Archive Article: 1997/11/08

8 November 1997

&#8226 The Spra Coupe 3440 is beefed up, into a 1,000 acre/day machine, says Chavtrac. A British built Perkins 1,000 series diesel engine increases power from 87 to 110hp. The Spra Coupe 3440 can also be fitted with the Energized Spraying Process (ESP) which uses contact charging to deliver an electric charge to spray liquid. The high-intensity electrostatic field created between nozzle and crop is said to attract droplets into the canopy and improve deposition patterns.

&#8226 Chavtrac is also responsible for a software system linking the Raven injection system with site specific data from soil testing, weed monitoring and yield mapping. With a GPS receiver fitted on the sprayer, pre-programmed variable application of up to five different chemicals is possible.

&#8226 A MAFF LINK-funded project to evaluate use of yield mapping technology to target fertiliser inputs in combinable crops enters its second phase. The effects of variable rate and uniform nitrogen applications on wheat yield and grain quality are being compared by Philip Chamberlain of Crowmarsh Battle Farms in Oxfordshire and John Fenton of Yokefleet Farms in Humberside.

&#8226 On the move crop scanning linked to variable rate nitrogen applications is Hydro Agris aim. Its tractor-mounted prototype scans to a width of 10m, assessing cereals by colour, and modifies spreader settings accordingly.

&#8226 A voluntary national sprayer test scheme is introduced by the AEA, endorsed by MAFF, HSE, BCPC, BAA and the NFU. The scheme provides a standardised test and a national register of machines performing to standard.

&#8226 Lincoln based Gem Sprayers is bought by Case, one of 11 acquisitions made since January 1996 in the companys drive to become a full line supplier. An integrated product line becomes increasingly important as Case expands its Advanced Farming Systems line of components for site-specific farming.

&#8226 Hydro Chafer embarks on its first year as sole supplier in the UK for the Matrot range of sprayers, with their distinctive front-mounted aluminium booms up to 44m. The Matrot Chafer M44D 140 is the first machine to be pushed.

&#8226 Benest adds air to its dropleg sprayer in the form of the Ventura system, which is based on volume rather than pressure. Its gear type blower produces a maximum of 1.25 bar. A single hydraulic pump feeds motors on both the compressor and the centrifugal water pump. Air and liquid meet at the end of the dropleg in the Ventura system nozzle. In field vegetable and fruit production in particular, says the company, there are strong implications for reducing pesticide use.

&#8226 Silsoe Research Institutes patch sprayer receives a boost from collaboration with Micron Sprayers, a UK-based company better known for its export activities, but, as pioneer of Controlled Droplet Application, one with a track record of innovation.

&#8226 As independent assessors for the SP (spread pattern) rating scheme for fertiliser, SRI also announces improvements to its testing facility.

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