Challenger Rogator RG655
Built in 2011, this self propelled sprayer has a 5000L tank as well as a 300L clean water tank. Running at 36m wide, and with enough water on board to apply 50ha per load it makes this machine extremely efficient. At present we operate a 36m tram-line system, with all the tramlines being created on Farmplan Gatekeeper and then fixed so that each year using RTK GPS autosteer they are always in the same position. This reduces the need for annual tram-line removal and increases the productivity of the land in-between the tramlines.
The Challenger Rogator has excellent ground clearance, so it minimises the damage to crops such as OSR when desiccating. This high clearance is maintained by either the row crop tyres or low pressure tyres.
The booms have been fitted with auto height sensors. This means they maintain a constant height above the ground or canopy ensuring that the best efficacy is achieved.
Our full time spray operator is fully trained and holds all the qualifications required such as PA 1 and PA 2. He is also a member of the ‘National Register of Spray Operators‘ (NRoSO).
To gain the most efficiency and enable us to operate on farms far from a water or fertiliser source we have invested in a 16000 tri-axle bowser. This is fully equipped with 3″ pipework and quick fill pump.
Nozzle selection is absolutely critical to get the best results from the chemicals and fertiliser being applied. For this reason, the Challenger Rogator sprayer is fitted with three types of nozzle. Each has been carefully selected so it allows us to be able to spray in different conditions and growth stages, as well as targeting specific weeds such as black grass.
Defy Nozzle (Syngenta) – For all pre-emergence chemical applications we have the nozzles alternating between forward and reverse facing. In trials this gains the best possible coverage for residual chemicals, due to its excellence efficacy on soil clods. Once crops have emerged this nozzle is then set so that they all face forwards. This nozzle has been shown to give up to 30% extra weed control compared to a standard vertical nozzle.
Amistar Nozzle (Syngenta) – Used from the T1 stage onwards this nozzle has been designed to give the optimum spray retention and drift control. It allows greater penetration in to the crop canopy and so gives the best results for all cereal fungicide applications.
Agroco Umbrella Nozzle – This is for liquid fertiliser applications. With seven outlet holes with different angles between each outlet hole, it gives an even pattern at the point of arrival on the crop. This eliminates the risk of ‘banding’ or ‘striping’.
The use of liquid fertiliser ensures absolute accuracy and an increase in the rate of uptake of fertiliser by the plant.
Micron Varidome Band Sprayer
Still under going trials, this band sprayer by the Micron Group has the potential to radically change the way we plan our pesticide application on sugar beet and oil seed rape (OSR). It has two tanks mounted on the front linkage of our Puma 140, which are able to hold 1000 and 800 litres. These tanks feed two spray lines, one that applies a prescribed chemical over the row of sugar beet or OSR.
The other supplies a desiccant such as glyphosate through protective hoods in between the rows. This gives a reduction in prescribed chemical of up to 60%.
Each protective hood is attached to a land wheel which is mounted on a parallel linkage. This means each nozzle can adjust to the field conditions or contours.
This system can only be used on our OSR and sugar beet crops as they are drilled in bands of 50cm.
The results from our trials on the 2012 sugar beet crop have been superb. As show in the picture to the right, the weeds in-between the rows have been completely killed and no damage to the growing crop has been sustained.
KRM M3 Spreader
At Thomas Banks and Partners we operate a mixture of solid and liquid fertiliser applications. As stated above the liquid is applied using the Knight 2050 sprayer, but all solid applications, including trace elements are applied using our KRM M3 spreader.
The KRM is equipped with a weigh-cell which means it has variable rate spreading capability. Variable rate nitrogen is applied on all crops and the maps are supplied by SOYLSense using satellite imagery. Any variable rate phosphate and potassium maps are created using soil indices maps supplied by SOYL.
The KRM has a 4 ton hopper, which allows greater areas a day to be covered.