An array of sprayers were on show, catering for all growers, big and small. Jane Carley, Geoff Ashcroft and Alex Heath report from the bustling Birmingham halls. Pictures by Marcello Garbagnoli and John Eveson.
New from Hardi is the Alpha Evo II self-propelled sprayer, which features a suspended category four cab, positioned behind the engine to give improved balance and ride quality. The firm’s Delta Force heavy duty booms from 24 to 39m can be specified, and tank capacity is 5,100 litres. Standard pump capacity is 334 litres/min and a dedicated fast fill operates at 800 litres/min.
Mechanical axle width adjustment is standard, but HTA hydraulic adjustment can be specified, giving widths from 1.8-2.8m.
Hardi also introduced a higher specification version of its Navigator trailed sprayer in 3,000 to 6,000 litre models with Delta Force 24 to 39m booms with auto-wash, auto-fill and individual nozzle control.
GM-R celebrates 15 years of manufacturing sprayers with the introduction of the GX-Trail trailed sprayer with 3,600 litre polyethylene tank and 24m three-fold boom, giving a road transport width of 2.45m.
Designed to offer a high standard specification, the GX-Trail comes with steering axle, air suspension, GPS guidance and 12-section auto-section control. A 30 litre stainless steel induction hopper and a pair of LED boom lights are also included. There is a choice of high drawbar or pick-up hitch and control is via an IsoBus terminal. Price is £67,255.
LandQuip has been appointed as sole UK distributor for the Dutch-built Wing Sprayer shielded nozzle system.
Using aerospace technology, Wing Sprayer comprises a lightweight, flexible shield to comb the crop canopy and improve chemical penetration. A secondary, shorter length shield creates a vortex into which the spray nozzles unload, dragging chemical downwards, towards its target.
The firm claims a 99 per cent reduction in drift compared to conventional spray systems. Wing Sprayer uses 25cm nozzle spacings and costs £1,150/metre.
Househam’s Spirit entry level self-propelled sprayer is now specified with the company’s own Total Machine Control (TMC) terminal and Fieldmaster GPS system, coming into line with larger machines in the range.
The development places all functions, including section control, on a single screen. Househam says it also improves product support.
The Spirit has a 3,000 litre tank and 24 to 28m booms, and in common with its Merlin and Predator stablemates, is now powered by a Stage V emissions-compliant engine, a 170hp MTU in this instance.
Knight Farm Machinery has introduced a Pro high specification version of the Trailblazer trailed sprayer.
Features include a sprung drawbar, stainless steel belly pan, new induction hopper with rounded interior for easier cleaning via rim jets, easy access valve and simple lever controls. Knight’s digital Fluid Control system is standard, allowing the operator to input field size, application rate and overlap to give a set fill level, while relocating the pump to the rear reduces pipework and residual liquid. Full variable geometry is also standard, along with auto clean water tank fill.
Models are from 3,600 to 6,000 litres tank capacity and 24 to 36m boom widths.
Chafer Machinery is now offering the Raven Hawkeye pulse width modulation (PWM) system on its trailed and self-propelled sprayers, cutting overlaps and evening out applications on turns to offer chemical savings.
Operated through the sprayer’s IsoBus system, no additional terminal is required and PWM integrates with the purchaser’s choice of guidance system. Chafer suggests that the high quality build offers protection from liquid fertiliser while the system also offers reliable blockage monitoring, using indicator lighting on each PWM unit and feedback via the monitor. Frequencies of 10 to 30Hz are said to give greater flexibility for the duty cycle, for example when slowing into a turn. There is a choice of 16-section or individual nozzle control, adding from £20,000 to the price of the sprayer.
Kuhn is developing a weed sensing system for its range of sprayers, recognised in the Future Innovations section of the LAMMA awards, and said to offer the potential for 80 per cent reductions in herbicide use.
I-Spray uses NIR sensors at every 3m along the boom to detect weeds in the crop and activates a spot spraying system. Ultimately, spray records will be produced which can be used to create weed maps for future reference.
Developed initially in conjunction with artificial intelligence specialists Carbon Bee, Kuhn is progressing software and hardware in-house.
RJ Bateman has introduced the Bateman Boom Levelling (BBL) system for its self-propelled sprayers, based on the proven Norac system but with software optimised for the Bateman boom design.
Three sensors are fitted to the variable geometry booms to give a more sensitive ground following function, which is said to work equally well across a wide range of crops without having to alter its settings.
Bateman self-propelled sprayers are from 2,500 to 5,100 litres tank capacity with booms from 24 to 47m.