ONLY receiving between 350 to 400mm of rain annually, means cropping farmer Knud Nymann, “Strathhaven” Gnowangerup has to be smart with his soil moisture.
Mr Nymann runs a winter prominent dryland cropping production, growing cereal crops across 10,000 hectares.
Precision has always been an important part of Mr Nymann’s production, using Trimble Autopilot to ensure his machines are running on accurate guidance lines.
This year however, Mr Nymann has increased the potential for row accuracy when he had the Trimble Agriculture TrueTracker Implement Steering Solution installed to his Claas Seedhawk by Vantage WA.
The TrueTracker utilises a GNSS receiver mounted to the implement allowing it to accurately follow the same guidelines as the machine towing it regardless of the draft that might be induced by the undulations of the terrain.
In conjunction with the TrueTracker, Mr Nymann also had an MBW ProTrakker Hydraulic Hitch fitted to his tractor.
The ProTrakker hydraulically adjusts the hitch to ensure the implement responds to the correction signals from the Trimble True Tracker, further boosting the accuracy of Mr Nymann’s rows.
With established, accurate rows in his field, Mr Nymann will then have the option to plant in the inter-row, or directly next to his old rows, depending on where the moisture is best.
Mr Nymann said the precision ag solutions would allow him to make more advanced decisions at planting time to ensure he was able to use what moisture he had available to the best ability possible.
“The draw card for us was the increased chance of being able to seed even when we’ve received less rain and to be in charge of when we want to put a crop in,” he said.
The Grain Research Development Corporation (GRDC) has recorded yield increases of up to 9 per cent when inter row sowing.
The GRDC attributed the fact that plants are able to establish better in the inter-row to improving yields, as well as the fact the inter-row is usually less impacted by disease and herbicide can be applied to the area more efficiently.
Planting in proximity to stubble can give seedlings access to more moisture and a safer growing environment, as the stubble protects it from soil moisture loss and wind damage.
This planting season has been about establishing accurate paddock rows for Mr Nymann, who said they’ve been planting over old rows as normal, using 12 inch row spacings.
Mr Nymann said that once his rows were established and consistent, he’d be able to look at planting seeds in close proximity to his previous stubble row, to make the most of the available moisture that would pool at the bottom of the existing furrow.
“Whenever we can make a decision to not compact our soil, to be precise and to use the moisture we have available properly, we’re going to do it,” he said.