HARDI Australia has launched a new turn-compensation technology called H-SELECT, which it says could save farmers between five and seven per cent in chemical usage.
Having introduced Australian broadacre growers to the benefits of low-weight aluminium booms and the country’s largest self-propelled sprayer, the 9000 litre RUBICON, HARDI says H-SELECT offers advantages.
It uses four-head nozzle bodies arrayed in individual or selected boom sections.
An autonomous controller manages each section’s speed against the set spray rate, then switches the nozzle heads on and off rapidly and precisely to achieve consistent spray delivery across the turning boom.
Unlike pressure adjusted turn compensation, which affects fluid velocity and therefore nozzle performance, switching between nozzle heads means the flow rate can be continually adjusted without compromising the size or speed of the droplets produced.
Along with accurate rate delivery, that consistency is critical to effective crop penetration and drift control.
The system allows the operator to set and change the nozzle droplet size on-the-go, using H-SELECT’s in-cab Run Screen.
It means a farmer can adjust target droplet size to suit the day’s crop, coverage rate and spraying conditions.
While similar switching technologies have appeared with two or three-nozzle heads, HARDI said the four-nozzle solution was essential for covering the full range of delivery rates needed while turning wide booms around obstacles or in headland.
“If you’re making a 50 metre (165feet) radius turn at 20 kilometres an hour, the inner end of a 48.5m (160ft) boom will slow down to just 10.3km/h while the outer tip will accelerate to 29.7km/h,” said HARDI product manager (self-propelled sprayers) Steven Lancaster.
“In other words the tip-to-tip speed range of 19.4km/h is almost equal to the forward speed of the sprayer and the flow rate will need to double across the boom.”
HARDI said H-SELECT technology integrate seamlessly with the existing systems on its largest RUBICON sprayer with its 48.5m boom.
The controller operates on the same electronics platform as the Rubicon's existing ISOBUS, which neatly avoids potential compatibility issues or conflicts, Mr Lancaster said.
H-SELECT is already being proven in the field.
Since May 2018, HARDI dealer Belle Vue Trading, in Warracknabeal, Victoria, has put two H-SELECT-equipped RUBICON 9000s with 48.5m booms onto farms in the Wimmera area.
These are closely monitored and supported by HARDI technical staff from Adelaide, and Rubicon-trained staff from Belle Vue Trading’s service department.
HARDI Australia points to the local systems and performance testing as key benefits of its H-SELECT deployment.
“We not only bring the world’s leading sprayer technologies to Australia, but we adapt, test and support it here too,” Mr Lancaster said.