Top class event shows off whole range of kit
Although Sprays & Sprayers
has expanded and
diversified, its principle
feature remains its shop
window for the latest in
spraying equipment and
technology. Peter Hill looks
at the new developments
CROP spraying equipment can be as simple or high-tech as you like.
From basic tractor-mounted sprayers to self-propelled units with all the latest chemical transfer, injection and variable rate application gizmos, Sprays & Sprayers has them all.
Products available for inspection for the first time at this years event cover much the same spectrum – mounted sprayers from Case, Landquip and Tecnoma, more sophisticated trailed units from Hardi, Berthoud and Knight, improved self-propelled machines from Sands, Frazier, Multidrive and Chavtrac.
But pesticides handling technology will also be much in focus with Team Sprayers showing its new and improved pesticides closed transfer and injection systems
The main attraction of injection is that pesticides are dispensed and mixed with water only as needed. So, if spraying is interrupted there is no spare spray-mix to deal with. This technology also allows selective spraying of different pesticides across fields and makes variable rate application easier to achieve.
The Dosatron Green-Spray system due to be shown by UK importer Hingerose lacks any sort of electrical or mechanical drive yet claims to provide accurate dosing of chemicals directly into the sprayline.
Instead of the familiar peristaltic pump used by most injection systems, it uses a differential piston driven up and down by water flow. This draws pesticide from a container and a one-way valve delivers it into the sprayline. The rate of pesticide pumped in this way remains proportional to the water flow.
New restrictions on the use of pesticides containing tridemorph – which include handling through closed-transfer systems only – has put such technology into focus.
Wisdom Agricultural and Fluid Systems are among the principle manufacturers, with the latter promising a further refined version of its dose-measuring Pro-Mix.
Recently, they have been joined by Team Sprayers whose Signet uses a microprocessor-controlled pump so that precise quantities of pesticide can be measured.
Team has adopted the Micromatic valve used by other closed transfer systems to ensure compatibility with kegs and bulk containers. *
John Deere makes its sprayer debut
JOHN Deere makes its Sprays & Sprayers debut as the second of the main manufacturers – after Case – to add crop spraying equipment to its UK product portfolio.
The Dutch-made machines provide a comprehensive range of tractor-mounted and trailed models from the start, with either conventional or twin fluid nozzle systems. For the latter, the Spraying Systems AirJet is used but with Douven-developed controls that, given the wind speed, will recommend suitable spray characteristics to minimise drift.
The 400-series mounted sprayers have capacities of 800, 1000 and 1200 litres with 18m to 24m boom sizes, while the 600-series trailed machines are 2400, 3200 and 3800 litres with booms up to 36m.
Tecnomas UK distributor, LandMec, will have details of its intriguing telescopic spray boom. Developed by sister company Seguip and on sale in France for some years, this 32m unit has end sections that can be drawn in to avoid telegraph poles or to handle turns and short-work.
Otherwise, the focus will be on Tecnomas Primatec general purpose 800 litre/12m sprayers and the Variotop spray computer, a simpler wheel and flow sensor alternative to the Variotec system.
Landquips new sprayer offerings will also cater for the smaller sprayer user. Compared with the Cropmaster mounted machines, the Eurocompact 800 and 1000-litre sprayer has a slimmer tank and more compact boom mounting to reduce the effective weight for sub-100hp tractors.
Aluminium booms will also feature on the Hardi Alpha self-propelled sprayer for the first time, as will a new coil spring axle suspension option for the Commander 2200 to 4200-litre trailer sprayers.
Two-stage Aeon rubber suspension features on Knights latest trailed sprayers, the 2500 to 3600 litre "EU" models.
A new moulded tank keeps more weight over the sprayers axle for greater stability in turns.
Berthouds new Major trailed range comes in 2500 to 4000 litre capacities with a sprung drawbar and Actiflex variable-response spring and damper axle suspension.
Booms can be steel up to 30m or aluminium up to 42m. *
New drive suits wide spaces and long roads
SUFFOLK-BASED sprayer maker Landquip hopes to spring a Sprays & Sprayers surprise with a new mechanical-drive self-propelled sprayer aimed at contractors and growers with big acreages involving lots of road travel.
Powered by a big six-cylinder engine with potential for up to 200hp, the vehicle has a six-speed powershift transmission and heavy duty live axles with air suspension.
The pre-production prototype, which the company hopes to have ready for the event, will carry a 4500-litre stainless steel tank – but there is room for bigger capacities if buyers demand it.
Changes to the smallest Case-IH self-propelled sprayer – the SP2000 – include an improved-visibility cab already fitted to the SP2500 and SP3000 units now available. Also, plumbing is now built around two five-way valves said to make operation easier and more error-proof. A pump-out facility also features, along with venturi fast-fill, which can double the standard filling rate.
Lighter duty gull-wing booms are introduced as an option on Sands self-propelled sprayers, all of which now standardise on the Lowline tank installation, along with through-flow plumbing for the sprayline which allows the system to be primed and purged for faster spray on/off response and easier disposal of spray residues.
A similar system will be introduced for the Frazier Agribuggy, Phantom and Stealth sprayers, along with a number of other improvements, such as standard-fitting of the RDS Pro-Series monitor.
Being shown with a variable-rate sprayer control programme for the first time at Sprays & Sprayers, the Pro-Series is an all-in-one, large screen display system which replaces the current multitude of electronic boxes needed for diverse operations such as GPS-guided yield recording and mapping, variable-rate application and soil mapping.
But RDS has not forgotten the smaller sprayer user. Its Rate-Master 200 is designed as a simple, low-cost means of maintaining sprayer application rate within a range of ground speeds. *