18 December 2017
Photo caption Jon Bent (third from left), McIntosh Distribution, takes members of the Bayer WA team through the workings of the Miller Spray-Air system in Perth.
PUBLISHED 14 December 2018 (Farm Weekly)
The Bayer team in WA has moved to enhance its knowledge of some of the latest spraying systems and technologies available to help ensure growers can deliver world class active ingredients the best way possible and, in turn, achieve maximum return on their investments.
Local Bayer representatives recently met with the distributor of Miller sprayers and the manufacturer’s Spray-Air technology in Australia, McIntosh Distribution.
Craig White, Customer Advisory Representative and the Leader of Integrated Weed Management in Australia for Bayer, said the past two global conferences on one of the biggest issues in agriculture, herbicide resistance, had raised the need for a machinery component in the agenda and he considered it critical to remain abreast of new spraying technologies.
“At Bayer, we consider ourselves industry leaders in crop protection and seeds, but we also recognise that it’s important to understand new and effective ways of delivering the active ingredients in our products,’’ Craig said.
“We need to keep up with changes in technology and new machinery, and with McIntosh Distribution we were also able to discuss the Integrated Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) and WeedSeeker spot spraying technology, in addition to Spray-Air.’’
Jon Bent with McIntosh Distribution took the Bayer team through the workings, trial demonstrations and grower experiences with the Miller Spray-Air system, which allows for more targeted chemical applications through air-assist and air-atomisation technology.
Growers have fingertip control of droplet size and speed of air delivery for any spraying application. They can consistently atomise spray droplets in a range from 200-500 millilitres per minute per nozzle – spaced 25 centimetres apart.
Jon said Spray-Air achieved 90% of spray droplets within the target size range, whereas conventional nozzles achieved about 60% within the selected range, hence contributing significantly to spray drift.
He said the use of lower water volumes with Spray-Air was producing the best spraying results for growers.
“The optimum water carrier volume range with Spray-Air is 20-60 litres per hectare, depending on spraying speed,’’ Jon aid.
He said reduced water rates also effectively doubled the size of spray tanks for growers, allowing them to spend more time spraying and less time refilling.
Craig said ensuring active ingredients in products were delivered where required and not drifting away was vital and the drift minimisation and precision delivery to the target achieved with Spray-Air was excellent.
“It’s important that when we deploy pesticide products, that we deploy them absolutely as best as possible and not waste a shot,’’ he said.
“With herbicide resistance increasing, we need to maximise every opportunity to control weeds.’’
Craig said Jon showed work with Spray-Air where, in some cases, it was possibly reducing the number of spray applications required.
“Anything that is efficient and very effective at delivering the molecules is a great step forward for helping manage resistance to pesticides. This is part of an integrated approach and is very positive.’’
He said being at the leading edge, Bayer was keen to develop good relationships with forward thinking machinery companies and expertise to look at spray delivery, as well as to incorporate precision agriculture, drone data and other information to aid decisions.
“By having relationships, networking and linking everything together, we can potentially squeeze so much more out of an active ingredient.’’
“We all want to ensure the best products are delivered the best way possible to achieve the best outcome and returns for growers. We look forward to further developing our knowledge with McIntosh Distribution to help achieve this,’’ Craig said.
Regional Sales Manager Broadacre West with Bayer, Craig Pensini, who toured the Miller Spray-Air system with his sales team, said interaction with companies like McIntosh Distribution was very beneficial.
“Our sales representatives are never going to be machinery experts, but this sort of ‘cross pollination’ between ag companies is excellent. It will increase the confidence of the WA Bayer sales representatives, especially when interacting with growers, consultants or agronomists, because they will now at least have a basic knowledge of the Miller Spray-Air technology,’’ Craig said.
“This will enable our team to speak with an enhanced level of confidence when recommending the Bayer range of products and associated spray systems.’’