sprayer conundrum. controlled traffic with trams planted on 60' do we spray 120 or 60'
I seek to achieve the last piece of the puzzle for controlled traffic.
I have a 60' horsch seeder for wheat peas soybeans and oats
I have 60' 24 row 30" planter for corn sunflowers and pinto beans
I have a STS12 Hagie 2010 with 100' boom and 3500 hours.
non functional Raven autosteer and no auto boom height control but section control works good.
Requires an exceptional operator to keep the booms out of the dirt faster than 8 mph.
I am 53 and do not feel my sprayer operator reflexes are quick enough to do the job I expect on the current machine.
we are putting 15000 acres a year on this machine with burn downs spring and fall, weed control 2x on each row crop acre, heading time fungicide on the wheat and Y drop fertilizer work.
I have two pull type 96' spray air sprayers 2003 and 2004 that I can keep one of the two running from cannibalizing parts from the other.
I pull this with my 1988 4850 with 12000+ hours set on a 120" stance of singles
these pull-types were great machines when I had a 48' air seeder we did tram lines and it was awesome to spray on trams and I really miss the trams
And I wish I had a 120' boom sprayer for the wheat, oats, lentils and soybeans to line up right behind the 60' air seeder tracks.
I have a good fast sprayer trailer that can load my 1200 gallon tank machine in 12 minutes but it takes a guy pre-dumping jugs and dry ams in the hopper cone.
the sprayer does not fold booms and is back to application work in 12 minutes.
our crop mix is diverse sometimes I wish I could be in three places at once.
late May to the third week in June is pure hell
everything need sprayed for weeds and the small grains fertilized with 28-0-0 in a very short window.
then the wind blows for 4 days and you are 2500 acres behind on the spraying. there a couple of great custom guys in the area but they get behind too.
we are losing yield here and there to uncontrolled weeds and fertilizer that is not on in time.
some years we get lucky and we cover everything timely some years we get behind and leave $100,000 on the table.
baring the fact I will the power ball and just by a couple of new 120'boom Hagie's
So here are the financially feasible options:
1) do nothing and hope for calm winds and try cover the existing acres with what we have. still cannot do 120' trams
2) trade the 100' hagie for a 3 year newer hagie with less hours with a 120' boom auto steer and a Norac to keep the boom out of the dirt.
This would increase capacity by 25% but still gets behind if the wind blows and it requires a very competent operator. goes down my 120' 60' trams love that.
3) put a 120' boom and a norac on my existing Hagie. Cost is 2/3rds the price of trading to the newer 120' Hagie with 1/2 the hours i have now
3) get another pull type 120'er keep the 100 hagie' still need two exceptional operators but I can spray on my trams in the small grains
4) get a couple of older 600 gallon 60' Rowgators or an Apache
this idea 4, seems more appealing I can attack one crop with three machines and get a whole lot done with one good operator on the Hagie and two steering wheel holders on the 60' sprayers.
trams get easy as we block divert two rows to make a tram every 60' feet easy peasy spraying for the steering wheel holder guys. disadvantage, each rig needs a 2630 for section, rate control and steering
Dad who is 78 said he could run the smaller 60' rig but not a 120'er even with autosteer and autoboom height.
or I can send 1 guy off to do a few acres of a specialty crop, another guy off to stream bar N on small grains ore two guys doing stream bar liquid N on wheat.
and the Hagie is doing weed control on another field or with the other 60'er.
I become the jug dumper and chemist at the spray trailer for the three ring sprayer circus.
FBN peeps do your thing shoot holes in my thinking or challenge me to come up with a better idea
I can't complain,
nobody would want to listen anyway.
Personally I would trade up to 120 boom instead of adding desired controls to old at 2/3 of cost. Move to 1200 gal tank too. Considered 132 and 1600gal? Reduces your sprayer tracks in solid seeded crops which turn into tramlines if you follow previous path.
How much labor do you have available is the question for the multisprayer options. Along that line, considered selling two pull behinds and keeping old hagie plus another. Is 4850 used for other uses? How goods the tender setup? I doubled acres covered when I added second tender truck.
Anyway to simplify the spraying that needs done and or to reduce trips? Always a question I discuss with my suppliers for my crops. This is ment to be openended as I am in a different region with different weed/ fertility challenges. Time crunch affects everyone in ag.
If you are truely leaving 100k on the table from late applications then recovering your cost of a big machine will be easy to recover. Different circumstances but im spraying 18000ac/yr with 1 machine but only 2 different crops with 2 people. Happy pencil pushing to find least cost efficient and timely way to get your spraying done
What about 90’ booms? You’d line up with your tram line every 3rd pass right?
2:1 two seeder passes to 1 sprayer pass is best for traming. You just tram going north or going west. And you spray on the tracks packed by the air seeder and tractors. 1.5:1 gets tricky to remember to turn stuff on and off.
I think option 2 looks to be the most effective option. I think that the tender situation seems to be the issue in most cases. It’s hard keeping up with filling and chemical mixing. Good help is hard to find as well. You didn’t mention if the 4850 is auto steer. If not a system would help there as well as 24’ of boom on the pull type sprayers. Remember it’s just my opinion. Good luck to you.