Strong interest shown in novel disc opener

GroundCover Live and online, stay up to date with daily grains industry news online, click here to read more
Michael Carey, of Coolamon, NSW, developed a single disc opener that can be retrofitted to existing cultivator bars or combines.

Grain growers’ enthusiasm for machinery innovation has again been demonstrated by the country-wide interest in a single disc opener developed by Michael Carey from Coolamon, NSW, that featured in the May–June edition of Ground Cover (Issue 92, page 3).

Michael says he has been contacted by fellow growers from across Australia following the article on his innovation, which allows the opener to be retrofitted to any existing seeding unit, be it a combine or cultivator bar. To convert a tyned rig to a disc-seeding system, the tynes are removed and adaptors are bolted to existing spring heads and the single disc opener.

A gauge wheel is adjusted to control seeding depth. The gauge wheel also acts as a press wheel to provide tilth around the seed. Michael reports excellent germination results sowing canola and cereals into fallow and stubble.

In some situations, such as on black, sticky soil, he says an additional press wheel might be needed. “In my soil, I don’t need one,” he says. “But what works on my farm might not necessarily work on yours.” A trial unit is available.

The opener is made of high-tensile steel, a duo-cone seal, HT bearings and a non-greasable bush, which Michael says makes access to spare parts easy and affordable. Teething problems reported in the first batch of units made for other growers include straw catching around the seed boot and a bush wearing prematurely. The opener has since been updated with a high-grade bush and modified seed boot.

A single opener costs $975. For a 9.14-metre (30-foot) bar on 254-millimetre (10-inch) row spacing with 35 tynes, a full set will cost about $35,000.

- By Nicole Baxter

More information: Michael Carey, 0428 273 559, mick.carey@bigpond.com

Region South, North