GROWING strawberries successfully can require a special sprayer.
Western Australian strawberry producer, T&L Produce Marketing, recently utilised Silvan Australia to develop an air-assist spray solution for its 40 hectare farm at Gingin, north of Perth.
Silvan’s WA account manager Nick Dicembre said the challenge was to come up with a design that gave multi-row spray coverage while still ensuring close coverage of the strawberry plants by getting under the plastic row tunnels that are lifted up for spraying purposes.
“The Silvan research and development team at our head office in Melbourne came up with the solution that meets the growers needs” he said.
Mr Dicembre said the sprayer features a twelve-metre boom that covers seven rows of strawberries with the pto sprayer operated at a tractor ground speed of four to five kilometres an hour.
Other design features included a 1100 litre Polytuff tank and the use of a Nobili Airboom spray unit as an air assist sprayer.
“Silvan had earlier developed a similar width boom sprayer for a Queensland strawberry grower so this one is the second of its build type and the first application of this technology in a row cop situation in Western Australia,” he said.
Mr Dicembre said the company also worked with local dealer Wanneroo Agricultural Machinery to make some adjustments after the first in-field experiences.
“For instance, the clearance of the boom above the ground is easily adjusted and in this application the grower can adjust, depending on the growth stage of the plants, from an application height from about 65 to 80 centres above the crop,” he said.
“In short we also extended the length of the delivery tubes to increase the effective reach into the plants and especially beneath the plastic growing tunnels.”