CROPLANDS has all bases covered, triggered by market response, with its new range of 7000 litre 36 metre WEEDit spot sprayer trailed units.
The obvious reason WEEDit has been so popular is the widely-publicised benefits of chemical savings and the WEEDit technology combatting herbicide resistance.
But the new trailed models, available with a single line for spot-spraying only applications or dual line plumbing systems for blanket and spot-spraying, are finding plenty of appeal with farmers wanting to reduce input costs and extend the effectiveness of today’s chemical formulations.
These models feature a 7000 litre tank for blanket spray and are available on the Sonic platform with cable suspended boom or as a Croplands unit with a ground following boom.
The Sonic unit runs a 3000L hot tank and a 500L flush tank while the ground following model has a 1500L hot tank and an 800L flush tank.
In effect the WEEDit sprayer becomes a two-for-one sprayer and has excellent productive capacity, compared to conventional boomsprayers, due to time saved by going longer between fills when spot-spraying.
Beaumont (east Esperance) farm manager Tony Stringer had that in mind when he bought a trailed model for the farm’s 7000 hectare operation.
“We mainly bought it to reduce chemical inputs and as an extra tool to help battle chemical resistance,” Mr Stringer said.
“Our plan is to do a full knock on germinating plants after summer rain, generally about the middle of January and then use the spot-spraying mode to wack any leftovers.
“Then it will be reacting to the weather which could mean we do four ‘spot’ passes up to seeding.
“The idea is to keep pressure on weed seed burdens so the spot sprayer becomes another tool to do that along with chaff carts, windrow burning and other integrated weed management strategies we think might be beneficial.
“But apart from trying to control the weeds, it’s about keeping costs down as much as possible.
“For example, with the WEEDit, we can spray a litre a hectare of paraquat in the blanket line and set the cameras for 2L/ha with a hot brew in the 1500L tank for spot-spraying.
“So we get robust chemical and water rates, effectively using more expensive chemical while staying within budget.”
The WEEDit employs near infrared technology which only detects the chlorophyll present in living plants.
Once cameras identify the chlorophyll, a millisecond response is sent to the nozzles which release spray onto the weed or weeds.
The technology also allows for night spraying because there is no interference from sunlight and weeds are often less stressed, meaning the reaction to active chlorophyll is greater.
The WEEDit system uses two speed sensors to increase or decrease the reaction time of the nozzles during cornering and changes in background conditions, such as soil type and stubble, are not a problem for the auto-calibration system.
WEEDit sensors are placed every metre across the boom and control five nozzles (individually) on 20cm spacings, which also allows for better penetration in stubble with less shading of small grasses.
Happily for operators, there is minimum draw on the alternator as the WEEDit runs at 48 volts for reliable solenoid operation.
According to Croplands, this is four times less than other weed detection equipment using 12 volt systems.
Faster solenoid operation also means quicker spraying speeds in the paddock (typically 15-18 kilometres an hour).
An intelligent display provides constant monitoring of solenoid and sensor operation, with malfunctions or errors reported on screen.
This display allows for setup and sensitivity adjustments from the menu.
Monitors increase boom speeds on corners and automatically adjust response times to ensure the nozzle hits the target.
The display also has simple warnings for low pressure, sensor faults and voltage while maintaining a record of nozzle activation, chemical use and sensor history.
The Croplands accumulator controls the flow from the pump to the nozzles and uses a 200 millimetre diaphragm, supported by a regulated air supply.
Through combining the high-flow centrifugal pump, the fast-acting diaphragm controls the nozzle fluid pressure and volume rapidly from single nozzle activation to full boom.
This system maintains a boom line pressure of three Bar (43.5psi) for fast response at all times.
According to Mr Stringer, the plumbing system on the ground following boom is easy to operate.
“It’s a typical Croplands system,” he said.
From a central point, the operator can take charge of all the filling, mixing and flushing.
When the operator camlocks a 50mm filling hose to the non-return valve on the sprayer, it is then an easy selection to fill the spot spray tank, flush tank or main tank.
The electronic flow metre measures part-tank filling, while the secondary rotary valve allows selection of the chemical suction probe, 60L Chem-e-flush hopper or return to spray position.
The control panel also allows selection of spot-spray tank rinse, main tank rinse, agitator and chemical suction probe rinse through a series of valves.
Croplands has an experienced team to oversee sales and service in WA to cater for increasing demand.
Croplands WA territory manager Gavin Merritt, Weedit service technician Ryan Cale and product development manager Steve Norton will ensure that the Weedit product is supported well in WA.
Mr Norton said the WEEDit technology has proven itself throughout Australia over nearly a decade and strongly adopted by Australian farmers.
“We’re confident of steady growth as more farmers move to a variety of tools to combat herbicide resistance,” he said.
“We have planned a demonstration program for this summer’s spraying season with demos to be held throughout the Wheatbelt.”
Also available through AFGRI equipment, are complete Weedit kits for retro-fitting onto the John Deere R4045 self-propelled sprayers.
Stocks of these kits are limited so it is recommended that you move quickly to secure one for this season.