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Discs bring outstanding results when no-kill cropping on Bruce Maynard’s Narromine Property

Liam Maynard (Willydah Pty Ltd), Narromine, NSW, takes us through his experience after upgrading his Gason Trashworker tynes to RYAN NT discs to improve their no-kill cropping operation.

Liam and Bruce Maynard. No-kill cropping.

Liam and his father, Bruce Maynard, purchased the machine about five years ago from a local farmer. It was a fully operational tyne machine with knife point tyne setups, and around three seasons ago, they purchased the Ryan discs.

Liam and Bruce Maynard. No-kill cropping.

Liam Maynard with his Gason Trashworker fitted with RYAN NT Discs.

Improve your no-kill cropping operation for 10% of the price of a commercially available disc machine!

Liam explained that he had always wanted to do a disc machine conversion, telling us he’d never return to tynes after finding the Ryan discs.


“They are an absolutely brilliant thing,” he said.


“Virtually bolted straight up.


“Didn’t have to change any existing spring units on the machine.


“It’s just a basic modified shank, and everything else fits together perfectly.


“Absolutely love the design, the ease of use and the low maintenance.”


Liam was impressed by the price point for retrofitting his older bar. He explained that the costs were 10% of the price of a commercially available disc machine straight off the shelf—that does every bit of the same job.

No-kill cropping. Gason Trashworker

The Maynard's Gason Trashworker fitted with RYAN NT Discs.

How was the maintenance?

Liam was asked about the maintenance requirements of the Ryan discs. He explained that, after running a parallelogram disc machine several years ago, he discovered that these setups require a lot of maintenance.


“Bearings, moving parts, springs, everything you could name,” he said.


“Because everyone's tried a different design.


“There are some great units out there, but lots of maintenance to go with them.


“We found the Ryan units to be nothing but a few shots of grease.


“And taking a few spaces out as the discs wear.


“That's all the maintenance they require – we bloody love it.”

No-kill cropping. Gason Trashworker

The Maynard's Gason Trashworker fitted with RYAN NT Discs.

What’s your farming practice?

Liam and Bruce Maynard mostly use their Gason Trashworker fitted with the Ryan discs for no-kill cropping. Liam explained how they are primarily dry sowing through red dirt, with some clay and sand.


“We have done 6000 acres on these discs so far,” he said.


“We still have the original disc plates on.


“They’ve done three seasons now and virtually worn out.


“They can be used for pasture cropping in the wet country.


“Put a set of press wheels behind the machine, and that'll get the job done.


“We have currently set the discs up for dry sowing with no-kill.”

No-kill cropping. Liam and Bruce Maynards property.

Oats sown into failed cereal crop on Liam and Bruce Maynards no-kill cropping Willydah property.

Would you go back to tynes for your no-kill cropping operation?

After using the discs, Liam told us there was no hope in hell of them going back to tynes.


“This is us for the future,” he said.


“From previous disc machine experiences, we always had a rear boot design.


“We always fed seed and fert, anything you're applying, from the back side of the cut.


“Behind the cutting edge of the discs.


“When we found the RYAN NT units, they had a front boot design.


“It was the first time we'd done anything in the front boot area.


“We’d never seen it before and were very sceptical about how it would work.


“Now we've had them; there's no way anything's going in the back at all.


“It's all coming in the front.


“Absolutely fantastic – wouldn't go back.”

Disc Seeder - RYAN NT Double Tynes to Disc

RYAN NT Retrofit Tyne to Disc conversion.

Why do you prefer the front boot?

We followed up by asking Liam why he prefers the front boot now, and he explained that the reduced blockage issues are a really big reason – especially going through a lot of trash as they do with no-kill.

“We’re running through a lot of material,” he said.


“You have a fair bit flicking up, rolling around with the disc at the back of the boot.


“Being at the front, the discs are essentially a big block for any trash to end up back up that boot.


“Other systems block up all the time.


“The seed placement is fantastic.


“You're actually taking advantage of that initial cut.


“And with no-kill we're not cutting a big slot because we're always dry sowing.


“We can make that cut and get the seed down in the cut as it opens.


“So, it's very, very precise.”

No-kill cropping. RYAN NT front boot disc design.

RYAN NT disc's front boot design.

What’s your most significant improvement from the discs with your no-kill cropping operation?

One of the most prominent features of upgrading from tynes to discs is the ability to sow faster. The ability to go faster stood out to Liam. He explained the increases were fantastic compared to what this machine used to run at with tynes on it.


