Home » Issue 22-2021 » News » Band spraying with a crop care sprayer

Band spraying with a crop care sprayer

This spring HORSCH together with the Julius-Kühn-Institute for Application Technology in the Crop Care Sector, the Institute for Sugar Beet Research (ifz) in Göttingen and the Hentschel System GmbH started a project which is funded by the Federal Department of Agriculture that is to push a method that combines chemical-mechanical and mechanical weed control.

One of HORSCH’s central tasks in this project is the development of an automatic row control for our crop care technology. This control will guide the nozzle and thus the application band automatically above the row. Other topics of the project are the choice of the correct nozzle with regard to the transverse distribution within the band and the optimum width of the spray band for a safe effect in interaction with mechanical weed control between the rows. Moreover, they examine possibilities to realise different row width with a 25 cm nozzle layout in this method. This project is of major interest to us to push the developments together with our partners and to make them reliable and safe to use in practice.

The project partners

The first tests to apply sugar beet in a band with a sprayer started at the beginning of 2018. In the following years selected HORSCH customers tested and optimised this method on their farms. The challenge is the exact position of each drill bout when sowing. If the row width between the drill widths differ from the row width of the seed drill, the system does no longer work. All row spacings have to be absolutely identical. Farmers again and again show us impressively how precise a RTK-supported sowing method can be with regard to tracking. The identification of the tracks is either made when sowing track to track or by means of pre-planned tracks. For this method, previous tracking provides an additional plus with regard to precision. A GPS receiver on the sowing respectively planting technology might be advantageous for steering with this band spraying method.
When applying herbicides in a band the row width and the number of crop rows below the machine between the tramline tracks play an essential role. The two criteria determine the active nozzles in the boom. A 50 cm row can be realised very well with our 25 cm nozzle layout. For the common 75 cm row width, too, we are currently testing solutions on farms and in the R & D departments of the project partners with the objective to provide a practical retrofit solution as quickly as possible. Band spraying in maize can normally carried out with the existing technology. On most farms, mechanical weed control is carried out with a hoe between the bands/rows.
With the current framework conditions band spraying with a crop care sprayer is especially interesting for sugar beet and potatoes. But this method can also be used for other row crops.

We will keep you informed about the experiences and the new insights we gain from this project band spraying with a crop care sprayer that will last for three years.