Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 095 November-December 2011 - North
Spraying NOVEMBER -- DECEMBER 2011 GROUND COVER 15 By Bill Gordon and Graham Betts n We probably have more options for modifying sprayer set-up than many growers actually know what to do with. Growers can spend a lot of time deciding what options they may want on the sprayer, which often adds to the cost. However, the often- neglected issue when buying a sprayer is how much time and money are invested in one of the most important parts of the sprayer -- the operator. Application efficiency is as much about how the machine is operated as it is about the options that are fitted. When considering where to make efficiency gains the machine set-up and the operator both need to be considered. In this article we have considered the 'must haves', the 'should haves' and the 'nice to haves'. It is important to note that over time the 'nice to haves' often end up as 'must haves'. THE OPERATOR Must haves: n ability to understand the product label and legal requirements; n adequate knowledge of how the machine and the nozzles work; n knowledge of appropriate water quality, mixing order and product compatibility; n ability to adjust, calibrate and monitor sprayer outputs; n knowledge of appropriate conditions and use of weather-monitoring equipment; n good record-keeping skills and the ability to ask questions if in doubt; and n knowledge of decontamination procedures. Should haves: n understanding of the target condition (susceptibility and stress); n understanding of the role of adjuvants; and n ability to make decisions about when to adjust/manipulate the operating parameters. Nice to haves: n a sense of humour and no desire to join the mining industry. THE SPRAYER Must haves: n adequate pump capacity, pressure and adjustable agitation; n boom stability at operating speed to maintain correct nozzle height; n ease of filling, mixing and transfer; n the best nozzle types (spray angles, orifice sizes and spray quality) to match labels, targets, conditions and to reduce potential loss/drift of product; and n good filtration (water into the spray tank, pump suction, pressure side of pump, individual boom line strainers optional, nozzle strainers not necessary). Should haves: n guidance/autosteer -- to reduce operator fatigue and allow close attention to the sprayer's operating system; n ability to easily adjust controller settings -- for example, when changing nozzle type or increasing volume it may be necessary to change the minimum speed, flow or pressure settings in many controllers; n rapid fill systems and in-fill meters (chemical and water) -- time out of the paddock during fill operations can add to the total time required to complete a spray job. Mixing order is still critical. n sprayer width to match multiples of other farm machinery -- providing reduced compaction, fewer under/over laps, improved machinery efficiency (lower fuel consumption). Permanent wheel tracks can lead to improved wheel track control where dust is a problem; n adequate clearance -- higher clearance machines fitted with appropriate nozzles tend to be able to travel at slightly higher spraying speeds before aerodynamic effects around the machine become significant; n proportional valves -- can be adjusted so the pressure remains the same when boom sections are turned off/on. Proportional valves bypass needs to be able to be shut off if using direction injection; and n on-board weather stations -- allows the operator to measure and record weather conditions while moving. Nice to haves (consider the cost/benefit for your operation): n auto height control -- maintain height above the target or false target -- critical in maintaining correct overlap; n auto section control -- has the potential to reduce chemical usage through reduced overlap; n direct injection -- may be an advantage for large tanks, as it can provide more even mixing than standard agitation systems and variable rate application. It also allows the operator to stop spraying without the risk of mixed product 'going off'; n systems that minimise pressure variations at the nozzle -- systems that can maintain a constant pressure (or small variation in pressure at the nozzles) provide greater control over droplet size. Aim Command (pulse width modulation) can maintain a constant pressure at the nozzle with standard fans and pre-orifice nozzles (not air induction) or three-step dual boom systems can minimise pressure variations due to large speed ranges; n inter-row shielded, banded spraying -- in-crop shielded spraying may be an option to control resistant weeds through the use of alternative or more expensive products (where permitted on the label); and n target selectable sprayers (for example, WeedSeeker®, Weed-it) -- these sprayers are particularly useful for harder-to- control weeds, low weed populations and as a resistance management tool. □ GRDC Research Code BGC00001 More information: Bill Gordon, 0429 976 565, email@example.com; Graham Betts, 0427 622 214, firstname.lastname@example.org; www.grdc.com.au/BGC00001 PHOTO: GRAHAM BETTS Height above the target, boom stability and pressure at the nozzle are essential. Trained operators a key to spray efficiency Where can we make the biggest gains in application efficacy and efficiency? Infratec™ Soﬁa On-farm grain analyser Wheat and barley -- protein and moisture Canola -- oil and moisture Results aligned with ALL bulk handler receival sites Why Infratec Soﬁa? Infratec Soﬁa calibratons are based on those used in the Infratec™ 1241 grain analyser, the analyser used exclusively by ALL Australian bulk handlers. So the results you get on-farm with Infratec Soﬁa are what you will see at receival. Results in less than 3 minutes Stable calibratons – no adjustments required Upgradeable with new crop calibratons Compact and mobile (240VAC/12VDC), weighs 9kg Comprehensive support and back up Australia-wide Questons? More informaton? Email: email@example.com Phone: 1300 360 848 For more informaton, and product & customer feedback videos, visit www.foss.com.au/soﬁa . . . . .
Ground Cover 096 January-February 2012 - North
Ground Cover 094 September-October 2011 - North