A NEW speedy strip-spraying service to remove swaths of cereal volunteers from newly-sown oilseed rape is set to attract plenty of business this autumn.
Based on a Kawasaki quad bike, it allows growers to optimise herbicides to tackle cereal volunteers, says developer Andrew Rumsey of Suffolk Crop Protection.
The equipment is used to apply a low dose of a graminicide such as Laser (cycloxydim) to check competitive volunteer growth, so a decision on whether the whole field needs treating can be made later .
In theory slug pellets could be applied at the same time from a front-mounted distributor. But modifications to current equipment are needed to prevent pellets hitting the operators face.
Cost varies according to job, with a standard fee of £15/hour and a minimum charge of £50. "We can do about 40 acres/hr. The real benefit is that farmers can avoid compromising on sprays," says Mr Rumsey. *