16 June 1995

No-yaw boom cracked

A SPRAY boom which does not yaw or swing up and down has long been a pipe dream of sprayer manufacturers – such movements can seriously affect the even application of chemicals.

Research into the problem by the Dutch Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering at Wageningen is now claimed to have resulted in a solution.

Using information gleaned from two accelerometers sited in the horizontal plane, changes in sprayer movement which would have resulted in the boom starting to yaw, are automatically compensated for using two hydraulic rams. Similarly, two other accelerometers are used to detect movement in the vertical plane and activate rams to prevent this movement.

The importance of this development is not to be underestimated – particularly as booms become wider. Systems developer Van Zuydam points out that application rates can vary by as much as 75% when booms yaw and spray patterns are distorted as boom tips rise and fall.