How to start disc seeding without buying an expensive new machine
PAUL Ryan’s RFM Double Discs are an affordable way to easily convert your machine into an efficient and productive disc seeder.
By RFM NT 23 September 2020
RFM NT Double Discs fitted to Bourgault 8810
Horsham farm machinery manufacturer Paul Ryan has designed a retrofit double disc system, often referred to as disc coulters, which can convert most machines into a disc seeder. The adaptation can suit most machines manufactured in the last 30 years.
The procedure of retrofitting agricultural discs has shown to be challenging for some machines but then simple for others. “Most farm machinery manufacturers have a different mechanism,’’ Mr Ryan said.
“Angles are rarely the same, and we have to figure out a way for the farmer to change it over quickly. We focus on how we can fit into the existing tine trip assemblies. A farmer can simply take out their current shank from the tine trip assembly and replace it with our matching shank. All they have to do is undo a couple of bolts or a pin to switch it over.”
RFM Double Discs Are Converting Mindsets
Paul explains in some parts of Australia disc seeding had received an undeserving bad reputation.
“There were some trials that had put doubt on the ability for no-till disc systems to handle chemicals, it is quite important to realise that not all disc systems penetrate soils the same,” he said.
“Now the technology has been proven, many farmers have come around to the idea of disc seeding and that number is growing all the time.”
“Disc seeding technology and design had come along immensely since my father, Austin, was in the game,”
At the forefront of farming technology, Austin built a single disc system in 1983. The drive for this invention came from him focusing on moisture conservation as it is essential for broadacre agriculture. Overall, this was due to what he had witnessed from the 1982 drought. Austin won many awards for equipment designs, including well-known broadacre farming products such as spring coil press wheels and a spring release wideline cultivator.
Whilst Paul’s double discs are being used successfully across Australia, they have also been integrated into programs in eastern Europe. As part of these endevours, Paul managed to develop a way of retrofitting the discs to a well known Russian seeding rig. “The discs can handle all kinds of soils and conditions, from the sands of the Mallee to the black soils of Kazakhstan,’’ he said.
Long History In The Industry
RFM NT, in various forms under the RFM brand, has been building seeding and tillage farm equipment for Australian farmers for more than five decades. In recent years, RFM NT has discontinued building their well-known airdrills and some other equipment used for tillage and sowing.
Now, the focus is on aftermarket farm equipment parts. Overall selling products related to disc farm equipment is taking most of Paul Ryan’s time these days.
Making The switch
It doesn’t require much time to change over a tine machine into a disc machine. An airseeder can be retrofitted with double-discs in a couple of hours.
“Growers are keeping our discs on their machine after they switch, they don’t seem to worry about going back to their previous system’’ Paul said.
It's About Productivity
Paul explains the continually changing practices of cultivation, heavier bars, interrow sowing and reduced livestock trampling the ground between crops, has meant conditions these days are much preferred for the usage of discs in cropping programs.
“It is all about productivity, with our disc system farmers can get their crop in the ground 30 per cent faster than normal, which in turn means they are going to use 30 per cent less fuel,’ Paul said.
He explains how the lead disc, which is a serrated coulter disc, is the driving disc on the ground.
“The lead disc is an inch forward from the plain coulter disc, which in turns allows for greater penetration and cutting and ultimately avoiding hairpinning,”.
“The standard double disc system is commonly designed with the coulter side by side, acting as a wedge. Hence, making it harder for penetration. Whereas the RFM NT system is an offset system, where the serrated lead disc coulter makes penetration and cutting much easier,”.
“Supporting this unique design is the front boot system which places grain or fertiliser directly at the bottom of the trench. When the seeding boots works in conjunction with the spring loaded scrapers, it avoids blocking,”
“Another notable feature is that the system can double chute.”
Paul said with the popularity of disc seeding growing each year, more and more farmers are converting their machines. “Word of mouth of the results has also been great for prompting neighbouring farmers to get the RFM NT double discs for their machines”. he said.
RFM NT has models to suit RFM, AFM, Allan Johns, Ausplow DBS, Bourgault, Conservapac, Ezee On, Flexicoil, Horwood Bagshaw, Gason, Gyral, Janke, John Shearer, John Deere, Morris, Simplicity and Smale.