Rovic Leers: Top tips for crop spraying

by | Oct 28, 2020 | Wineland

Producers who farm with orchards or vineyards often also plant other types of crops. These can be cash crops such as butternuts or more permanent crops such as berries. When producers change their crops, either completely or partially, they tend to use the same sprayer they used before. But sometimes the sprayer is modified to suit the new crop.

When spraying for crop protection, the setup of the sprayer must be correct, keeping in mind the correct litre/ha, droplet size and assisted airflow combined with the forward speed.

Here are some important aspects of crop spraying to keep in mind:

Cash crops such as butternuts present several challenges when it comes to spraying them accurately. Butternut is a creeping crop with broad leaves. When using a vineyard sprayer for cash crops, you need to know if the chemical product in the air stream reaches the target over the specific distance to be sprayed and on the top and bottom of the leaves. When using the air-assisted sprayer, you need to check if there’s enough air momentum to reach the entire target.

When spraying over a distance, equal distribution of the chemical product is important. Can the sprayer distribute the chemical product equally over the distance that must be sprayed? The sprayer pump capacity and litre/minute must be sufficient to spray over the target and keep the chemical product suspended in the sprayer tank. The forward speed must be in balance with the required air momentum and litre/ha to be sprayed over the distance to cover the crop effectively.

Spraying berries also presents several challenges to ensure a good deposit of the chemical. Rows are planted close to each other, so the target is closer to the sprayer fan outlet. The small berry leaves mean the amount of air momentum required to spray effectively is relatively low.

Due to the short distance between the fan outlet and target, it’s important to have the correct air distribution. There must be enough time for the nozzles to open in the air outlet before the chemicals reach the target and to prevent streaking.

Rovic Leers has two ranges of air-assisted sprayers.

The Cima venturi atomisation range has several spraying heads to choose from, depending on the type of crop. Fan capacity varies from 450-550 mm. The smallest, Cima P42, can be pulled by an 18-kW tractor with fishtails, making it ideal for spraying berries. Three sizes of the tobacco cannon are available to spray cash crops such as butternuts over a distance. The airflow in the tobacco cannons ensures the even distribution of the chemical product.

Locally manufactured Rovic vineyard sprayers are available with an 800-mm fan and the fan blades are adjustable for various air momentums, making them ideal for spraying berries.

Contact Kosie Human (product specialist) on 083 978 5539 or kosieh@rovicleers.co.za

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