Significant reductions in input costs have been achieved in a demonstration of the new John Deere C650 air cart in a South Australian cropping business.
The Lush family - Paul, his father John and son Nicholas - trialled a C650 tow-behind cart with the Liquid Systems fertiliser distribution option fitted on their 3000ha farming operation near Barabba.
They grow wheat, canola, lentils and faba beans across two nearby properties, Riverview and Adare.
Paul Lush said following the recent demo he was confident the C650 was ideally matched to his seeding requirements with John Deere Section Control delivering outstanding cost-saving benefits.
Section Control improves placement of farm inputs and reduces operator fatigue by automatically turning implement sections on and off.
"We had been using the John Deere 1910 tow-behind, however this new and larger offering just suits the size of our operation while the technology in this machine is simply fantastic," Mr Lush said.
"Our calculations have shown us we have reduced inputs by up to 10 per cent in some paddocks, and an average 5.5pc across the whole farm.
"When you add that up across seed, granular fertiliser and liquid inputs, that is a significant saving."
John Deere production and precision ag tactical segment manager, Marko Koelln, said the C650 was available in tow-behind or tow-between configurations.
He said the C650 was ideally suited to growers seeking a mid- to large-size and smart seeding option with controlled traffic farming (CTF) capabilities (on the tow-between) to help achieve greater production and profitability.
"This cart fills a need for producers and contractors who are looking for an air cart with a capacity of more than 550 bushel without having to make the leap up to our 850 bushel cart," he said.
"The tow-between can also be configured for CTF three-metre spacing, which we know is important to many Australian growers across key production zones."
The cart's 650-bushel capacity, high-flotation tyres and fill rate of up to 100 bushels per minute combine to bolster production efficiencies by allowing customers to seed more hectares per day, in less time, he said.
"Key technologies include a durable, digital cart-side display to make filling and calibration push-button easy," Mr Koelln said.
"ActiveCalTM is an on-the-go feature that allows operators to automatically calibrate meters right from the Gen 4 Display in the cab while an integrated wiring harness provides connections for five camera locations, one in each tank and a fifth that provides a rear-hitch view."
The C650 also offers a liquid-capable centre tank for growers who choose to incorporate liquid fertiliser into their seeding operations.
While liquid fertiliser distribution systems are not factory-installed options, they are available through John Deere allied supplier, Liquid Systems (SA).
Additional features found on the larger John Deere C850 cart are also fitted on the C650 including hydraulic rear disc brakes, in-tank camera mounts, in-tank lights, LED working lights, conveyor weather cover and digital tank air pressure monitoring.