"At the end of the day our goal is for better weed control with fewer chemicals and for me this will definitely be another tool in the weed-control toolbox" says Jamie.
Jamie employed his chaff cart for the first time during the 2014 grain harvest, was delighted with the ease of use and believes it will be an extremely viable method of destroying weed seeds while keeping standing stubble.
"I have always used a mix of cultivation or chemical to combat weeds, but I was becoming frustrated by soaring chemical bills coupled with poor results" he said. "After finding a small amount of glyphosate resistant ryegrass we knew things had to change."
Jamie and wife Alisha spent many hours researching chaff carts online, calling growers in WA and also took a trip west to see the method in action first hand. They became convinced this was the way forward and, with no manufacturers on the east coast, decided to design and build their own prototype.
"I wanted something that would suit my circumstances, so I made it a bit larger and created a false floor as opposed to the ones I saw in the west, that are traditionally smaller, with either a pivot or clam style floor" Jamie said. "The chaff carts we built worked tremendously well and, due to the interest that has been shown, we have decided to manufacture the Springfield Chaff Cart. While we don't expect to eliminate chemical use altogether hopefully we can drastically reduce our reliance. We will also still cultivate, but with a minimal till program on a five-year turnaround."
The chaff cart is filled from the header via a conveyor belt and, when the bin is full, the operator simply presses a button inside the header cab to empty 40-60 cubic metres of material on the move.
"We found the addition of the chaff cart had minimal impact on the speed of the harvest operation and it's very maneuverable. The machine can easily turn row for row without needing to skip row on runs of 36 feet or longer" Jamie said.
"You can collect all of the material that comes out of the back of the header or you can spread the straw and just catch the chaff coming from the sieves."
The piles can be placed evenly across the paddock and can be used to feed stock, for compost or simply burnt, destroying the weed seeds. A small amount of oil flow is required from the header to drive the chaff cart's conveyor belt, which is usually run off the headers existing straw spreaders.
"The chaff cart is extremely efficient to run and requires minimal horse power" Jamie said.