20 & 21 Nov 2024

The importance of sprayer efficiency at MMS

Making sure sprayers are calibrated to make the most efficient use of chemicals is critical at a time when farmers are working to maximise getting more yield from less inputs - something that this year’s Midlands Machinery Show will address.

Students from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) will be showing visitors how to properly calibrate a sprayer at 10am and 12:30pm daily in the technology demo arena. “We will have three students giving the demonstration, with one giving commentary on what’s happening,” explains Andrew Twidale, at NTU.

“Once in the appropriate PPE, they will carry out a jug test of the nozzles, and show best practice for adding chemicals to the tank using an induction hopper. Calibrating the sprayer is important to ensure the correct amount of chemical is applied to each crop – too much and it could potentially harm the crop while spending more money than necessary,” he says.

“Too little and it may not kill the weeds, diseases or insects which may even become immune to the chemicals.”

Thomas Sands, director at Sands Agricultural Machinery agrees: “Make sure to have a sprayer test under the National Sprayer Testing Scheme every year to make sure the chemicals that are being sprayed are being applied correctly and are using the correct nozzle to reduce chemical wastage.

“Nozzles can deteriorate in as little as a year, so it’s key to make sure the sprayer is operating as efficiently as possible. If it isn’t there can be a shortfall in yields – so make sure it’s at it’s prime to do the job,” he adds.

Maintenance and servicing are also important. “The engine and hydraulics need servicing, and the machine needs a good check over - because of the cost of running a sprayer, reducing downtime is key.”

And visitors will be able to take a look at Sands Sprayers’ newest machine – the Infinity. “It’s a 5,500 litre, 36 metre machine which we launched last year, it has been built from the ground up and offers flexibility to all our customers.

“It has the latest technology on it, like individual nozzle spraying, or it can be built to a standard specification if customers don’t want to go down the technology route - it’s a very flexible machine.”

And those that are interested in new kit, should also check out the Knight Farm Machinery stand to learn about its new mounted sprayers. Knight Farm Machinery has recently announced several developments for its sprayer lines, with an addition of a Red Line range of entry-level mounted sprayers.

The aim of adding the new Red Line sprayers to the Knight range is to offer a different sprayer option to farms of up to 800ha who are facing rising cost pressures but are seeking to keep their machinery reliable and up to date, says Paul Harrison, sales and marketing consultant at Knight.

The new mounted sprayers span 600-1,800 litre capacities and 12-28m boom widths, and larger models incorporate Knight’s MAXImizer E fluid control system, which maximises the flow of fluid but keeps plumbing volume to a minimum, for fast nozzle response.

“As input prices rise, farmers are adapting and finding ways to grow more with less, in this vein it’s great to see some of the newest technology in spraying, coupled with the practical demonstration from the NTU students, so farmers can get the most out of their investments,” says Elizabeth Halsall, show organiser.

“NRoSo and BASIS points are available at the show, which is always popular with attendees.”