23 July 2021
The Stoll WeedSeeker 2 boomspray during demonstrations in the southern Mallee, south-west Wimmera and Wimmera regions prior to this season. The system includes two tanks, a 6000-litre tank and another 2000L tank, each connected to a line and two Hypro pumps are used to run each individual line.
THE ability to apply pre-emergent herbicides as well as spot spray with knockdown herbicides all in the one pass has impressed Victorian Mallee and Wimmera growers, after viewing demonstrations of a Stoll WeedSeeker 2 boomspray prior to the start of the season.
The demonstrations were coordinated by Matt Bellinger from Belle-Vue Trading at Warracknabeal, with numerous growers in the southern Mallee, south-west Wimmera and Wimmera regions taking advantage of the opportunity to closely inspect the system.
Matt said the Stoll WeedSeeker 2 boomspray was hitched to a New Holland T8.380 tractor with the newly released PLM Intelligence.
Matt said the PLMi platform in the cab runs the tractor, includes ISOBUS technology and allows remote access for real-time insights and information, so Belle-Vue Trading service staff can minimise downtime for growers.
Controlled via the ISOBUS, the Stoll WeedSeeker 2 boomspray features a dual line system, allowing both traditional blanket spraying and/or spot spraying using the WeedSeeker 2 technology. The WeedSeeker 2 sensors can be installed in about 30 minutes, offering growers the opportunity to spot spray over summer before switching to blanket spraying during the growing season, while the two lines also can be used at the same time.
“The system includes two tanks, a 6000-litre tank and another 2000L tank, each connected to a line and two Hypro pumps are used to run each individual line,’’ Matt said.
“Growers can apply their pre-ems (pre-emergent herbicides) prior to sowing and target bigger weeds with the WeedSeeker 2 line using knockdown herbicides. So they can do the two jobs in the one pass.
“Most growers can spend around $10/ha on knockdown sprays and with the WeedSeeker 2 you can save up to 90 per cent – plus you are saving the hours on the tractor by spraying in the one pass.’’
He said tackling any larger weeds at the spraying time could easily be done by increasing the WeedSeeker 2 spray rate.
The Stoll WeedSeeker 2 boomspray offers a 36-metre working width and is set up on a 3m wheel centre to suit controlled traffic farming systems.
Matt said compared to other spot spray systems, the WeedSeeker 2 technology used two light sources for weed detection, including both red and near-infrared, and so was not affected by dust or changing background conditions.
He said growers who viewed the system were extremely impressed with its performance and the ability to change the WeedSeeker 2 sensors to target from smaller through to larger weeds.
The intelligent, self-learning sensors also feature auto-calibration, ensuring they constantly adjust to the environment they are working in. Weed mapping, which pinpoints where and when weeds are treated in paddocks, adds further intelligence and can assist with resistance management programs.
Matt said another popular aspect of the Stoll WeedSeeker 2 boomspray for growers was its ability to maintain boomspray height using the Raven XRT high resolution auto-height system. This is a radar-based ultrasonic system that collects more data points, ensuring booms remain at optimum spraying height for longer.
“Unlike with other systems, you don’t have to set it up as a ground glider,’’ he said.
“Once you set the auto-height system, which runs through the ISOBUS, it will run at that all day. The sensors on the wings maintain it at the selected height.
“Considering the weight of the cameras, its ground-following ability is excellent.
“The growers were impressed with the accuracy, with the boomspray automatically going up and down via the sensors to maintain the set height,’’ Matt said.
Growers interested in further demonstrations of the Stoll WeedSeeker 2 boomspray can contact Belle-Vue Trading at Warracknabeal on (03) 5394 1070.