2 January 1998

Returnable spray container scheme success

UPTAKE of one system for returnable spray containers is snowballing, with 1500 UK farms expected to be using it on at least 95,000ha (about 235,000 acres) by the autumn.

Both Cyanamid and AgrEvo already supply products in containers which can be used through the Ecomatic system. Now three more big multinational agrochemical manufacturers are expected to adopt the system, says the companys Jonathan Abbott.

Mr Abbott, who has monitored the Ecomatics use on 100 of the 400 farms evaluating the system in England and Scotland, admits it had teething problems. Those mostly related to plumbing into sprayers, a task best undertaken by an experienced fitter, he stresses.

Another criticism of the transfer unit is that it is hard to see the level of some pesticide formulations in the calibrated vessel. Cyanamid is assessing a non-staining, transparent plastic vessel to overcome that.

Company trials show it takes 10.3min to open a standard Stomp 400SC pack, empty its four 5-litre containers and triple-rinse the empties.

That compares with 2-3 man-minutes to insert the one-way valve into a 25-litre keg and transfer its content into a sprayers tank, with no need for container rinsing or disposal.

Products available for use with the Ecomatic include Arelon, Bullet, Encore, Meteor, Stomp and Trump in 25-litre containers. &#42

Ecomatic closed transfer system with returnable containers is winning favour with more agchem suppliers, says Cyanamids Jonathan Abbott.