14 May 1999

In bulk but closed up

A HERBICIDE used on large areas for stubble cleaning is the latest to be supplied in a bulk, closed transfer system.

In a first for the firm, Zeneca has launched its Touchdown (glyphosate trimesium) in a 640 litre single-use plastic container protected by a steel cage. Empties are collected for recycling into plastic pallets.

The main aim is to make spraying on large farms more efficient. Several closed transfer pumps are said to be compatible with the new containers. Another benefit is that the only safety equipment required is a pair of plastic gloves.

Zeneca says the system has been tested by Littlecote Farm Partners, Berks where operator Simon Davis, responsible for spraying 5000ha (12,000 acres) of arable, found it far simpler, cleaner and safer than opening numerous containers. His self-propelled 24m Gem Airtec sprayer covers up to 40ha (100 acres) a fill. That can mean opening, emptying and rinsing twelve or more conventional 10 litre containers.

Touchdown will continue to be supplied in both formats with no price differential.

"This is a significant development in helping farmers meet their safety obligations for staff and to comply with packaging disposal regulations," says the companys Alistair Reid.