With seeding coming to a close across the Eyre Peninsula, the verdict on new Pillar Disc Drills out of Canada has come back in and distributors Ramsey Bros are happy with what they are hearing about the product.
A total of five Pillar Laser Disc Drill set ups have been in action on Eyre Peninsula - four in the Cleve district and one further south near Cummins - during the seeding season.
Ramsey Bros group sales manager Tim Glover said the reports back in had been very encouraging.
"The Pillar Laser is a disc machine developed and coming out of Canada that is, if you like a 'non-traditional' disc,'' Mr Glover said.
"Where generally if you go into the disc space you've got to change your whole seeding program and weed control, the Pillar Laser is a machine that is still in line with your usual tillage practices.
"You still spray your pre-emergent. So basically, if you're running a tine machine now, you're not having to change anything in terms of your program."
He said reports back to Ramsey Bros on the equipment was that it lived up to the claims of minimal hair-pinning in soils and crops and could handle heavy trash loads, delivering widespread efficiencies for farmers.
"Something of concern for farmers with a disc machine is always going to be that hair-pinning you can get in the crops, but the big thing with the Pillar is that with this machine you get none of that," he said.
"The other thing this machine does is it double shoots. It's basically giving you the advantages of a tine machine but with the discs so the advantage of the disc is you can get through trash better.
"You can get through pretty heavy stubble loads and you can do it quicker than you usually would."
The disc system means seed and fertiliser is placed in a single opening with one pass.
"Users of the Pillar Laser system have been getting the ability to have virtually zero hair-pinning in the seed bed and they're getting through their stubble and they're getting through it quicker,'' Mr Glover said.
In areas near Cummins, which are coming off of a bumper season last year, the advantages of the Pillar Laser had proved obvious.
Across the Cleve district, which was savaged by strong winds and record, heartbreaking and devastating sand drift, the advantages of the Pillar system are, Mr Glover said, expected to be on show as the season progresses.
"There are efficiencies with this machine in the fact that you don't have to be as vigilant with your stubble before seeding, as well as efficiencies in the speed of the work," he said.
For areas like those near Cleve impacted by sand drift, the system increased the capacity to keep roots and matter in the ground to hold soils together better.
"Even though it is dead, you're keeping the root structure in the ground so if you do get the blow there's something holding it all together," he said.
"The problem for many last year was that they had seeded into pretty barren paddocks, so when the blows came and there was a lack of rain the shoots hadn't got up anyway and it all just blew away.
"You obviously have to have a crop to get some stubble there. But for those guys (in sand drift impacted areas), there's minimal soil disturbance with the disc turning it over and the real efficiencies are there with the ability to get over ground quicker.
"You will have some reduced fuel costs as your draw is not as much as with traditional tillage and just by getting over ground quicker you're spending less on fuel.
"They've been able to hook up the machine and away they go - the big thing for them is that you didn't have to deal with stubble after harvest," Mr Glover said.
"The classic example of the effectiveness of this machine has been on show at Cummins where they have had big stubble loads.
"That machine is going through big stubble loads and they haven't had to spend days dealing with residue.
"They've been able to hook up now and get into it. They don't have the blow problem, so for them the most obvious gain is in the efficiency in getting over the dirt quicker."