Retrofitting the latest TeeJet Centerline with Swath Manager auto boom shut-off facility to a three-year-old 24m 3000l Chafer Multidrive 4140 demount sprayer has increased output, improved accuracy and reduced operator fatigue on a Lincolnshire arable farm.
Steve Skinner of Cliff Farm, South Carlton, recently upgraded his sprayer to improve performance of both man and machine across the 940ha (2300-acre) of combinable crops and sugar beet.
Switching to liquid fertiliser last year increased the total area covered by the one sprayer to around 7000ha (17,000 acres) a season. So a management decision to spend around £3000 on the latest auto boom shut-off facility and GPS guidance has proved a wise investment.
“When we purchased our Chafer Demount the auto shut-off facility was not available,” says Mr Skinner. “The benefits easily outweigh the investment cost. Faster headland turnaround and increased forward speed has seen output improve. Driving faster hasn’t compromised sprayer accuracy either.
“Over and underlapping is easy to see on the fertiliser side and because there has been no scorching or lodging we know that the system is working well.”
Mr Skinner reckons output has gone up by 10%. However, the introduction of a mixer-bowser to the spraying operation has also had a big impact on output which overall has jumped by 50%.
“Just keeping the sprayer in the field and being able to pump pre-mixed chemicals and fertiliser direct into the tank without having to go back to the farm has made a significant impact on output,” he says.
Sprayer operator Chris Haynes says that auto shut-off has also improved his working environment. Whereas before he would have to keep looking behind him to manually shut-off boom sections he can now remain facing forward and only have to look at the light console to see which sections are shutting down and when.
He also likes the resume function, which means the on board computer remembers the point in the field where it last finished, allowing the operator to find the exact spot to continue with the spraying operation.