Dutch sprayer manufacturer Agrifac says one of its machines smashed a pair of spraying records last week in Australia, with a single high-clearance sprayer covering over 6,500 acres in 24 hours.
Although the company doesn’t say where this record is registered, a local justice of the peace was present to adjudicate on the farm of Karolyn, Tony and Brendan Mason in Western Australia.
According to Agrifac, the 48 meter (160 ft) Condor Endurance sprayed 6,516 acres in a 24-hour period ending at 12pm on March 2 (an average 271 acres per hour). During one 60 minute span, the machine sprayed 372.4 acres, which Agrifac says is the record for a single hour.
“The Mason farm is a very efficient operation, yet few people at this time of year would allow spraying during the day with high temperatures,” noted Mark Slater, who runs Agrifac’s business in Australia and drove the sprayer. “For the plants that they are targeting (early growth stages, predominately small plants) they have always achieved good results even at 104°F and low water rates. Initially we were going to use 5,2 gallon/acre but Tony and Brendan decided to drop back to 4.1 gallons/acre…”
With two people on the nurse truck, they averaged 11 minutes per fill over approximately 13 fills.
Doing the math, the average field size appears to have been just over 430 acres. The large field size (relative to other parts of the world) will have contributed to the efficiency of the operation, but Slater suggests they could have covered even more ground.
“We had a bit of everything from trees, power poles, tight corners, gradual slopes and some bumps too,” he said in a news release. “In total there were 15 fields with a 10-minute drive between the two blocks. I did drive into the wrong field in the middle of the night which cost us a little time.”
By the numbers (from Agrifac):
- Machine used: 48m (160 ft) Agrifac Condor Endurance with High Tech Air Plus.
- 6,515.86 acres in 24 hours
- 271 acres/hr average
- Best hour — 372.4 acres
- 27,875 gallons
- 4.1 gallons/acre, medium droplet size HTA
- 15 fields
- 13 and a bit fills
- 11 minutes (total stopped time per fill)
- Average spraying speed 15,5 miles/h