Go Back To Basics With Simple Farming Technology

In recent years, overwhelming research in the agriculture industry has stressed the importance of constant innovation and bigger and better technology. Of course, if we are to continue to feed a growing population, we do need to continue to focus on improving our methods and products. Simple agricultural sprayers have been replaced with industrial spraying machines, for example. However, some of the latest, most complex machinery is not without its problems. Sometimes the most popular new trend is not all it is thought to be. It is important to do your research before jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fad.

First of all, there is in general far less control with large automatic sprayers. Compared to twenty years ago, more than double the chemical is released per hour due to faster spray rigs. However, the increase in speed has not been proportionate to an increase in efficiency. There is a tendency to use auto steer technology to make night time spraying a possibility. Unfortunately, with no one to adjust the settings for the colder climate at night, there is greater wastage, drift and resulting pollution.

This increase in drift is not only a threat to waterways and the air, but also to more sensitive surrounding crops which would usually require a much softer chemical. Examples are cotton or grapes which can be seriously affected by even minimal harsh chemical spray drift.

Agricultural Sprayers

In response to this increase in drift as a result of newer spraying technologies, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority have begun to more thoroughly label their packaging. Chemicals now include mandatory warnings including no-spray zones, ideal wind speed, spray quality and recommended record keeping practices. These new mandatory regulations are enforceable by law. If there is evidence that you have irresponsibly applied chemical spray, then you may be eligible for a fine, a claim for compensation can be filed against you, and your insurance may be void.

The larger the spraying machine, the more room there is for error and inconsistency. Of course, some properties are simply so large that there is no other alternative than to choose an industrial sprayer. Adjusting boom height, monitoring wind speeds and keeping a steady pace can help to minimise drift. Small to medium properties however can enjoy greater success and efficiency with a backpack sprayer.

The humble backpack sprayer has a number of advantages over self-propelled or pulled spraying machinery. First of all and perhaps most obviously, is that the nozzle at the end of the spraying stem is placed right where it needs to go. Boom sprayers hover over the top of crops, but do not adjust according to the height of different specimens. Not all crops are going to be uniform in height, meaning that while some will get the right amount of product, some will get too little and others too much. A backpack sprayer by contrast puts you right in front of your individual crops, allowing you to spray as you see fit. Adjusting the length of your stem according to your height and what you feel is comfortable will allow you to remain as consistent as possible while still being able to adjust where necessary.

A range of nozzles are available for backpack sprayers, as with larger spraying machines. This means that you can easily adjust your droplet size as you move between crops. The idea is to get the coarsest droplet possible while consistently applying the product to your crop. The finer the mist, the greater the risk of drift. Drift not only adds to pollution, but it also reduces the amount of product that reaches your crop. For Expert Agricultural Sprayers Advice as well as premium products, please visit Green Gorilla.

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