Staines Esperance dealer principal Simon Staines (left) and Miller Nitro driver Michael DePalm, Condingup, discuss the performance of the Miller Spray-Air system.

Top performer at low rates

West Australian farm manager Con Murphy already has vindicated his move to purchase a Miller Nitro 6333 self-propelled boomsprayer.

And he hasn’t reached the stage of foliar spraying – the big reason he bought the Nitro from dealers Staines Esperance.

Con optioned the Nitro with the Miller Spray-Air system, and was pleasantly surprised by its knockdown performance pre-seeding.

“We went from a 70 litre a hectare water rate to 35L for everything,” he said.

“The knockdown was unbelievable because we were killing ryegrass at the one leaf stage with 35L and the bonus of lower water rates was that we doubled our time between fills with the 6000L tank.

“We got better deposition because we could match the droplet size to the conditions and we got more done during the day.

“So we’ll go into the foliar program later in the year pretty confident with the sprayer’s performance.

“The Spray-Air system’s shear pattern and down force will mean better canopy penetration and not just spraying the leaves.

“The increase in disease down here means we need to get good suppression, particularly for things such as blackleg in canola.”

According to Miller sales WA representative Mike Syme the Spray-Air system, is a completely mechanical system with two centrifugal fans mounted either side of the boom, creating high velocity air through a specially-designed Spray-Air Shear Guard nozzle.

“It means you can achieve excellent spray efficacy onto targets at lower than traditional water volumes,” he said.

In fact, it’s back to the future rates using 35-40 litres of water a hectare with potential to spray between 160 and 200ha a tank load.

“The key message coming back from users is that lower water volumes are providing exceptional spraying results,” Mr Syme said. “The optimum water carrier range is 20-60L/ha, depending on spraying speed.

“If we get the coverage, the lower water rate will achieve a better result.

“Most chemicals work better when in a stronger concentration and, in fact, many labels also indicate this.

“We have customers reporting summer weed glyphosate applications with 25-30L/ha of water and seeing burn-down within three days, while also controlling single leaf ryegrass that can be missed in less than ideal spraying conditions.

“By enabling a reduction in the water carrier volume, growers are also spending more time in the paddock and less time filling, so they are achieving operational efficiencies without increasing the size and footprint of their sprayer.’’

The Miller Spray-Air system can consistently atomise spray droplets in a range from 200-500 millilitres per minute per nozzle – spaced 25 centimetres (10in) apart.

“If we stay within the optimum range of the nozzle, Spray-Air delivers the best coverage of any system on the market,” he said.

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