An improved closed-transfer system for safely mixing and loading pesticides into sprayers is to be trialled in the UK, reducing the risk of operator contamination from undiluted products.
Developed by Bayer and German nozzle manufacturer Agrotop, the easyFlow M system is an improved version of a system first introduced in 2014.
Unlike that system, which was primarily suitable for smaller sprayers, easyFlow M can be used with farm sprayers of any size.
“The highest risk of contamination for the sprayer operator comes during the mixing and loading of undiluted product,” explains Reinhard Friessleben, head of the Application Technology Centre at Bayer’s Crop Science division headquarters in Monheim.
“With this system there should be negligible exposure, which may become a requirement for some products in the future.
“We hope this system sets a new standard for introducing product into sprayers and can be used as well for all other liquid formulated products.”
The improved system no longer fits directly on to the sprayer, and instead, uses the existing suction line to introduce the pesticide after being measured into an integrated measuring device that fits between the can and the pipe connecting to the sprayer.
This means it is now suitable for use with any sprayer, says Mr Friessleben.
“You can accurately measure the correct amount of product to the nearest 20ml and it is easy to flush the system, even when only using part cans.”
The adaptor remains on a can until completely used, meaning that operators may need several adaptors, but the cost of the units is relatively low.
“Pricing for the new system has not been finalised yet, but we envisage it costing around €500-€600 (£425-£510) for the system plus two or three container adaptors.”
The system is virtually universal, he adds.
“It will work with all standard manufacturer containers from one to 10 litres.
“There are some 1 litre containers that won’t fit so we are working on a solution for those, and also for the very large containers, which users could not lift safely.”
Bayer in the UK is looking to test the system with sprayer operators in the coming season, says Alice Johnston, applications specialist in the UK.
“We’re excited by its potential to minimise risk to sprayer operators, but we want to make sure it is practical for everyday use before introducing more widely.”