Farmer Focus Arable: Drift-reducing crop surfer impresses Philip Reck

I have just returned from the Syngenta-sponsored trip to Sweden for the Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year award. The main focus of the visit was to see the crop surfer in action in the field.

Plastic panels brush the top of the crop, opening up the canopy to allow the angled rear-facing nozzles to spray the crop on one side and then the other as it springs back up, allowing greater coverage and penetration into the canopy with hardly any drift due to the low operating height of the boom.

It was impressive to see it working in a crop of onions on a windy day. It was hard to believe how something so simple could be so effective.

Roundup Gold 450 (glyphospate) will be applied pre-harvest to aid ripening and kill any grassweeds and late tillers that have emerged. The benefits of lower moistures and ease of harvesting make it worthwhile.

Preparations for the harvest are under way with the Husky winter oats first to be cut. The earliest of the spring barley will be at least a week after this but, once we start, it should ripen as quickly as we harvest it.

Crop yields are looking promising after ideal weather at grain fill. Let’s hope that there is good harvest weather this year, making the harvest an enjoyable and fulfilling culmination to all the hard work through the season.

The John Deere 8345RT has certainly showed its worth in front of our 6m Vaderstad Topdown while cultivating some fallow ground destined for winter wheat. The tracks give unbelievable levels of traction and will increase productivity. A crop of fodder rape was sown while cultivating and will be sprayed off and incorporated before drilling in September.

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