New pasture rejuvenation machines

04 Sep, 2017 11:32 AM
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Alan Winters designs and builds the machines himself and tests them on his own farm.

Duncan Ag has introduced two new well-engineered machines from Ireland that give Australian farmers and contractors more options to rejuvenate pasture and aerate their soils.

The machines are the Alstrong Auctus overseeder and Alstrong Aerator.

Duncan Ag chief executive Craig McIsaac first saw the Alstrong products at the FTMTA Field Days at Punchestown in County Kildare, Ireland.

He could see that they offered something different to what other manufacturers offer in Australia and New Zealand so Duncan Ag became the Australasian distributor for Alstrong.

Mr McIsaac said the Alstrong company was set up by farmer and agricultural engineer Alan Winters.

Mr Winters designs and builds the machines himself and tests them on his own farm.

“The 3.0-metre-wide Alstrong Auctus pasture rejuvenator has a unique design that allows it to carry out several operations in one pass," Mr McIsaac said.

"It can be used in sprayed out pasture or cultivated ground.”

It has 10 individually sprung levelling boards that scarify and scratch the surface to remove dead grass, expose the soil and create a shallow seed bed.

The levelling boards are followed by a heavy duty roller drum with teeth that break up surface pugging and allow air and water to enter the surface layer of the soil.

An air seeder broadcasts the seed behind the roller using splash plates.

Behind the seeding zone, the Auctus can be specified with grass harrow finger tynes or heavy duty prismatic rings that set the seed in the soil.

A shield over the roller stops soil from the rollers getting into the seeding area.

Mr McIsaac said the Alstrong Auctus was a well-built machine.

“It has a strong structural steel frame and weighs 4.5 tonnes," he said.

"You can increase its weight to 5.2 tonnes with water ballast.

“It is a trailed machine that follows uneven contours, and the 15mm blades on the roller drum are made of hardened steel.”

The Auctus comes standard with a French-made Delimbe air seeder or Duncan Ag can fit it with an APV seeding unit.

Aerator

Alstrong Aerators are also heavy duty machines.

They have a unique design based on a large drum with 15-centimetre blades that can break up soil pans and shatter the soil structure to a depth of 30cm when used in dry conditions at the correct speed.

In pasture, it does its job without disrupting the grazing system.

The blades are set almost perpendicular to the direction of travel but at a slight angle, which adds a twisting motion that helps break soil pans.

The weight of the roller is concentrated on each blade as it enters the soil, and the fast working speeds (up to 20 kilometres an hour) also help shock and fracture the soil.

The aerators come in three different versions: trailed models are 2.5m wide or 3.0m wide and the three-point linkage model is 3.0m wide.

The 3.0m models weigh 4.0 tonnes dry and 6.0 tonnes with water ballast while the 2.5m model weighs 3.5 tonnes dry and 5.5 tonnes with water ballast.

Mr McIsaac said Alstrong Aerators were a versatile machine that could also be used to prepare a seedbed in ploughed ground or they could be fitted with a broadcast seeder.

“There are a number of benefits to aerating pasture,” he said.

“By reducing compaction from stock and equipment it increases tolerance to drought, releases nitrogen in the soil, and improves surface drainage."

Contact: Duncan Ag Australia, phone (03) 9314 9666 or email

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