Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sprayer-mounted spreader ensures accurate slug control

September 3, 2018 by  
Filed under Crops

An accurate and even spread pattern at 36m is helping to achieve effective slug control and improve work rates on a Cambridgeshire fenland farm.

Sprayer operator Jon Paul Barnes – of Ely-based Cambs Farms Growers – has reduced the number of passes by investing in a new Outcast V2 slug pellet applicator to work alongside the company’s new Agrifac Condor self-propelled sprayer following its purchase in 2017.

Like most modern sprayers, the Agrifac offers greater efficiency thanks to automatic rate control, auto-section control and improved boom stability, says Mr Barnes. “It made sense to choose an applicator which could offer that same high level of accuracy at working widths of up to 36m.”

During its first full season in 2017, the Outcast V2 successfully completed 1,000ha of pelleting on potatoes and 200ha of pelleting on maize. But it is equally adept at slug pellet applications in min-tilled autumn oilseed rape and cereal crops.

It is Mr Barnes’ fourth Outcast V2 since he first moved across to the sprayer-mounted applicator from Techneat Engineering in 2006. He says has no regrets on the decision he made 12 years ago – which continues to pay dividends.

“We had previously used a conventional twin disc machine but it could not achieve 36m, even on the calmest day with the best quality pellets. Poor reliability issues combined with a hopper that was too small convinced me that we needed a change,” he says.

Following the purchase of the Agrifac sprayer, Mr Barnes front-mounted the Outcast V2 – selecting a 400l capacity hopper, a GPS Garmin forward speed sensor and the options of both headland and sectional control.

“The Outcast is front-mounted and attached to the sprayer’s own hydraulics so it can be lowered for easier refilling of the hopper.  The forward speed sensor also gives me full control of application rates and the speed of application” he adds.

Front-mounting allows for easier cab visibility so the operator can always see the hopper level. The front-positioning offers a neater, more compact installation with the applicator’s feed pipe running directly underneath the cab from the hopper directly to the distribution head.”

The beauty of the V2 is its simplicity,” says Mr Barnes. “Pellets are metered from the hopper into an airstream and blown onto each spinning disc on the sprayer boom for distribution. Maintenance is minimal as there are very few internal moving parts.

“Recalibration is only required if we change the manufacturer of the pellets we are applying. The Outcast V2 is fully compliant with the National Sprayer Testing Scheme and testing the machine is part of our annual servicing.”

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