Few people who’ve had a sprayer with auto-section administration would have in mind going once more to handbook improve switching.

Not solely do these strategies improve spraying accuracy and cut back overspray, nevertheless they make life easier for the operator, eradicating the need to guess the appropriate time for switching sections on and off.

This frees up time for concentrating on totally different parts of the job, harking back to monitoring improve prime, preserving a watch fastened out for blocked nozzles, and inspecting the crop.

Most new sprayers embody auto-section administration as regular these days, nevertheless there are nonetheless a great deal of handbook machines available on the market.

The good news is that this know-how could also be retrofitted to most crop sprayer fashions and it shouldn’t break the monetary establishment.

As a bonus, some farmers will likely be able to entry grant funding to make the related price additional bearable.

Because of auto-section administration can function adequately on the free Egnos GPS correction signal, there should not any ongoing subscriptions to pay each.

To go looking out out what’s involved, we enlisted the help of Chris Nye, service engineer for Gloucester sprayer specialist Severn Agriculture.

He has fitted strategies to all methodology of older sprayers, from self-propelleds and demounts to trailed and mounted.

See moreover: Simple 24m mounted sprayers for decrease than £30,000

Retrofit sprayer auto-section administration strategies

  • Teejet Boompilot
  • Arag Bravo 400s
  • Topcon ASC-10
  • Trimble Space-IQ
  • Ag Chief Directcommand
  • Raven Accuboom
  • Muller Isobus sprayer controller
  • Altek Tools Data

How does auto-section administration work?

All auto-section administration strategies use GPS to work out the precise degree at which sprayer improve sections should be switched on and off to minimise overspray and steer clear of any misses.

They understand how to try this as they file the entire twists and turns of the sphere boundary whereas the headland is being sprayed.

Then, as improve sections go over a portion of the headland that has already been sprayed, the system will swap it off.

As unsprayed areas become visible, the nozzles will routinely come once more on. The additional sections there are on the sprayer, the additional right this switching will probably be.

The system may help cut back overspray inside the physique of the sphere, considerably if the drilling has been overlapped and the tramlines are too slender.

Assuming the sprayer already has an appropriate price controller, the one elements required to make it work are a straightforward GPS receiver and show, plus an auto-section administration area.

Can all sprayers be reworked?

Almost any sprayer could also be retrofitted with auto-section administration – self-propelled, trailed, mounted or demount – nevertheless some will probably be harder than others.

Fashions with 24m booms are the most common to acquire an enhance, nevertheless strategies could also be fitted to sprayers of all sizes, even all the way in which down to those mounted on UTVs.

When you occur to’re lucky, your machine will already be related to a GPS system and have a price controller that is capable of doing auto-section administration.

Typically, this suggests an enhance is as simple as looking for a wiring loom or unlocking choices inside the present.

Others will probably be additional difficult and will include swapping some elements to make the system work. Calling a specialist and telling them what you have is the best approach to work out what you need.

The tactic may be straightforward for people who haven’t any GPS, as a whole setup could also be put in from scratch with no compatibility points.


James Kent reworked his 1999 Agribuggy to auto-section administration © James Andrews

Which system should I get?

Most likely probably the most acceptable system will rely on the form of gear already fitted on the sprayer.

Most price controllers will probably be appropriate with quite a lot of of the auto-section administration kits out there available on the market. Nevertheless even after they’re not, it isn’t overly expensive to enhance the velocity controller.

Severn Agriculture works with loads of Frazier/Kellands Agribuggies, which are fitted with RDS price controllers, and these readily accept Teejet’s Boompilot tools.

The place they need to match a model new price controller, they’ll normally use Arag’s Bravo setup, which comes with a whole system for controlling the sprayer.

How is it put in?

Severn Agriculture begins most installs with a go to to the farm to suss out the sprayer, see the way it’s used and work out which gear will probably be greatest suited.

For a 24m improve, a minimal of seven sections will probably be required to current an appropriate stage of accuracy, so sprayers with fewer sections than this could usually have additional ones added.

That’s achieved by turning into further valves and making the necessary modifications to the pipework.

If there are a lot of sections accessible, it might be value putting the two outer nozzles on their very personal.

These can then swap off when spraying the physique of the sphere to take any drill overlaps into consideration.

The auto-section administration module will then be wired into the velocity controller and associated to the GPS show.

The correction signal for this comes from a roof-mounted receiver working off a free Egnos signal with 20-30cm pass-to-pass accuracy, which is ample for the equipment.

One of many essential involved jobs is calibrating the system so that the timings of the sections switching are spot on.

