Toowoomba’s own GROUND BREAKER Precision Agriculture have been awarded the prestigious Piper Prize for Innovation, a $75,000 prize granted by the Council of Grain Grower Organisations Ltd (COGGO) for their unique precision tyne planting system.
After being awarded the Piper Award for Innovation in 2016, they have gone on to win the Piper Prize for Innovation to further assist the development and commercialisation of their planter that can benefit Western Australian Grain Growers.
GROUND BREAKER CEO, Mr Scott Farquharson said “the precision planting system was originally designed for planting summer grain crops in Queensland, however, the planter has been modified to solve the growing issues associated with planting Canola in Western Australia, the most popular rotational break crop.”
“The planter uses a patented tyne system rather than a traditional double disc opener that you see on most growers seeding bars and applies the world’s leading precision technology”, he said.
COGGO Chair, Mr Chris Wilkins said “Canola is the preferred and the most widely grown break crop in Western Australia, used for its’ disease and weed management properties under crop rotation.”
“Grain growers in Western Australia face high costs per hectare for hybrid canola seed, which increases the financial risk of growing canola. This high cost has reduced the uptake of the latest varieties of canola in the drier parts of the wheatbelt.”
“We awarded the prize to GROUND BREAKER Precision Agriculture so that they can further develop the planter to improve the efficiency of sowing grain crops, with the initial focus on canola, due to the high cost of hybrid seed.”
“We would expect the seeding rate and planting costs of Canola in WA to be significantly reduced, by as much as 50% using this technology. This could allow for a rapid uptake of the latest and best varieties of canola, while reducing the risk in the farming system”, he said.
Other advantage of using the GROUND BREAKER precision planting system is that the Canola seed is more evenly spaced giving each plant the opportunity to successfully establish and grow without competing with other seeds, increasing individual plant performance and survival.
In WA, GROUND BREAKER Precision Agriculture have partnered with Brad Jones from Bungalla Technologies to undertake farm scale trials at his Tammin property.
They aim to have the modified commercial planter ready for market release in 2018.
COGGO awarded the Piper Prize for Innovation to promote and reward agribusiness innovators and entrepreneurs whose ideas have the potential to improve performance and accelerate growth within the WA Grains Industry.
For more information on the Piper Prize for Innovation, please visit www.coggo.net.au.
Read the article in the Toowoomba Chronicle HERE.