Spraying on raw arable land requires a stable boom and the pump on the sprayer must be simple and reliable as this is the most important machine at the farm. These were some of the requirements from a Danish plant-breeding farmer when he once again chose to buy a sprayer from HARDI.
At the farm Eriksholm, which is located in the town Maribo at Falster, they have never bought sprayers of any other brand than HARDI. Last year a new HARDI trailer sprayer replaced the eight-year-old sprayer HARDI COMMANDER 3200. As the area as well as number of crops have increased the last years, they chose the model HARDI NAVIGATOR with 5,000 litres tank and a 36 meters wide DELTA FORCE boom.
“I took over Eriksholm together with my wife Erica on 1 January this year. Including a couple of other farms plus leases my cultivated area has reached 333 hectares,” the new co-owner Frederik Rasmussen explains. Until now, he has driven Eriksholm together with his father Ole Rasmussen.
Today the ground plan contains both grains, grass seeds, canola, beets, spinach and quinoa and for the second year, these crops will be taken care of with the new HARDI NAVIGATOR.
A Really Good and Strong Pump
Although both father and son have many years of good experience with HARDI, they considered other brands this time. However, they decided to buy a HARDI sprayer because this sprayer is very reliable, Frederik explains.
“They have a really good and strong pump which does not require much maintenance. – And once you have to renovate it, it’s cheap and it’s easy to get access to”. Furthermore, the new sprayer quickly changes the pressure:
“When you are driving on a wedge with an open sector and it has to spray with the entire boom width, the fluid system is much faster to recover than I have been used to”.
According to Frederik, the sprayer is the tool that must be most reliable.
Typically we use it in the morning or Sunday afternoon and if it does not work it effects the schedule as well as the family”, he says.
A Stable Boom Provides a Uniform Result
Frederik Rasmussen’s HARDI NAVIGATOR 5000 has a DELTA-FORCE boom, and this boom was one of the main reasons why they bought this sprayer.
“I saw this one on a demo track as well as a couple of sprayers from competitors and it seemed to be stable. It is extremely important that the boom is stable not just about fluctuations up and down, but also the movements back and forth. This can easily mean double or half dosing while driving.”
As the entire amount of nitrogen is allocated as liquid fertilizer, double dosing increases the risk of bearing seed. In addition, when spraying with soils in spinach, overdosing is a disadvantage as it can kill the plants. Later, when you weed out small weeds, under dosing is the worst.
According to Frederik Rasmussen, the boom’s stability is also emphasized by the fact that it quickly settles down when braking.
Uses Small Nozzles and Plenty of Water
A place is reserved for the yellow LD 020 low drift nozzle in the carousel.
“The yellow one is very good and we have always used it in beets and for Roundup”, Frederik Rasmussen explains. Besides the small droplet size, he finds the relatively high amount of water of 160 litres per hectare for weed spraying very well.
If the wind increases he has a plan B; the purple double-fan HARDI Minidrift Duo MDD 025 nozzle.
“This one also works well with 160 litres of water, and at the same time it allows a higher speed. Theoretically, its two fans should provide a better cover, which has also been proven by comparing the two types of nozzles. When we use 180 litres, the purple nozzle works at least as well as the yellow one.
Grass Weeds and Rows Make High Demands
Despite flat fields, the spraying is challenged at Eriksholm.
“We have arctic char some places and therefore we spray the arable land with Roundup. This makes high demands on the boom as it can be uneven to drive on”, Frederik Rasmussen explains. He also notes that a 36-meter wide boom generally requires a lot of boom suspension to stay calm; especially on the headland.
They have chosen the DELTA FORCE boom in a version that can be folded in to 24 meters in order to get a flexible sprayer, which can help neighbours or provide different option in future cultivation systems.
One Monitor is not enough
As the sprayer is Isobus controlled Frederik Rasmussen decided that it should be operated via the tractor terminal.
“It requires, however, that I switch around between five screens when driving, to monitor e.g. section control, spraying functions and the GPS”, he explains and concludes:
“It could be smart if several spraying functions were on all screens so you didn’t have to switch screen so much. Probably I end up controlling the sprayer from a separate terminal”.
Other challenges have been solved with assistance from the supplier.
“We have made some mistakes because we had to learn how the sprayer works. For example we used too much oil from the beginning which made the boom unstable,” Frederik tells.
Some technical changes have been made, as it is important that the draw boom and track follower chains of the tractor are placed correct in relation to the drawbar of the sprayer in order to optimize the steering. A tow ball became a part of the solution. In addition, the worktable at the right side of the preparation filler is a special solution made by the supplier to facilitate the work of measuring and pouring from heavy canisters.