go with the ’flo

This Sil­van Su­paflo sprayer is mak­ing life eas­ier for a Ly­chee farmer

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Equipment Focus -

ychee farmer Martin Joyce has up­graded to the new 2000-litre Sil­van Su­paflo sprayer sys­tem to sim­plify labour­in­ten­sive jobs.

Joyce op­er­ates a 13ha farm near Ing­ham, North Queens­land, and farms 2500 ly­chee trees. He says his trees are roughly 30 years old and can be very large, mak­ing them dif­fi­cult to spray and prune – es­pe­cially since he’s get­ting on in years him­self.

Joyce says the Sil­van Su­paflo’s larger tank size and up­dated fea­tures have made life a lot eas­ier. He made the de­ci­sion to buy the unit af­ter pre­vi­ously own­ing and op­er­at­ing a Sil­van Suntuff 1000 sprayer sys­tem which dated back to 1996.

The Sil­van Su­paflo 2000L comes equipped with a 10-bladed 900mm ax­ial-flow fan with air-straight­en­ing vanes and a choice of cor­ro­sion-re­sis­tant high-pres­sure di­aphragm pumps that pro­vide the Su­paflo with con­sis­tent and re­li­able spray re­sults, Sil­van says.

Joyce’s 2500 trees were planted on a 9m row by 7m tree pat­tern (although many more re­cent plant­ings are now on an 8m by 4m spac­ing).

Like many other tree crops, ly­chees can as­sume a large tree shape and canopy as they ma­ture which makes spray­ing into a canopy that has quite large leaf sizes a chal­lenge.

But Joyce uses con­trac­tors to me­chan­i­cally prune his ly­chee trees each year aim­ing for a smaller shape at about 4m in height which also aids hand har­vest­ing.

It is also im­por­tant to have ap­pro­pri­ate spray­ing regimes when farm­ing ly­chees as the fruit are ex­posed to a num­ber of pests in­clud­ing moths, mites and bor­ers that re­duce yields and, in some cases, fruit qual­ity.

Joyce bought his new Sil­van Su­paflo 2000-litre trailed sprayer from Ing­ham-based lo­cal Sil­van dealer NQAS. The Su­paflo pro­vides highly ef­fec­tive spray cov­er­age for a wide range of crops in­clud­ing ly­chees, grapes, ap­ples, cit­rus, ba­nanas, peaches and also the grow­ing list of sub-trop­i­cal tree crops.

Among the avail­able fac­tory fea­tures are elec­tric con­trols and axle op­tions as well as a leaf guard, twin noz­zle and a pow­er­head con­veyor.

NQAS Ing­ham’s Hamish Howarth (right) hands over the new Sil­van Su­paflo sprayer to farmer Martin Joyce

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