A trip to the United States about 10 years ago was the catalyst for change for the Lanyon family at Boort.By Sophie Bruns
A trip to the United States about 10 years ago was the catalyst for change for the Lanyon family at Boort.
Grain farmers Steve and his dad Trevor liked what they saw and decided to implement the principles of no-till on their 4046
The increased yields and improved management systems have been hard work for the family, but well worth it in the end.
‘‘Implementing no-till has taken a lot of the worry out of farming for us and while we do make plenty of mistakes, we continue to learn from them and refine the way we do things,’’ Steve Lanyon said.
The improved structure of the soil has increased the microbiological activity of beneficial insects and improved water retention.
‘‘The biggest difference I have noticed has been in crop nutrition and while we are using the same amount of fertiliser on larger growing areas, we are experiencing increased grain yields,’’ Mr Lanyon said.
The Lanyons have not been afraid to implement new technologies into their management system, which has also contributed to their success.
Mr Lanyon recently started using the 20-20 seed sense monitor from Precision Planting which accurately measures, monitors and controls the crop-planting process.
The program enables him to check seed singulation, spacing and down force row by row — enabling him to correct any errors which have the potential to affect his germination.
‘‘The information connects to the iPad and shows me all my sowing data,’’ he said.
‘‘In one paddock the seed was sown too shallow from not enough down force, and by fitting delta force to my planter, I was able to calculate that mistake.
‘‘It cost me around $15
This season Mr Lanyon expects his winter crops of barley, faba beans and canola to all do very well.
‘‘There is moisture in the ground and if it stopped raining today there would still be plenty of moisture left in the soil and we would still have a pretty good year.
‘‘That can be attributed back to our management and no-till.’’
These crops were all sown dry in April and May, but Mr Lanyon prefers to sow in dry conditions because he has better control over seed depth for better germination.
The family expects to sow a summer crop of corn this year, but that decision is made yearly dependent on the price of water and grain.
The corn is grown under border check flood irrigation and the family has about 404
‘‘We have moisture probes set up across the farm where we grow corn,’’ Mr Lanyon said.
‘‘I have found success here is more about timing and getting a paddock to water quickly.’’
Mr Lanyon is reluctant to talk about yields, but he budgets on about 12
‘‘It would be interesting to see what would happen here on our farm and what we could achieve under drought conditions again.
‘‘We have expanded our operation and we have the systems in place to really help us reach our grain growing potential and I know no-till and controlled traffic is number one, closely followed by accurate and precise seed planting.’’
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