“She was a six or seven k an-hour machine, and that was rough enough on the gear,” he said.


“We’ve bumped it up with the RYAN NT units.


“Up to every bit of ten kilometres an hour and on some smoother country with less trash to cut through.


“We’re even up to the 12 k’s and covering a lot of area.”

No-kill cropping. Gason Trashworker

The Maynard's Gason Trashworker fitted with RYAN NT Discs.

What was your spacings and fuel consumption when seeding?

The Maynards use 11-and-a-half-inch spacings on their machine, and after switching from tynes to discs, they noticed substantial fuel savings. Liam explained that initially, they were trying to go with 12-inch spacings, but they couldn’t get it to work with the number of rows on the particular machine.


“We have a 160-horsepower tractor that mostly sits on the front of this machine,” he said.


“Compared to when we used this machine with tyne units, we've reduced fuel usage to an extraordinary amount.


“We essentially have a heap of wheels rolling along the ground in a dry sowing no-kill scenario.


“So we're not using a lot of fuel.


“We're now down to around 15 litres an hour.


“Covering nearly 10 hectares an hour.


“We’re very impressed with the economic savings of having these units onboard.”

Disc Seeder - RYAN NT Double Tynes to Disc

RYAN NT Retrofit disc options and a Ryan 400-600lb tyne.

What happened in the paddock when seeding with discs for no-kill cropping?

Liam took us for a tour through his paddock to show the results of using the discs in the no-kill cropping scenario. He was particularly impressed with a paddock where some oats were late sown into a grain crop that had failed due to a lack of moisture.  He explained how the crop had been got grazed off a couple of times, but you could see the little butts of the oats starting to appear.


“We had to run through all this country twice this year with the Ryan discs,” he said.


“First on the initial cereal crop that failed and then back again to over-sown oats for a bit of feed when it was drying up.


“The most impressive thing was the no disturbance.


“You're struggling to see the rows in this paddock.”

no-kill cropping. ryan nt discs

Liam's point's out how there was no disturbance in their paddock after sowing with discs.

What happened in the paddock when seeding with discs for no-kill cropping?

Liam finished by pointing out that where some rain had come through, you could see the feed coming up for the animals, and even though they had run over and introduced another plant into the paddock, it hadn't changed the paddock.


“We’ve run through, gone straight over the top of the grassland, haven't touched the grassland, and introduced a heap of new plants that weren’t here before,” he said.


“We utilised that in a bad, poor rainfall year.


“Brought the livestock on and had great results with all of that.


“Didn’t have a cereal cropping success, but it doesn’t have to be – we'll try again next year.


“Hopefully, there will be a bit more rain.


“The biggest plus for us is there’s been no disturbance.”

no-kill cropping. ryan nt discs

Liam's point's out how there was no disturbance in their paddock after sowing with discs.

Are the discs helping your regenerative agriculture operation?

We ended our farm visit by asking Liam if the discs are ultimately improving their regenerative agriculture operations. He told us they absolutely did.


“All this was just bunged in – literally just seed,” he said.


“We're throwing seed and a bit of diesel at it.


“Using the RYAN NT machinery, there's nothing more.


“There's no fertilisers or chemicals.


“It’s just going straight into the grassland.


“We got a great result  – it's been fantastic for this season.”


Liam emphasised how the comparative cost to conventional cropping using tynes wouldn't have been worth it. He pointed out that rows of oats sown into the paddock, which had been grazed off heavily a couple of times, could barely be seen.


“There's 11 and a half inch rows,” he said.


“The impressive thing is that it hasn't impacted the paddock whatsoever.


“We've brought our plant in; we’ve grown it.


“It's come up, and we've used it.


“And the butts of it are all now starting to decompose back into organic matter for the soil.


“We haven't stuffed the paddock at all.


“No compaction issues, no hairpinning.


“Can’t even find the rows hardly, very impressed.”

Learn more about Bruce and Liam Maynards no-kill cropping operation at Soils For Life:

Maynard's willydah no-kill cropping property

The Maynard's Willydah no-kill cropping property.

Can turn most brands into a disc seeder...

RYAN NT retrofit disc system will fit most brands and models from the last 40 years, including RFM, AFM, Allan Johns, Agrowdrill, Ausplow DBS, Boss, Bourgault, Conservapac, Davimac, Duncan, Equalizer, Ezee On, Flexicoil, Horwood Bagshaw, Gason, Gyral, Janke, John Shearer, John Deere, Morris, Seed Hawk, Simplicity and Smale.


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