Seed Destructors beat spraying, burning jobs

07 April 2020

The Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) was recently reviewed in a Kondinin Group research report on ‘Harvest Weed Seed Control’ (HWSC), citing a very successful performance over the 2019 harvest. The research team especially liked the Seed Destructor’s high weed seed kill rates, simple mill bypass and sieve loss evaluation, its drivetrain and, importantly, the service and support behind the system.

THE arduous annual tasks of pre-season weed spraying and windrow burning are again set to annoy the farming calendar for many and it’s serving to highlight the benefits of harvester-integrated weed seed control technology. 

In addition to saving the weeks of labour and stress devoted to the activities, savings on chemicals and operating equipment, as well as nutrient and in-crop moisture retention, are among the other benefits associated with harvest weed seed control (HWSC).

Katanning cropping brothers Stephen and Richard Marshall carried out windrow burning for years to help limit weed seeds before installing a Harrington Seed Destructor on their New Holland CR 90.70 headers last year. 

“We spent a lot of time and money windrow burning and the nutrients went up in smoke,’’ Stephen said. 

“Now we are spreading it across the paddock.’’ 

Fellow grower Ian Knapp said the family had previously undertaken windrow burning with mixed results and also had considered chaff carts before deciding on a Seed Destructor last season. 

Carnamah farmers Roger and Angela Dring are looking forward to seeing the real results from their new Seed Destructor into the future after windrowing for the past 10 years in an effort to reduce the weed seed bank. 

“It’s been a massive project burning windrows, especially pre-seeding,” Roger said. 

 “It would normally take a couple of weeks and a lot of late nights. Now that we have the Seed Destructor, that’s a win with saved organic matter, labour and time, not to mention a plus for the environment.’’ 

The Seed Destructor was recently reviewed in a Kondinin Group research report on HWSC, citing a very successful performance over the 2019 harvest. 

The report noted good mill life, several new features including a rear access door enabling grain loss checks or loss monitor calibration and bypassing the mill completely, as well as the ability to remove sieves without removing mills, except for on select John Deere headers with one-piece sieves.

The Kondinin Group research team especially liked the Seed Destructor’s high weed seed kill rates, the simple mill bypass and sieve loss evaluation, its drivetrain and, importantly, the service and support behind the system.

The report stated: “A point worthy of noting from our interviews was that every owner Kondinin Group researchers spoke to praised the service and backup from McIntosh.” 

For growers considering harvester-integrated weed seed control and the associated costs with different systems, the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) has developed an interactive model to assist producers.

The model has consistently shown that the Seed Destructor is the most cost-effective, mechanical weed control option during harvest. 

While AHRI previously provided cost estimates for HWSC in cereal crops based on average yield and crop area, the latest interactive model allows growers to input their own details to help provide the best estimates.  

Overall, the model has shown that while there are significant differences in upfront capital costs for the range of HWSC tools available, the cost per hectare can be very similar for all tools when all factors, including nutrients, are considered. 

Growers can access the model to help estimate their costs by visiting 

It is timely that McIntosh & Son, dealers for the Harrington Seed Destructor in WA, also has announced a special ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ early order program on the Destructors with interest free terms to assist growers’ cash flow management during the upcoming season. 

Producers also can take advantage of the Federal Government’s $150,000 instant asset write-off until June 30 under its latest stimulus package to aid their purchases. 

The Seed Destructors are in limited supply Australia-wide and growers have been encouraged to lock in their “build slot’’ to upgrade their harvesters with the machines at the earliest opportunity for the 2020 harvest. 

Invented by WA grower Ray Harrington and developed by UniSA with investment from GRDC, the Harrington Seed Destructor has undergone continuing development in recent years by DeBruin Engineering, together with national distributor, McIntosh Distribution. 

The latest vertical, mechanical-drive system uses the same mill set as the hydraulic version, with independent testing confirming up to 99 per cent plus kill rates of targeted weed seeds at various harvester speeds. 

The new Destructors can be fitted to later model John Deere (S670, 680, 690 and S770, 780 and 790), Case IH (7230, 7240, 7250, 8230, 8240, 8250, 9230, 9240 and 9250), New Holland (9080, 9070, 8090, 9090, 8.90, 9.90 and 10.90) and Claas harvesters (770 and 780 fitted with Mercedes-Benz engines). 

Growers interested in further information about the latest system and early orders for next season can contact their local McIntosh & Son dealer.