Flame of the Month Rod Stewart
An interview with Stewart Miling.
Rod and Jan Stewart along with their son Charlie and long time key operator Cliff Gill farm at Miling W.A. about 2 and a half hours north east of Perth. They run a 100% cropping operation with a mix of cereals, canola and lupins in the rotation.
How long have you had the Accufire?
We bought the first one in about 2008 (which was one of the original first 10 units built) and shortly thereafter bought the second unit.
Why do you use the Accufire?
The reasons for the use of the Accufire units primarily revolve around containment of Herbicide Resistance thus Harvest Weed Seed Control has been the strategy of choice. This sees all the crop residues funnelled into narrow windrows at harvest time.
There have been times where whole paddock burns have been necessary, in some year’s mice numbers or leaf disease loads on residues have presented as a threat to the next years cropping plan.
We also use it for some hazard reduction burning to protect areas of our planted tree groves and belts have been employed too. But it’s main purpose has been Harvest Weed Control to mitigate resistance.
How have the units worked for you?
Really good actually. I don’t know what we would have done without them!
The units are great as they are, but we have tried running gelled petrol through the units. The units “grew an extra leg” with regards to speed capability on very difficult to light second cut canola stalks. The gel provided a really long “hang-time” of the burning fuel on the ground with regards to the longevity of the fuel burn.
They’re not rated for that?
Ah yes?? I know it’s out of recommendation for the units, but the result where so good in that particular situation that we felt it was worth it. We’ve had to replace a couple of pumps along the way because of the viscosity of the flammable gel.
And what for the future?
At this stage, what we’re doing with windrow burning is an integral part of the program.
We’ll adapt to whatever systems prove themselves to be the best fit for our operation. Right now we’ll continue to employ what we’re doing. Its cheap and easy.