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When renowned manufacturer John Shearer purchased Connor Shea in 2001, it was because it saw an opportunity to create and develop quality seed drills.
More than 20 years on, and there is excitement surrounding Connor Shea with a re-launch of the brand and a new release to coincide with it.
Connor Shea has released a new 9000 Series Drill for renovating pastures which features sowing widths ranging from two metres to 3.3 metres, and is available with row spacings of 127mm (five inch) and 152mm (six inch).
"The Connor Shea pasture drill has a long-standing reputation in the farming community going back many years," John Shearer operations manager, Franco Perrotta said.
"The name is synonymous with the successful establishment and renovation of pastures.
"Today the new 9000 Series Drill continues to provide farmers with a reliable and effective machine with which to maximise seed germination and returns.
"It is the ideal machine for small to medium sized operations, built strong to last in the tough Australian conditions."
The new drill comes standard with an infinitely adjustable gearbox to allow small increment changes to the sowing rates on each individual bin.
Another key feature is the optional electric drive which replaces traditional chains and sprockets and is controlled via a tablet which can be operated from the tractor or outside the tractor cab next to the drill.
"Being electronic, maintenance is reduced," Mr Perrotta said.
"Calibrating of the seed and fertiliser rates is also much easier and accurate."
The frame has four rows of 100mm by 100mm SHS mounting beams.
Both the axle arms and axles have been designed with inbuilt strength for transport.
The 9000 Series Drill boasts frame clearance to maximise trash flow and an increased hopper size allowing producers to sow more hectares between refills.
The 9000 Series Drill is easily transportable with sowing and transport widths very similar.
"This is due to the wheels positioned close to the frame," Mr Perrotta said.
"This feature allows the operator to sow close to obstacles, such as fence lines and irrigation bays, which maximises production area."
Mark Bourne runs the Bourne family farm mid-way between Williamstown and Kersbrook, SA, and bases his enterprise around in-house feeding strategies, making his pasture management program of vital importance.
On their 280 hectares, Mr Bourne runs a self-replacing 150 Angus breeder closed herd, 300 Border Leicester- Merino cross ewes, and 100 White Suffolk to produce flock rams to run over the Merinos.
He has both perennial and annual pastures, predominantly a phalaris-clover 10 year blend, and native pastures.
To feed his stock, Mr Bourne cuts around 1400 bales of silage every year and if he can get it cut early enough, in September, he will usually get a second cut for hay.
Mr Bourne also runs a phase in-phase out ryegrass pasture system which gets replaced by peas, barley, oats and faba beans for crop management.
"Being based in the Adelaide Hills means we are in predominantly undulating country which makes our new Connor Shea 9000 Series Drill the ideal implement for our pastures," he said.
"We looked at some air drills but we were concerned with the rapidly changing ground, seed depth may vary.
"The 9000 Series Drill maintains seed depth all the time because the wheels are in the centre of the machine, not the front or back. The boots never dig in or become too shallow."
The 9000 Series Drill is not the first Connor Shea seeder the Bournes have used.
"We got a Connor Shea more than 40 years ago and it was the machine we were using until we got the new one," Mr Bourne said. "It has done very well over that time.
"The new machine is 30 per cent wider which means less sowing time. Using the new machine, this year we have been top dressing the older paddocks with barley and fertiliser.
"We have been very happy with the results and this is something we will look into further going forward."
- Visit: www.johnshearer.com.au