New Air Drill Impresses in the Mallee

12 July 2018

New air drill impresses in the Mallee

New air drill impresses in the Mallee

Nathan Williams, Beulah, Morris Industries President and Chief Executive Officer Ben Voss and Justin Ward, of Belle-Vue Trading at Warracknabeal in Victoria, pictured inspecting the new Morris Quantum air drill during seeding on the Williams’ property.

VICTORIAN Mallee grower Nathan Williams faced bone dry conditions throughout seeding this year, but as a “tester’’ for the new Morris Quantum air drill, it posed no problems and he praised the drill’s impressive depth control and a host of other beneficial features.

The Williams family manages a 5000-hectare continuous cropping program on their ‘Williams Grain’ property near Beulah, growing wheat, barley, canola, lentils and vetch for hay. Trade sheep are run on the cropping stubbles over summer.

The farm comprises a range of soils from heavy clays through to non-wetting sandy loams.

The 21-metre (70-foot) Morris Quantum air drill, hitched to a Morris 9550 air cart with section control provided by the manufacturer’s Input Control Technology (ICT), was pulled by a 335-kilowatt (450-horsepower) Case Steiger QuadTrac.

The air drill was set up on 250-millimetre (10-inch) shank spacings with the Morris single chute boot and point.

They varied their seeding depth a little due to mice concerns, however most crops were sown at a depth of 1.5-2 centimetres.

Nathan said there were no issues getting into the ground and the packer arm design had taken evenness of sowing depth to a new level.

A unique zero lash castle joint with the “anti-skew’’ packer arm is designed for consistent assembly and outstanding row to row depth precision.

The Quantum row unit uses parallel linkage with a 1:1 opener to packer ratio, resulting in the most precise depth control and ground following. A depth shim system under the depth cam also allows for deeper seeding.

Nathan said the larger diameter tyres provided excellent flotation over the ground and the new frame design highlighted the strength of the air drill.

Morris’ new patent-pending, interlocking frame technology has made the Quantum 154% stronger than previous drills. Combined with its increased weight and stronger openers featuring 2.5cm (1in) chrome pins, it provides the ability for deeper tilling.

New 10 x 15cm (4 x 6in) tubular frames with the Quantum are connected with chrome pins that are 27% larger than those used on previous machines.

“Growers might have situations where they may want to rip a paddock to open it up a bit,’’ Nathan said. 

“The Quantum is 4-tonne heavier, so it will probably hold in the ground better in certain situations – and it gives you confidence in its durability over time.’’

He said the constant flow hydraulic system also provided for faster responses.

The Quantum uses an active hydraulic system to control opener pressure. It is compatible with the Topcon X35 controller, which adds Morris autolift, a feature that automatically lifts and lowers openers at headlands, and autopack, which allows users to change opener packing force on the X35 monitor.

“When you are coming back into the paddock, the arm comes down a lot quicker,’’ Nathan said.

Other features of the new Morris Quantum air drill include improved shank spacing options; 3-metre controlled traffic capability with metric spacings and 5.4m transport width; 75% less parts and 60% less weldments; and a stronger front and rear hitch design.

“Less parts and bracing is a good thing, also when you consider requirements for freight,’’ Nathan said.

He said the Quantum arrived at their property on a Tuesday ready for assembly for seeding and it was built by the Friday afternoon. 

For more information on the new Morris Quantum air drill, growers can contact their local Morris dealer.