Cereals 2018: Sprayers and spreaders

The Cereals event returned to its regular southern haunt at Chrishall Grange, Cambridgeshire this week. Farmers Weekly’s Machinery team delved into the sprays and sprayers ring in search of the latest crop protection kit.

John Deere R4050i

Flying up and down the sprays and sprayers demo area was the flagship John Deere 4050i self-propelled unit, with a larger 5,000-litre tank, carbon-fibre boom and a few new tricks up its sleeve.

A fresh transmission has been built by Deere and, although it does bear similarities to the old one, there’s now a cruise control feature on the joystick and independent wheel slip control. This is designed to direct power to the wheels with the most traction and will hopefully avoid it getting bogged down in wet holes.

See also: A pick of the latest kit on show at Cereals 2018

This new single-range hydrostatic transmission is now standard on all JD’s self-propelled models.

Also standard (and an option on trailed machines) is PowrSpray, which uses two centrifugal pumps to handle huge water volumes.

John Deere R4050i

© Jonathan Page

A 1,200 litres/min filling pump pulls clean water into the tank. Due to the speed of filling, Deere has added a pause feature, which stops the tank level rising and allows the operator to add the chemical through the induction hopper.

Cleverly, the rinse water for the hopper comes from the paused pressurised external feed. This way, there should never be a rush to get all the chemical in before the tank is brimmed and cans are washed with clean water, as opposed to mixed chemical solution from the tank.

The second spraying pump is 1,000 litres/min and can reach 0-8bar in under three seconds. This two-pump design also means the filling pump handles the clean water and the spraying pump takes care of the chemical solution.

There are also two new boom levelling options that use either two or three sensors across the width to keep things running straight.

Litetrac boom spreader

Peterborough-based sprayer maker Litetrac has added a pneumatic boom spreader to its line-up.

The in-house-built machine comes with a 950kg stainless steel hopper – although extensions are available to increase this – and it’s available with 12m or 24m aluminium booms. These can also have up to 24 individual section controls.

Litetrac boom spreader

© Jonathan Page

To give a smooth ride on rough ground, the central frame and hopper are air suspended. This suspension system also allows the unit to self-level.

The machine was originally designed for use in the field trials sector, but the firm says it’s suitable for broad-acre arable units as well.

Prices vary according to size and spec, but most will come in between £35,000 and £40,000.

Dammann DT2800H S4

Featuring Dammann’s usual bright colour scheme, the self-propelled DT2800H S4 sprayer has a totally new cab that the company says gives operators oodles more glass area and room inside. It has also scrapped the odd-looking car-like grille styling from the previous unit.

The bones of the cab are made by Dietec in Germany, but the fitting and construction for everything inside is completed by the in-house team at Dammann’s Hamburg factory.

Dammann DT2800H S4 sprayer

© Jonathan Page

Customer research highlighted that staring at crop reflections all day was draining, so the new full-length front window can be darkened at the bottom to reduce glare and movement from the crops.

The cab is now standard on all of the firm’s self-propelled models and has slight tweaks to the sliding door opening and the option to have multiple screens arranged on the right-hand-side of the driver.

Muller provides the hardware for the spraying screen, which is now attached to the seat and moves with the operator, while there are LED lights all round and plenty of room for a large hound on the cab floor.

The model on the stand at Cereals costs about £246,000.

Fendt Rogator 655

The Rogator sprayer made its Cereals debut in Fendt colours, almost a year after Agco revealed the extent of its rebranding exercise that has all but killed off Challenger products in Europe.

The 655 model on stand is the biggest in a range of three and comes powered by a 242hp six-cylinder sourced from the company’s engine division, running through a CVT gearbox.

Fendt Rogator 655 sprayer

© Jonathan Page

Top-spec tank capacity is 6,000 litres (the smallest is 4,000 litres) and maximum width of the aluminium booms is 36m.

Other details to note include an empty weight of 12,500kg, 3.6m wheelbase and 6.28m turning circle.