A straightforward, no fuss design which provides plenty of accuracy is what grain grower John Fowler enjoys the most about his Simplicity air seeder.
John runs the cropping operations at the family farm “Coolegong” with wife Mandy at Young in New South Wales, while his brother Tony manages the family’s livestock enterprise. The Fowlers plant about 1400ha of crop per year.
John was looking to upgrade his air seeder two years ago and went for a Simplicity based on its robust build and minimal fuss design.
“Our previous seeder had the bins mounted on the A frame or drawbar and it was too heavy for sowing in wet conditions,” John said.
“We wanted to go for a wider row spacing and I also liked the hydraulic tine set up on the Simplicity and its excellent trash clearance.”
The Fowler’s 11m wide Allrounder bar is set up on 250mm wide row spacings and has a triple bin set up with an additional small seeds box.
“I like the straightforward design of the bar and air seeder,” John said.
“It’s also easy to set up and calibrate and with the monitor in the cabin, I can keep everything under control. You just enter your weights at the start and off you go. The low bin product level monitors work really well.”
John’s cropping program includes wheat, canola and oats for stock feed. The Fowlers run Merino sheep and beef cattle on the 2700ha property where the average annual rainfall is 600mm. Most of the property is situated on red clay-loam country.
John follows no tillage principles with the cropping except when lime is incorporated into the soil. He prefers to not use full variable rate application with seed and fertiliser, stating he likes to keep seeding a simple and uncomplicated task.
“With the Simplicity, it is very accurate and in the two years we have had the machine, germination in the wheat, oats and canola has been very even. The depth of seed placement is fine, even with the small grain such as canola.
“The canola germination for sowing rates of 3kg/ha for TT and 2.5kg/ha for Hybrids was spot on.”
A big part of the accuracy and ease of operation on the Simplicity seeder is the specialised small seeds box, which is mounted on the front of the triple bin arrangement.
By swapping a few lines with easy attach camlocks, the small seeds bin is able to supply seed such as canola and pasture to the main lines of the air seeder.
That means there is no separate system required for the distribution of the small seeds unlike some other air seeder brands.
And the small seeds can either be directed down the shoots as per normal cereal seeding or onto scatter plates which broadcast the seed over the soil.
“So we can plant the canola with the seed going down the conventional shoot set up and the pasture seed can be broadcast without any hassles.”
The Fowler’s seeder is a Simplicity 6000TQS3 model with a three-bin, 6000 litre capacity. The seeder is a trailing or tow-behind unit which is also known as a steerable quad design. The steerable quad has a steerable front axle while the two rear wheels are fixed.
The tine action is hydraulic and break out force is adjustable. The drop forged tines are 20mm wide at the shank and 50mm deep.
John chose to get an optional hydraulically-controlled auger with the Simplicity. The auger is 200mm in diameter and John said it works extremely well.
“You can control the auger easily from the ground or on the cart which means there is no more flying down the ladder to switch the auger off. And you can clean the auger out thoroughly.
“Access to the bins is also very good and the heavy-duty galvanised walkways are very sturdy.”
The Fowlers bought the Simplicity through local machinery dealership South West Tractors.
“We have bought a few other pieces of machinery through South West and they know our operation well. The dealer support is excellent and great dealer support is worth a lot.”
The Young district enjoyed a reasonable season last year and John and Mandy’s crops results were an average of 2.25t/ha for canola and 3.25t/ha of wheat.
“The canola result was one of the best we have had for a while,” John said.
“The Simplicity has been spot on so far and while I expect this one will see me out, I would certainly buy another one if the situation arose.”
From their factory in Dalby, Queensland, Simplicity Australia manufactures the world’s largest range of air seeders. They offer sizes from 1500 litres up to (and now in excess of) 20,000 litres. Their range of configurations, include mounted units, tow between and trailing quads just to list a few. Simplicity have also more recently added “ISO Ready” option to their controller lineup which is available on all models including their liquid range.