pre­ci­sion pro­duc­tiv­ity

The lat­est “H-Select” noz­zle con­trol tech­nol­ogy on the Hardi Ru­bi­con self­pro­pelled sprayer is en­abling a Vic­to­rian farm­ing fam­ily to achieve pre­ci­sion ap­pli­ca­tion

Farms & Farm Machinery - - SPECIAL FEATURE: PRECISION AG -

The San­ford fam­ily has been farm­ing their 5,260-hectare grain prop­erty on Vic­to­ria’s Mallee for four gen­er­a­tions.

The lat­est ad­di­tion to the op­er­a­tion is a new 9,000-litre Hardi Ru­bi­con self-pro­pelled sprayer with the lat­est “H-Select” noz­zle con­trol tech­nol­ogy.

“We were look­ing to in­crease ca­pac­ity from our 6,200-litre

Case Pa­triot,” Tim San­ford ex­plains. “The Ru­bi­con 9000 had the ca­pac­ity, but we needed it to have droplet con­trol too. H-Select was brand new when we started look­ing at the start of the year, but the more we learned the more it looked like the best so­lu­tion for us.”

The San­ford’s prop­erty has a mix­ture of soils and ter­rain, in­clud­ing some “quite rough” ar­eas, and there is cur­rently a mix of canola, bar­ley, wheat and lentils to spray.

So Tim San­ford uses H-Select’s flex­i­ble droplet con­trol in a num­ber of ways, in­clud­ing switch­ing to a larger droplet when drift be­comes an is­sue – along fence lines or if the wind comes up while he’s spray­ing.

“You don’t al­ways know what droplet size you’ll need un­til you get to the pad­dock,” he says, “and things can change once you start spray­ing. Be­ing able to op­ti­mise your droplet to the con­di­tions means you can fin­ish the job.”

The ex­tra-large ca­pac­ity of the Ru­bi­con 9000 helps too, with fewer re­fill breaks and faster, com­puter-aided re­fill­ing when you do.

“Twenty seven kilo­me­tres per hour would be a fairly typ­i­cal speed for us,” San­ford re­ports. “Even with re­fill­ing I’ve fin­ished one of our 260-hectare pad­docks in three hours. I was pretty happy with that.”

The San­fords pre­fer to spray at rea­son­ably high water rates and, with their pre­vi­ous sprayer, for­ward speed would be lim­ited by the max­i­mum flow rate.

“Now we can keep our speed up and H-Select just opens noz­zles to pro­vide the flow rate,” says Sand­ford. “And you know the droplet size stays right.”

Equally, when they need to slow down in dif­fi­cult coun­try, H-Select uses its noz­zle ma­trix to re­duce the rate – main­tain­ing both ap­pli­ca­tion and droplet ac­cu­racy.

On that kind of land, the Hardi Paragon boom’s unique ride also comes into its own. “You can see it just bal­ances bet­ter,” says Sand­ford. “If a front wheel drops, the boom just floats up there for a sec­ond and that stops it hit­ting the ground. The Ru­bi­con rides over the land very well,” Tim San­ford says, “and H-Select gives us the pre­cise con­trol we need.”

The Hardi Paragon boom’s unique ride comes into its own in dif­fi­cult coun­try

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