Video tips for sprayer boom stability
Boom stability is crucial to achieve consistent coverage of the soil surface with pre-emergence herbicide applications – with tyre pressure an essential element of the operators’ actions to achieve it, according to Syngenta application specialist, James Thomas.
Presenting the latest video in the #lowslowcovered campaign to enhance the performance of all pre-em applications, James outlined the key components of boom stability, and a series of Top Tips for operators to follow.
“Firstly check that any suspension system is working smoothly and that the boom returns to the correct position quickly, without too much oscillation,” he advised. “Then it’s vital to set the tyre pressure correctly; it wants to be as low as you can permissibly go to work safely with the sprayer and its contents.”
“Tyres act as a massive shock-absorber for any humps and bumps in the field,” he reported. “Whilst the aim is to achieve smooth, even seedbeds, in reality autumn conditions can mean dealing with less than ideal surfaces.”
James pointed out that tyres are often over-inflated to pop the beads onto the rim when fitting, but for field work that can often be significantly reduced. In farm trials with at trailed sprayer, for example, they had been able to reduce pressures from 40 PSI, to work at 20 PSI.
The effect when run across a simulation test bed was clear to see in boom sway and bounce. Furthermore, the droplet distribution on water sensitive paper revealed the serious impact on coverage from a wavering boom, compared to consistent boom height at the lower tyre pressure.
Cambridgeshire farmer and host of the Barton Black-grass Focus Site, Tim Scott, reported the results of adjusting tyre pressure cross a simulated test track was: “truly remarkable.”
“With the tyres at 40 PSI the sprayer was being thrown all over the place,” he said. “But a second pass, with the tyres at 20 PSI, completely smoothed everything out; the sprayer just glided over.”
James Thomas summarised the key points for operators as: