Designed to maintain a constant nozzle height over the crop canopy, such technology can significantly optimise pesticide dispersion and, therefore, boost chemical efficiency.
An even spray pattern will also help to cut drift.
In addition, because boom levelling is automated, the sprayer operator can work faster and later into the night, taking advantage of low wind conditions.
Canadian firm Norac’s UC4 Spray Height Controller uses ultrasonic sensors mounted at the boom’s centre and tips to monitor nozzle height above the ground or crop.
This is fed through a computer which makes alterations to boom position hundreds of times a second.
British sprayer manufacturer Chafer has developed its own version using the same principles of ultrasound technology.
Both systems can be fitted to sprayers with rigid booms and those with left and right sections that can be lifted and lowered independently – variable geometry units.
What this means is that nozzle height is maintained when ground undulations occur within the boom width.
Marketed in the UK by Precise Solutions, Norac’s prices range from £2500 up to £4300.
Chafer’s system costs about £3500 and can also be fitted to any type of sprayer.