This year’s Sprays and Sprayers – held as before at the Cereals event – looks set to offer visitors an interesting selection of new developments.
On the operating front, simplified and more user friendly systems are now the order of the day – the opportunity for mistakes when filling are now much reduced.
Boom sizes continue to increase with 24m now considered by many to be the industry standard but, for those with the fields and terrain to warrant it, ever larger booms are now on offer.
And that is not to ignore the fact that tank capacities also continue to creep ever larger.
With 5000 litres not now unusual it seems we can now forget about those ultra lightweight machines which used to be so much in demand a few years ago.
Crop Assurance and the requirement to have sprayers tested has for most at least, encouraged the correct maintenance of sprayers which the industry should be pleased with.
So what can visitors expect to see that’s new in the sprayer market at this year’s Cereals event?
The answer, as ever, is quite a lot.
While it is difficult to forecast just which sprayer will hold centre stage at the event, a good contender must be the 5500-litre self-propelled sprayer due to be introduced at the event by Sands Agricultural Machinery (stand 906).
Designated the 5-5, Sands is at pains to point out that the design of the sprayer is such that it has a high power to weight ratio and, with a turning circle of about 8m, also a high degree of manoeuvrability.
Unladen it weighs 7t and fully laden with a 36m boom the 5-5 weighs in at just under 13t.
Power for the hydrostatically driven machine is provided by a 207hp Deutz 6-cylinder turbocharged engine and the transmission includes a system which automatically changes wheel motor displacement to increase forward speed.
Other features include a choice of axle widths – from 1.8m to 2.1m (72in to 84in).
With a 1m underbelly clearance, 36m gull wing booms and a host of electronic control systems, the new Sands 5-5 could be an interesting machine to take a look at.
John Deere (stand 970) says it will be showing its new 700 Series trailed sprayers for the first time at Cereals.
Complementing the existing 800 Premium Series, these new mid-specification sprayers are aimed at medium-sized arable farms, says the manufacturer.
The three-model range offers capacities of 2400, 3200 and 4000 litres and a choice of either 18 to 28m double folding booms or 24 to 28m triple folding booms.
Options extend to an automatic drawbar steering system and double link axle suspension, allowing the sprayer to be towed at speeds of up to 50kph.
For the boom itself, a new boom suspension system is claimed to offer all the benefits found on higher specification sprayers but to employ a lighter simpler design based on a central pendulum with shock absorbers and polyurethane dampers.
Sprayer controls are grouped on the left hand side of the sprayer together with induction hopper and clothing lockers.
Hardi (stand 904) will be using the Cereals Event to for the first public showing of the company’s Alpha Varitrack self-propelled sprayer which was launched earlier this year.
One of the most interesting features of this sprayer is its ability to change track width while on the move – without the need to re-align wheel settings.
Track width can be adjusted from 1.8m to 2.25m so that a variety of different crop growing systems – particularly in the more specialised root crop production – can be accommodated.
For the sprayer itself, the Alpha Varitrack can be specified with either a 2500 or 3000 litre tank.
Aluminium booms are available in widths from 24m to 32m.
Power is supplied by a 170hp Deutz engine which drives a hydrostatic transmission allowing forward speed to be controlled by a joystick.
Rau’s (stand 968) latest trailed sprayer range – the Ikarus – is aimed, says the company, at the cost conscious grower.
It has a slightly lower specification than Rau’s Explorer models but still offers such features as aluminium booms, tank recirculation and tank capacities of 2800 and 3800 litres.
Two versions are available – the Farm and the Pro – with the Pro specification providing a tracking drawbar, triplet nozzle bodies, electro hydraulic controls and an axle suspension system.
Standard to both the Farmer and Pro builds include Flowmate auto dosage control, sprayline priming and purging, stainless steel spray lines and a clean water flushing system.
Making its debut appearance at Cereals will be Chafer Farm Machinery’s (stand 924) 36m trailed sprayer complete with options for 4000, 5000 and 6000 litre capacity tanks.
Clearly a sprayer aimed at the larger scale grower – and to provide a viable alternative to self-propelled sprayers – the Sentry could be an interesting machine to take a closer look at.
Chafer maintains that the design of the boom suspension system allows the sprayer to be operated at speeds that are normally more suited to sprayers with 24m booms.
Stainless steel tanks – a Chafer trademark – are used and these have been positioned low down in the chassis to lower the sprayer’s centre of gravity.
The specification also includes lorry-type air-suspension, auto tracking and spray line recirculation.
Knight Farm Machinery (stand 920) is set to introduce larger spraying systems which have been built for mounting on 225hp Challenger 618s.
These sprayers offer capacities from 3000 to 5000 litres and have booms up to 36m wide.
Now available for these sprayers – and the company’s range of EUA trailed sprayers – is a new high-flow, low volume pressurised circulation system.
Considered to be an alternative to the LASER vacuum system, the Maximiser system is claimed to reduce chemical retention in the spraylines and speeding up the washing-out as a result.
It also allows two sets of nozzles to be fitted on a single sprayline and activated singly or in pairs to provide a wide range of application rates.
A new higher capacity self-propelled sprayer joins the Househam (stand 976) Air Ride line-up – the AR 5000 takes over as the company’s flagship machine.
Powered by a 220hp Iveco engine, the four wheel drive machine has a three-range hydrostatic transmission.
A self compensating air suspension system is also fitted which provides suspension irrespective of the changes in weight as the 5000 litre tank empties.
Also included in the specification is hydraulic track adjustment from 1.7m to 2m – steering geometry is automatically maintained in the correct position.
Meanwhile Spraycare – which is now a division of Househam Sprayers – will be revealing an 800-litre mounted sprayer complete with integral clean water tank and a 3000-litre trailed sprayer fitted with Househam 12/24m booms.
Gambetti’s (stand 908) range of AG mounted sprayers can now be fitted with a 12m boom which folds in five sections –
a design which allows it to be folded well within the required 4m height even when the boom is in its highest position, says the company.
Each arm of the boom can be folded independently as can each boom section on each arm making it suitable for compact bed work.
The company’s MAC 3000 self-propelled sprayer has also received some updates.
A mechanically driven sprayer in its original build, the latest version is offered with a hydrostatic gearbox and a mechanical drive transfer box.
This arrangement says Gambetti provides the advantage of infinitely variable forward speed with the advantages of traction and control of mechanical transmissions.
The sprayer’s 24m boom is now equipped with improved suspension and is mounted lower down to provide greater operating stability on steep ground.