Ben Wundersitz says the capacity of his new Flexi-Coil 5500 air drill has increased his sowing rate and cut downtime spent refilling.SOUTH Australia farmer Ben Wundersitz has cut his sowing time by an estimated 20 per cent with his new Flexi-Coil 5500 air drill and 5850 air cart.

Mr Wundersitz took possession of the sowing unit in March last year and says it’s made a big difference to his operation. He is now enjoying faster sowing rates and less downtime.

He and wife Belinda grow wheat, barley and lentils on 5500 hectares near Maitland.

The new air drill and air cart is the third Flexi-Coil unit they have owned.

Their previous one was eight years old and it was time for an upgrade to match the major expansion they’ve had in their property.

“We were looking for a bit more productivity and a bit more reliability, as the old one had done a lot of work,” Mr Wundersitz said.

They upgraded from their previous 18.3-metre airseeder and cart to the new 21.3m, 5500 air drill and 5850 cart after their consultant advised they move to an air drill, rather than a converted cultivator.

“We were also looking for a larger cart so we could basically do more hectares an hour,” he said.

“We run the machine 24 hours a day for about five weeks and we just wanted less downtime and less filling time.

“With this bigger cart we only fill four times a day, whereas we were filling six times a day previously.

“We’ve increased our work rate and hectares per box, which is everything we wanted. It’s probably knocked about 20pc off our sowing time, which is pretty considerable. We do around 400 hectares a day now, whereas before we were doing about 250.”

Mr Wundersitz said the hydraulic tynes on the Flexi-Coil bar were quieter and required less reduction in speed in stony paddocks.

The Wundersitzs have gone from 23-centimetre to 25cm tyne spacing in an effort to get more trash flow through the machine.

They run a Trimble RTK system and are focused on running a sustainable system with full stubble retention in a no-till system.

They hope to do some prescription seeding with variable rate fertiliser this year.

The Wundersitz farm includes a huge range of soil types, from sand through to heavy loam clay, and a variety of weather conditions.

“Time of sowing is absolutely paramount. We start in the middle of April whether it’s wet or dry and we don’t stop until we finish. Our air drill has to handle a variety of conditions from the driest of dry to the wettest of wet,” Mr Wundersitz said.

“We wanted a machine that had a bit more weight to penetrate in dry conditions. We also took the option to get the hydraulic trips because of our stony country and it saves a lot of wear and tear and time under the drill.”

The eight properties within the business are spread over a 60-kilometre radius.

The low height and narrow width of the air drill make it ideal for transport on narrow dirt roads.

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