Sprayer technology essentials

With more and more growers making use of computerised technology to aid spraying operations, Sprays & Sprayers is really the place to come if you are looking to invest in a new sprayer or even upgrade an existing one.

Some of the latest “must haves” include GPS (global positioning system) mapping to improve accuracy, and auto-boom height adjustment for improved placement of sprays.

Benefits of technology can include better product performance, savings in the amount of product used from fewer overlaps, environmental advantages, and even increases in yield from fewer missed strips.

At the entry level, GPS technology linked to a light bar in the cab helps the driver stay on course – by warning of deviations as the sprayer is steered up and down the field.

As the next step along, a TV screen in the cab provides an aerial view of the field – so operators effectively “see the field being painted’ as the land is traversed.

Further along still, and auto boom shut-off helps reduce overlaps – especially when dealing with angled headlands. Beyond that, there is auto steer – where the key tasks for the operator are simply to control speed and generally oversee the spraying process.

By using technology, users have reported typical savings of 5% on spray bills from improved accuracy. This is certainly believable. Our own work with the herbicide Axial showed a £20/ha gain from better wild oat control – just by setting the boom at the correct height.

In fact, such benefits go hand-in-hand with an initiative we ourselves launched this year – Making Your Investment Work Harder – to help growers get even better returns from crop protection inputs, not least by applying them in the best way.

But there’s one really good way to learn more about the benefits of the latest spraying technology for yourself – visit Sprays & Sprayers.