top of page

Stay up to date

We'll keep you updated on our builds, products in action, and trials and research

Article photo.jpg

***As featured in the Farm Weekly***

IT would be great if you could run your seeding rig with one system.

For anyone who has invested in John Deere's Greenstar, this is a common issue and causes frustration. Modern seeding rigs with section control are typically only offered with a Topcon controller, due to the large number of sensors.

While this is a fully capable solution, it's just not Greenstar.

Enter the Seed Smith, the world's first product allowing a Morris ICT air cart to be completely controlled with Greenstar.

Seed Smith is the flagship product of Ironstone Ag.

Company managing director Alec Wiles manufactures the product in Toodyay, Western Australia.

First and second generation prototypes have successfully completed three seasons of seeding and Ironstone Ag is offering a small batch to WA farmers for the 2024 seeding.

It is offering the system to those with existing machines who are trading-in their Topcon hardware, as well as those for fitting straight on to new machines.

"Seed Smith started out in 2022 when a farmer approached me wanting to run his new Morris ICT through Greenstar," Mr Wiles said.

"I took up the challenge and haven't looked back.

"I think the Topcon systems do a great job with these rigs.

"But when farmers are loyal and/or invested with Greenstar, you have to give them Greenstar."

Facing a range of technical challenges when starting out, Mr Wiles was undeterred.

With a strong background in auto electrics and farming, and at the time running a business diagnosing and repairing all sorts of farm electronics, he was well positioned to solve the problem that not even the manufacturers or dealers could.

He said section control latency was the biggest challenge initially, with the need to be able to set custom latency for each section because delivery hoses vary so much in length.

"Then came the need to monitor up to 36 rotation sensors and alert the operator if any of them had stopped," he said.

"Pack Smith was developed and included the feature to control a Quantum bar's hydraulic packing force, not realising at the time the demand for other applications."

Already working on the next product, Ironstone Ag is trialling its Pack Smith product separately with Bourgault bars this season - with plans to release it in 2025.

Mr Wiles said Pack Smith was now packaged as a system that's fitted to any bar with hydraulic force acting on the press wheel.

He said using feedback from a built-in load cell and/or pressure sensor, it automatically adjusted the hydraulic system to achieve a target force on the press wheel.

"The benefits of this kind of feature are becoming well known in WA with our varying soil types," he said.

"A bit like what Henry Ford did for the car industry - we haven't invented the thing, but we're making it available to the masses."

Pack Smith works either as a stand alone function or integrates with Greenstar in the case of Bourgault section controlled rigs.

"Because the control box sits on the bar frame, we only had to run a harness a few metres back to the section control tower and plug into all the gate feedback sensors," Mr Wiles said.

"Now the operator is alerted to any malfunctioning gates."

The operator has a small display in the cab to monitor and set the packing force with presets and increment adjust buttons that are easy to use.

To be released next year is the ability to set target force using a prescription map, allowing automatic force adjustment according to known soil types.

More information: 0488 542 240,,

In March we fitted our first Bourgault Pack Smith system on a mighty 80ft disc bar. Doing away with the standard pressure control box, the operator now sets a target downforce in kg and lets Pack Smith do the rest. With variation in soil types it's amazing seeing how much the hydraulic pressure changes in order to maintain the target downforce.

This rig already had Greenstar running the section control, so we made a harness to plug into all the section gate sensors and display them on our screen.

bottom of page