If that’s completed incorrectly, there could also be additional overspraying than is vital or some ugly missed triangles the place the runs meet an angled headland.

Typically, the sprayer is filled with water and marker is used to work out when the spray comes out relative to when the sections are switched on.

As quickly as this course of has been completed, there is no such thing as a such factor as a need to regulate the settings, till speeds are modified dramatically or the operator switches to using forward- or backward-facing nozzles.

Within the occasion that they differ their features significantly, they may have separate calibration figures for each.

Is it troublesome to utilize?

Some operators are concerned that auto-section administration will probably be troublesome to utilize and that it makes the machine unnecessarily difficult.

Nonetheless, the reality that it actually works routinely means the sprayer is considerably easier to drive.

It’ll even work with out pressing any buttons on the GPS show, although most operators might want to try this so that they’re going to see the realm they’ve sprayed being painted in on the map.

The reality that these strategies normally piggyback off the same old price controller means they don’t significantly alter the easiest way the machine operates, each.

Plus, they’re going to usually be bypassed within the occasion that they do give any trouble.

How lots does it worth?

Prices differ considerably counting on the form of sprayer and equipment already fitted. Nonetheless, it should be potential to have a very functioning system fitted from scratch for about £5,000.

Accessing grant funding from water firms, or nationwide schemes such as a result of the Farming Funding Fund would possibly help cut back the bill considerably.

What else can I do to boost the accuracy of my sprayer?

As quickly as GPS auto-section administration is fitted, it should even be potential to enhance to an auto-steer system.

Many older self-propelled sprayers have straightforward steering setups, so an auto-steer valve can usually be plumbed in, leaving the distinctive steering wheel in-situ.

For tractors that are not auto-steer ready, it’s prone to be easier to go well with a steering wheel motor.

Although entry-level strategies engaged on Egnos gained’t be right enough for spraying in tramlines, they’re lots okay for grassland and take away the need for the operator to adjust to a lightbar.

One different worthwhile modification is turning into a improve recirculation system. This means the tank contents is on a regular basis flowing throughout the rise, so when sections are switched on chemical is accessible just about instantly.

Typically, arrange consists of eradicating the same old rotary or solenoid valves and turning into air switches on the rise.

This course of is relatively straightforward if the sprayer or tractor already has a compressor on board, nevertheless costs go up when these should be fitted.

Case look at: James Kent, Worcestershire

Keen to boost the accuracy of his spraying operations, Worcestershire mixed farmer James Kent decided to place cash right into a retrofit auto-section administration system, which was put in by Severn Agriculture.

Initially this was fitted to his Frazier Agribuggy 5D, nevertheless it suffered hearth hurt shortly after and the system was transferred to a newer 1999 Phantom.

James Kent with tractor

James Kent © James Andrews

This machine is powered by a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder, Land Rover 300 TDI engine mated to an computerized transmission and swap area that delivers eternal four-wheel drive.

As for the spray pack, this has a 1,500-litre tank, 24m aluminium improve and, earlier to the auto-section administration system being added, 5 manually switched sections.

To current larger accuracy, two additional solenoid valves have been added, along with further switches on the administration area.

This means the rise now has 5 4m centre sections and two 2m sections on the break-backs.


A roof-mounted receiver presents the Egnos correction signal © James Andrews

A Teejet Boompilot computerized half administration system was chosen, as that’s appropriate with the sprayer’s regular RDS price controller.

This meant the one elements to be put in inside the cab have been a Matrix Skilled 570GS GPS unit and a bit driver module.

As a result of the sprayer’s distinctive price controller and half switches are nonetheless in place, it might be operated manually if required.

Nonetheless, as a result of it has been fitted, Mr Kent has solely used it in auto.

Extra section valves

The sprayer now has a whole of seven solenoid valves © James Andrews

“The preliminary attraction of the system was that it may make our spraying moderately extra right, nevertheless the reality that I don’t have to think about improve switching means the job is far more straightforward,” says Mr Kent.

“As quickly as I’ve sprayed the headland, I can let it do its issue and swap my consideration to the crop and searching for blocked nozzles – I positively wouldn’t must return.”

Teejet Matrix GPS screen

The Matrix Skilled show colours in sprayed areas © James Andrews

The value to have the whole system fitted was about £5,000 and he obtained £2,500 from a Severn Trent Steps grant to cowl half of the related price.

Severn Agriculture calibrated the system as part of the arrange, nevertheless he has carried out spherical with the delay settings for the rise so that it switches exactly when he needs.

“The one issue I need we’d completed is make the outer sections 1m fairly than 2m so that there is a bit a lot much less overspraying.”

Section control driver

© James Andrews

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