THE launch of the new generation WeedSeeker 2 spot-sprayer from Trimble has quickly captured interest throughout the broadacre industry.
Growers from Queensland through to South Australia recently converged on New South Wales to attend a series of demonstrations with the system.
The paddock demonstrations were co-ordinated by national distributor, McIntosh Distribution, at Narrabri over several days and highlighted all the new developments and benefits with the latest system.
Growers attended the events from as far as Dalby in Queensland and from the Nyngan, Dubbo and Forbes areas in NSW, while several SA growers on a visit to a dealer in the State also took the opportunity to view a demonstration.
Further demonstrations are set to be held in the Griffith area and northern regions from early October, while events in other States, including WA, will be held soon.
Scott Jameson McIntosh Distribution, said water sensitive paper was used with the demonstrations to highlight the small weed sizes that could be targeted by the WeedSeeker 2, also despite not operating at its maximum sensitivity.
Mr Jameson said the lighter, more compact design of the latest WeedSeeker 2 units was one of its leading features, helping to reduce the overall weight of the system on spray booms.
He said the new sensors were 50 per cent lighter and their spacing along booms had widened from 38 centimetres to 50cm, effectively reducing sensor numbers by 30pc.
"This has further reduced the weight on booms and the components required for fitment.
"The lighter sensors have also opened up the opportunity for the system to be used on wider platforms,'' Mr Jameson said.
Compared with other similar products that have sensors spaced at every metre along booms, the 50cm spacing also provides for double the resolution when targeting weeds, which is especially valuable in situations with heavy stubble burdens.
Mr Jameson said a new quick-attach bracket kit allowed quick removal of the sensors from booms and an easy return to other spraying activity.
"Unlike alternate systems, the WeedSeeker 2 also does not need to be fitted to ground-following booms. Because it suits most existing sprayers,'' he said.
Mr Jameson said the latest system could now operate on most ISO-capable screens, again unlike other spot-sprayers.
"Rather than having to put another controller in the cab, WeedSeeker 2 integrates with existing systems, allowing cost savings for growers,'' he said.
Another feature that captured significant interest was the ability for the WeedSeeker 2 to run section control.
"Growers can have up to 18 individual sections at whatever size they want," Mr Jameson said.
"They can manipulate the number of sensors per section to suit the type of program they are running, like tramlining.
"Weed mapping provided with the system also maps the weed presence in paddocks.
"A weed map ISO XML file can then be processed in desktop mapping software, effectively helping growers with their resistance management.
"It shows where sensors have been turning on and off and, therefore, where weeds are more dominant.
"Growers can then monitor resistant populations and possibly treat areas differently in future to help fight resistance.''
WeedSeeker 2 also features intelligent, self-learning sensors, which Mr Jameson said was another big advantage that impressed growers.
"It means the sensors take into account a number of background readings, including the soil background, light, air temperature and other factors.
"Each sensor individually adjusts itself to work at maximum efficiency all of the time and it adjusts itself to the background it is working in.''
Mr Jameson said the self-learning feature was one of the big attractions for growers, along with the ISO capability and lighter weight of the WeedSeeker 2 sensors.
"Growers were very pleased with what they saw during the demonstrations," he said.
Despite the dry conditions in northern NSW, spraying was still being carried out, particularly in cases where storm events sparked weed germinations, and spot-spraying remained a hot topic in these situations.
Growers interested in viewing a WeedSeeker 2 demonstration should contact their nearest dealer.