Weed wipeout

Weed wipeout

Invest in a future proof weed control solution you can rely on every year.

After an extremely wet summer, battling those stubborn summer weeds has been tough across the board. Our chat with the Seed
Terminator team about their game- changing product that attaches directly to your harvester will get you excited about the next round in the ring. It’s the perfect solution to consider ahead of your next harvest, enabling you to control the toughest
weeds at their most vulnerable stage — when they’re seeds.

Aim of the game

Seed Terminator was developed by South Australian farmer and inventor Dr. Nick Berry. This innovative device crushes weed seeds right as the harvest takes place, just before they have a chance to sprout and cause trouble.
Seed Terminator’s Marketing Director Kelly Ingram works closely with Nick and the team to promote the game- changing invention.
“It’s about leaving the land in better shape for the next generation by prioritising sustainable practices over relying solely on chemicals.
Farmers can capture up to 80 percent of weeds with the header and tackle them head-on,” Kelly explains.

Let’s talk numbers

According to the Grain Research Development Council (GRDC), weeds cost Aussie grain growers a whopping $3.3 billion yearly. They snatch away about 2.76 million tonnes of yield due to their greedy ways; and don’t even get started on herbicide resistance, racking up
$187 million in expenses each year.
But Seed Terminator turns the tideagainst these stubborn intruders through collaboration.
Nick’s vision focuses on securing food production and challenging the status quo. “Our sole purpose is to stimulate change in world grain production, to tackle weed control
that doesn’t rely on chem icals alone,” says Nick. “We’re not the only answer, and we encourage others to innovate new ways to non-chemically control weeds.”
It also considers the big picture, as Kelly explains. “While Seed Terminator isn’t a substitute for herbicide spraying, it’s a valuable tool in reducing the overall weed population.
This not only lessens the reliance on herbicides but also extends their effectiveness over time, ensuring a viable farming system for years to come.”

Weed wipeout | Partner Mag | Ramsey Bros


This nifty attachment can be easily fitted onto most combine harvester brands, making it accessible to farmers far and wide. At its core, it’s all about those multi-stage hammer mills that pulverise weed seeds alongside the chaff, leaving no chance for those pesky weeds to sprout.
But wait, there’s more! Not only does Seed Terminator annihilate weeds, it also transforms the leftover material into a nutrient-rich mulch that nourishes
the soil as it’s spread, with a reach of up to 14 metres. It seamlessly integrates weed control, mulching and grain harvesting into one efficient process.
“We come in at the end to tidy up all the weeds that have been missed — they may be herbicide-resistant or may have germinated later and managed to dodge the herbicides” Kelly explains.

Birth of the Seed Terminator

In the 1960s, farmers were limited to using tillage as the only weed control tool, which dried out soil and left paddocks vulnerable to erosion. Glyphosate changed everything, leading to a shift towards no-till in Australian farming, but 30 years down the track, herbicide resistance has resulted in increased use and stronger doses to kill those weeds.

Enter Nick — a South Australian farmer’s son and mechanical engineer who was determined to find a better solution.

From 2010, the GRDC had stepped in with money. They began to fund the work of farmer Ray Harrington, who had the idea of attaching to a trailer a heavy-duty mill originally designed to turn coal into briquettes repurposed to crush weed seeds.

But the Harrington prototype came with a few problems. Weighing in at one tonne, it had to be trailed behind the harvester (class 9+), and it was going to cost some $250,000— out of reach for most farmers.

The GRDC had engaged a consultant, Graeme Quick, to look at the prototype of the Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD). Quick concluded it would never be accepted by the American market unless it was integrated into the harvester and proposed that a parallel project look into an ‘integrated weed seed terminator’.

Nick was brought in to run the project, which was run at the University of South Australia (UniSA) and largely funded by grain growers’ levies through the GRDC.

More than five years later, with a PhD in ways to kill weed seeds onboard a harvester, Nick launched the IWSD (Integrated Weed Seed Destructor), which could crush weeds and be retrofitted into a harvester. Unfortunately, he failed to win the rights to commercialise the IWSD. “They wanted to sell it through just one brand of dealership at a $160,000 price tag that was out of reach, which I didn’t rate.”

Refusing to let bias from big brands stand in the way of his vision, Nick rolled up his sleeves and built his own machine called the Seed Terminator, offering affordable solutions for farmers of all sizes.

Nick collaborated closely with farmers to refine the Seed Terminator technology, focusing on paddock-proven solutions and farmer satisfaction. Ongoing trials at various universities, including UniSA, showcased the device’s effectiveness. Results showed a remarkable 99 percent kill-rate for stubborn ryegrass seeds, and the team has remained committed to effectiveness by tailoring technology to different regions.

Today, 700 Seed Terminators are in operation across the globe, and Nick remains committed to R&D and developing further mechanical solutions to help farmers protect their crops. “We’re not only looking at how we can smash seeds but the whole system — how can we mechanically intervene to make farming more sustainable. We want to look at this as a holistic thing.” 

Weed wipeout | Partner Mag | Ramsey Bros



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