Winters are wet on Simon Allen’s 5,000-acre mixed family farm outside of Hexham in western Victoria. He’s the third generation to work ‘Denholm Green’ – which in the past predominately focused on producing sheep and cattle due to damp conditions.
But in recent years Simon has poured his energy into significantly expanding the interests of the family’s grain business. And thanks to good drainage across the property, the family farm has gone from strength to strength growing wheat, canola and beans.
Simon will tell you there’s another key weapon he uses to overcome the challenges of caring for a grain-crop in wet paddocks – a machine smaller in statue than its large competitors but just as big in performance – the Case IH Patriot 3330. Three years ago, Simon purchased a machine from the O’Connors dealership in Horsham, and quite simply, hasn’t looked back.
Case IH Patriot Series sprayers are market leaders in the self-propelled space, with innovative features, designed to maximise operator comfort and maximise spraying performance.
The Case IH Patriot 3330 on Denholm Green has two sets of tyres to allow for maximised spraying opportunities in a cropping program in a high rainfall agricultural region of South West Victoria. The 3330 is lightweight and agile in the paddocks without compromising on coverage – with a smaller engine and tank than the larger models in the range but still equipped with a 36m boom, innovative technology and adjustable track-widths.
“The sale point of the Case IH Patriot 3330 is that it’s essentially a full-sized machine in a compact, lighter configuration. The 3330 has adjustable track-widths, a 36-metre boom width and the same technology as the larger models. The only difference is a lighter motor, and smaller tank to keep the weight down,” he said.
According to Simon, the lighter weight machine plays a critical role in the winter months, easily manoeuvring around wet raised beds at various speeds while limiting damage to soil and crops. “We use two sets of tyres on the Patriot 3330 – the skinny tyres which sit at 380mm width and are used in late applications on beans and canola which means minimal crop knock down. While we use a set of fat tyres in winter – at 650mm in width – when we are looking for maximum float in wet conditions. With those large tyres on it looks like a monster truck, but the 3330 can crawl along the ground so effortlessly in wet paddocks which is exactly what we need it to do.”
Simon says spraying on ‘Denholm Green’ can be complicated – he manages a high input cropping system on the property with a lot of paddocks sprayed five or six times a year. The history of the property, Simon adds, means that not all the crops are on big broad acre paddocks.
He firmly believes the self-propelled sprayer makes the task of managing the crop easier, allowing operators to choose different spraying systems depending on the job.
“In the past we’ve used a trailing boom spray, but it was never sufficient in carrying out all the late fungicides we needed to apply. The Patriot 3330 offers us the flexibility of not having to change implements, or bring in contractors, and we can do those late application sprays ourselves, as required, which is fantastic.”
Another feature which makes life easier using the Patriot 3330, is the technology. In fact, Simon believes the model boasts the most advanced technology of all the spray units on the market. “Quite simply the technology in Case IH equipment is proven and that’s what gave us the confidence to buy it knowing that the model had been around for a while. The 3330 has boom stability control for drivability in undulating country and the accuracy of spraying sensors follow the contours of the ground very well,” he said.
Another standout is the chemical application technology, with a key feature being the even distribution of the spray. “If you’re going around a tree in a paddock for example, it continues to put down the right amount of product, so you’re never over or under applying the spray.”
Simon says competing larger sprayers, particularly the tug-along models, on the market simply can’t provide the same access to those hard-to-reach areas in a paddock during application.
“On top of that, the Patriot has a digital monitor at the ground level filling up and batching which feeds straight into the cab – it’s a seamless process and takes out the guess work out of batching from the ground.”
“The Case IH Patriot 3330 is perfect to handle and has all the features you could ever need to get the job done. That’s why there are so many Patriots around. They have the runs on the board, simple as that” he said.
Although the 3330 is a less common model of the Patriot Series sprayer in Australia, Simon notes he hasn’t had any issues sourcing parts or completing required maintenance and servicing.
“The componentry is all the same” explained Simon “everything on the 3330 is a compatible part to other common Case IH equipment so I haven’t had any issues in maintenance and parts supply.”
Simon credits the team from the O’Connors dealerships in Horsham and Ballarat with support and advice in the set up and ongoing servicing of the machine, that’s been second to none.
Based on his experience with the Patriot 3330, Simon Allen says it will meet the needs of a lot of farmers, particularly in higher rainfall zones that experience wet conditions and need more timely access, alongside irrigation properties, not only in his patch of Victoria, but across the country.
“If you need the efficiency and capacity of a self-propelling burn but are concerned about weight and size, the Patriot 3330 is the machine for you.”
O’Connors have secured a limited number of Patriot 3330’s ready for delivery and settlement before the EOFY 2023.
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