You don’t have to be ready to buy a new sprayer to appreciate the latest technology available for these machines. Some technology can be retrofitted to existing sprayers — perhaps even yours.
Maybe you’ve heard about coming technology that will sense weeds and only spray when they are present. The models covered in this slideshow aren’t quite that precise, but they have precision technology features that allow you to make the best possible use of chemicals.
Here’s a rundown of technologies available on different makes of sprayers.
• Equipment Technologies. Kevin Covey of Equipment Technologies explains that while the Apache AS630 is their smallest sprayer, you can get it with all the precision farming bells and whistles available on other new models. It’s the first Apache to feature Raven RS1 guidance and steering. This system works with GPS to deliver the most efficient autosteering experience yet. GPS options include both RTK and the CORS network, which stands for continuously operating reference station.
You can get an Apache with the Raven Viper 4 controller, providing an in-cab monitor with several display options. For the Apache AS630, a nine-section automatic boom shutoff is standard. It also features automatic boom-height adjustment.
You can opt for Raven’s Hawkeye system, using pulse-width modulating technology. Choose from 16-section control or control each individual nozzle. However, check herbicide labels. Not all products can be applied with pulsing nozzle technology. Sources say you can also operate the system without the pulsing technology.
With individual nozzle control, you also get turn compensation for even application during turns. A weather station is optional with Raven’s Viper 4. However, it’s typically mounted above boom height. Labels for the three newest dicamba soybean herbicides require measuring wind speed and direction at boom height.
• Hardi. The Rubicon self-propelled sprayer from Hardi features autosteering developed by Ag Leader. Spokespeople say it’s ISOBUS-compatible. The Ag Leader-based computer terminal is also ISOBUS-compatible so you can use it with many other monitors. The monitor acts like a TV screen, displaying the same information.
Automatic height control is operated using the Norac system. Run on GPS correction signals from WAAS to RTK, depending on how much accuracy you want.
Break the boom into six to 14 sections using standard equipment. The largest model can handle a 150-foot boom.
• Agco Challenger. The new RoGator C Series sprayer is all about innovation, says Mark Mohr of Agco. It starts in the cab with a display screen capable of showing four images at once: application control report, chassis control update, a real-time application map and a rear-view camera.
Order the sprayer with Agco’s controller, which controls up to 36 sections and offers nozzle-by-nozzle control near the end of the boom. Or opt for a Raven system with up to 16-section control. Or invest in Capstan’s PinPoint II pulse width modulation system for nozzle-by-nozzle control.
For automatic guidance, go with Agco’s Auto-Guide system or Raven’s system. Select from submeter to centimeter accuracy, Mohr says. Go with RTK, or opt for a satellite subscription GPS correction signal. A weather station is optional.
Exclusive LiquidLogic and FlowLogic technology keeps liquid circulating within the sprayer, and results in more accurate application and easier cleanup, Mohr adds.
Watch the website tomorrow for another story that looks at cutting-edge sprayer technology.