While precision planters in Australia have traditionally remained confined to summer crops such as maize and cotton, European brand Vaderstad is investigating the potential of the technology across a range of winter cereals, oilseeds and pulses.
Landpower Vaderstad product manager Joe Read said last year the company partnered with grower group Southern Farming Systems to trial planting canola, faba beans and wheat with the Vaderstad Tempo.
"Those trials are continuing this year, we will also trial those crops with another grower group in the next couple of weeks," he said.
"I think the chance of increased yields is high, if we are singulating seeds it is giving each seed the exact same opportunity, there are no doubles, no skips, so you are making 100 per cent use of your paddock.
"But I think the initial benefit will be cost savings in terms of reduced seed use."
Mr Read said initial results, both from the trials and from customer feedback had been positive.
"We have a customer in Western Australia who has trailed the Tempo with canola and got down to 800 grams a hectare sowing rate, down from 2 to 2.5kg/ha while maintaining yield," he said.
Mr Read said since the Tempo's release in 2012 it had proven unique in the precision planting market.
"What sets it apart from your standard precision planter is that it uses pressure instead of vacuum to press the seed against the seed plate, it then shoots the seed down the tube, whereas a regular precision planter uses gravity," he said.
Mr Read said using pressure rather then relying on gravity meant that in rough paddocks or on sloping country there was less error in seed placement. Using a pressure system give you the ability to run the machine at a greater speed over a vacuum system.
"Under gravity you can loose accuracy, whereas the Tempo it doesn't matter how rough the paddock is, the seed is moving the exact same way every time.
"So we are taking full control from the bin to the seed meter and the seed meter to the ground."
Mr Read said while current Tempo models had been pitched for maize planting, predominately in southern cropping areas, the company had recently developed a model with a fit for sorghum and cotton.
"This year the plan is to do some large demonstrations with the machine," he said.
"The demonstration model is on metre row spacing, though it can be brought down to 30 inch.
"It is the first 12 metre rigid bar Vaderstad have manufactured, we went rigid with three-point linkage because then we can fit all markets when we demonstrate, however if customers want different configurations we can work with them."
Mr Read said disc precision planters wouldn't be suited for every farming system or district.
"Some people want a precision planter with a tyne, which I think in regions of SA, WA, VIC and NSW might suit better than a disc due to their soil types.
Mr Read said Vaderstad produce six ranges of Tempo planters, from the small European three metre machine up to the 12 metre model