A windless day and scorching sun were the perfect ingredients for demonstrations in the Sprays and Sprayers Arena at Cereals.
Farmers Weekly’s Machinery team was at the two-day event in Boothby Graffoe, Lincolnshire from Wednesday (14 June).
The team has picked out three of the arena’s highlights – the Agrifac Milan the Gaspardo Campo and the Househam Predator.
Agrifac built on the success of its recent 24-hour, 2,638ha spraying record by launching its first trailed machine in the UK.
The single-axle Milan has been available for the past couple of years on the continent and makes use of the same plumbing system as the record-breaking Condor.
There’s just one model with four tank options – 3,500, 4,200, 5,400 and 6,800-litres – and boom kits from 27m to 45m.
The company admits it’s unlikely to sell too many of the biggest, but 40m and 42m machines could well find homes filling the shoes of old self-propelleds as buyers look for other ways to keep their tractors busy year-round.
Boom control can be set across up to 90 sections (every nozzle) and pump capacities are rated to 500-litres/min for spraying and 700-litres/min for filling.
Other spec details worth noting include a 620-litre clean water tank that runs straight across the front, a steering axle, 50kph top speed and drawbar suspension.
The starting price is likely to be about £60,000, but going with the big tank and widest wingspan could see that figure sneak north of £100,000.
Since buying two sprayer companies in 2013, Italian manufacturer Maschio Gaspardo has built a state-of-the-art sprayer factory and is bringing its trailed Campo models to British shores for the first time.
The range-topping Campo 65 has a suspended steering axle and huge 6,500-litre tank that will fill at a rate of 560-litre/min.
Domex steel booms with aluminium end sections range in size from 27m to 40m and are supported by a parallelogram linkage with hydropneumatic suspension.
Other standard features include a spray recirculation system, variable geometry with tilt and roll control and six sensors for the Norac auto height sensing.
The more modestly sized 32 S offers a 3,200-litre tank with the same boom set-up as its larger sibling, but it spans between 18m and 24m over the seven sections and needs just 70hp on the front.
After getting a series of requests from customers for a larger-wheeled, self-propelled sprayer, Househam has gone back to the drawing board and built a new flagship machine.
With an articulating chassis capable of accommodating 46-inch row crops and tank capacities of 4,000 or 5,000-litres, the Predator sits just above the current Merlin range in terms of stature and potential output.
It’s also been given a series of high-tech features, including hydraulic load-sensing suspension. This adapts to changing ground conditions and compensates for weight fluctuations as the tank empties.
The 50kph hydrostatic transmission also comes with two-speed cruise control and there’s a traction system to help improve grip.
To further refine its in-field agility Househam has mounted the poky 230hp, four-cylinder MTU block to the rear of the tank to give it a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution.
It’s slender design also means it tips the scales at about 10t unladen, making it one of the lightest in its class.
Upfront drivers get a new category four cabin running Househam’s own total machine control (TMC) unit with Fieldmaster guidance system. Individual nozzle control and auto-nozzle select are also standard fitments.
In the sprayer department, both tanks are made from stainless steel and there are various boom options up to a maximum of 36m.
Househam has four build slots available for the Predator this year and if you want to get yourself on the list you’ll need to start your negotiating at £196,500.