Look around the arena at Sprays & Sprayers and you’ll see upwards of 30 major sprayer manufacturers and probably as many again selling things like nozzles, hoses and pumps. So, when it comes to purchasing a new sprayer, UK farmers are clearly spoilt for choice. As ever, this year will see new machines and new developments from several of the manufacturers.
John Deere’s 5430i self-propelled sprayer and its 800i and 800 TF series trailed sprayers are now fitted with a new recirculation system with pneumatic switching of the spray nozzles.
The new system is designed to provide maximum liquid agitation while maintaining high pressures and flow rates in the spray lines. This, says John Deere, ensures fast, drip-free nozzle on/off switching and improved spray accuracy.
Nozzles are switched on using air supplied by a hydraulically driven compressor and switched off by spring-operated diaphragm check valves.
For the first time this year, self-propelled sprayers from Househam will have the option to be fitted with the company’s new automatically adjusted axles which allow the track width to be varied between 170cm and 200cm (68in and 80in).
Adjustment is made in the cab using the sprayer’s Total Machine Control system. In automatic mode a new axle width can be pre-set on the touch screen while the sprayer is stationary – the track width is adjusted when the machine starts to move.
Sprayer watchers may also want to know that Spraycare – the manufacturer’s sister company – will now have its product range badged in the same green and cream Househam livery.
One of the more unusual developments at Sprays & Sprayers is to be found on the Martin Lishman stand, where a solution derived from compost containing a high concentration of beneficial organisms is being made. The resulting solution is sprayed on to plants as a liquid feed.
Compost Tea Systems (although there doesn’t appear to be any direct connection to tea as we know it) is an idea from the USA. Liquid held in a special composter uses a supply of air to bubble through the liquid and a catalyst to stimulate microbial growth – systems are available to cope with volumes from 40 to 1900 litres.
Lemken, like several other manufacturers, has been the victim of its own sales success in that the company says it cannot get its hands on a new Sirius mounted sprayer that was planned to be available in the UK this year. The new sprayer (1750 litres or 2000 litres) features a narrow tank which places the weight closer to the rear of the tractor.
However, the company will be showing its current range of mounted and trailed sprayers which feature the novel tubular aluminium boom system that is claimed to combine strength and lightness with protection for nozzles and pipework.
Chafer’s presence at Sprays & Sprayers coincides with news that the company’s sprayers fitted on the Challenger RoGator 418 and 618 are now to be sold only through the Challenger dealer network in the UK.
The previous arrangement was for the RoGator self-propelled sprayers to be sold direct by Chafer Machinery.
According to Chafer’s commercial manager, Rob Starkey, his company is simply ensuring that all RoGator 418 and 618s fitted with Chafer sprayers are sold through its existing dealer network.
The Chafer stand will exhibit, among other models, an updated 418 which has a sprayer with a lower centre of gravity.
Gambetti – the UK importer of Bargam sprayers – plans to introduce the new Bargam MAC 3700 MC self-propelled sprayer at the event.
The new flagship model for the MAC sprayer range is powered by a 175hp Iveco engine via a 50kph transmission that combines an element of hydrostatic drive for infinite speed control with a mechanical final drive to the axles.
Boom options from 24m to 32m are available for this 3700 litre machine, which is shod on Michelin 650 R38 tyres.
The Amazone stand will see a number of updates to the company’s sprayer ranges. The UF tractor-mounted sprayer has a new operator station which employs one less valve than before and the sprayer’s induction bowl has a better sealing lid.
These sprayers are also now available with Comfort Pack – the automatic filling and rinsing system operated from the tractor seat.
Amazone’s Amaspray+ controller unit has been updated to be GPS compatible to enable patch spraying or variable rate liquid fertiliser to be achieved.
The new FT1001 automatic front tank will make an appearance – this 1000 litre tank is connected to the rear tank so the operator only fills the rear one. Liquid is constantly circulated between the tanks for an equal mix and, when spraying, the system controls the transfer between front and rear ranks to maintain correct weight balance.
Landquip’s new 4000 litre Electrac trailed sprayer will be making its debut at Sprays and Sprayers. Features include a 700 litres/minute hydraulically driven centrifugal pump that can operate at 6 bar. This pump capacity also allows the sprayer to apply high volumes of liquid fertiliser efficiently, says Landquip. Included in the specification is a programmable steering system which uses twin steering rams and can be set to headland tracking or crab steer modes.
Hardi’s Navigator 4000 trailed sprayer will take centre stage on the company’s stand. Fitting in between the Ranger and the Commander series, the Navigator can be equipped with features such as IntelliTrack, TurboFiller, adjustable axles, high capacity filters, chassis suspension and boom suspension.
For 2008, Hardi has extended its Intelligent range of optional features for both the trailed Commander and Alpha self-propelled sprayers. Included for the first time is a boom AutoHeight System which, through use of proportional valves to raise or slant, automatically maintains the height of the boom above the crop or the soil. There is also HeadLandAssist which helps the operator by sequencing spray off, boom raise, boom lower and spray on operations when headland turns are made.
Keith Mount Liming reasons that with the increasing price of fertiliser, growers should be more aware of a soil’s specific fertiliser requirement and not “blanket” treat fields. As a result, the company say it plans to launch a GPS Nutrient Mapping service combined with a variable rate application spreading service.
Nozzle manufacturer Hypro will use Sprays and Sprayers to introduce its new range of Guardian Air inclusion nozzles which are designed to minimise spray drift by creating large droplets that have air bubbles within them. On contact with the plant these droplets “explode” to create finer droplets.More stories on the Cereals landing page