“We wanted to future-proof our sprayer and spreader purchases with high-specification using auto section control,” explains Shenton Gwilliam, who farms 285ha through the Clun valley, with his son Ryan (pictured). “Both machines are also ISOBUS ready, so they plug and play on our MF 7S.190 tractor, which is equipped with an extended terminal to show the implement screen.” Supplied by Battlefield Machinery, both replace older similar models that had proved robust and reliable. Of the two new machines, it is the Kverneland iXter sprayer with its 24m vertical folding HC boom that is clocking up the hours, with Ryan Gwilliam particularly impressed by boom stability.
“We are on rolling countryside, and the boom has to react quickly to changes in topography, while maintaining an accurate and consistent spray height,” he says. “And this is better than some premium self-propelled sprayers that I used when working in New Zealand. With three sensors and Boom Guide Pro, the positive and negative boom movement is superb.”
The sprayer boasts an 1,800-litre tank capacity, and is equipped with iXclean Pro one-touch cleaning, with prime and purge, and boom line recirculation. The only aspect missing from the specification is individual nozzle control. “With nine automatic sections across 24m, we’ve already seen considerable savings on our chemical costs thanks to reduced overlaps,” adds Ryan. Combinable cropping spans 202ha and includes winter wheat, winter barley, winter and spring oats. With the combination of field sizes from 1.2ha up to 16ha and water volumes from 100-200 litres/ha, Ryan says output can sometimes take a hit.
“We’re not short of capacity operating at 12kph, but there’s always the option of adding a front tank, should we need more output,” he says. “It’s an impressive set-up with technology that saves us money.”