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“Select the crop sprayer that suits your farming style,” is the advice of Dewald te Water of the farm, Schurvekop near Bethal, to farmers who experience problems with plant pests. For his own use, he chose the Amazone UF 1801 rear three-point hitch sprayer combined with the FT 1001 minor brother mounted on the front of the tractor.
Schurvekop has many hectares that require spraying. Maize, soya beans and dry beans are cultivated in rotation. Dewald says he previously used self-propelled high-rise sprayers and could not really find fault with them. However, with the Amazone UF combination he has the same capacity as with the self-propelled sprayer, but he can buy two tractor-spray combinations for the price of one high-riser. Furthermore, he has more tractors available for other uses at times when crop protection is not required.
Dewald now has three Amazone spray combinations on the farm and he can arrange his spraying programme that he always has one sprayer available and ready for quick deployment, should a crisis arise.
“It gives one peace of mind to know that you can deal with any situation,” Dewald says. “If you really have a sudden problem, you need punch to deal with it.”
Advantages of tractor mounted sprayers
The sprayer and its additional tank are mounted tightly against the tractor which makes the assembly extremely manoeuvrable, demands less turning room in the headland and easily fits in a shed. However, once outside in its working domain, the UF 1801 can spread its 24-metre wide wings to quickly cover a large area.
Dewald says one sprayer easily covers 120 to 130 hectares per day. The beam can be adjusted for accurate spraying from before germination until tasseling.
He also discontinued the practice of moving obliquely over rows when spraying. Apart from damaging plants it also leaves unnecessary tracks which can lead to erosion. He plants 52 cm rows, and the tractor simply moves in the same tracks as the planter.
The control system of the sprayer and all its technological functions mesh seamlessly with his John Deere tractors and ensures complete precision control. The spray beam has five sections that can be switched on and off independently. This helps to spray accurately up to the end of the land, not wasting any spray mixture.
Dewald says the sprayer is extremely user-friendly and, with the service and support of the local AFGRI mechanisation branch at Bethal, he experienced no problems to train his operators to grasp the mechanics of spraying expeditiously. Calibration is done electronically and must checked once only in a season.
The sprayer has its own mixing tank which easily folds out and the only time a worker has to handle the chemical is when it is poured into the tank. From there it is siphoned into the big tank at the back and the smaller tank in front. The hand washing tank is directly on top of the mixing tank. A clean water tank is mounted in front against the chemical tank and can be controlled from the cabin to rinse the tanks when the spray has to be changed far from a water point.
Amazone sprayer tanks are lightweight, solid, UV resistant and have a smooth, seamless insides so that they can be rinsed properly with little effort.
Planned weight dispersal for balance
The additional 1 000 litre tank on the front of the tractor, together with the big 1 800 litre tank at the back, brings the sprayer into the capacity category of a 3 000-litre self-propelled or trailed sprayer, but with the advantage of tighter turning circles and lower costs.
Another advantage of the front FT 1001 tank is that the weight is always evenly distributed. No nose weights are required and with Amazone’s intelligent FlowControl volume management, there will always be optimal weight distribution between the two tanks. This ensures better balance on slopes, improved wheel purchase in wet conditions and concomitant fuel saving.
Falcon is the distributor of Amazone products in South Africa and a well-represented dealer network offers thorough, timely service delivery. In Dewald’s case, the AFGRI staff in Bethal provide the necessary support. He says the personnel are clearly well-trained and he knows the workshop is only a telephone call away, should he need assistance.
For more information, call 033-330-4764, e-mail email@example.com, visit www.falconequipment.co.za or contact your nearest Falcon dealer.