report and the SFS Trial Report 2018, both to be published later this year.