Closed transfer coming closer
As featured in Arable Farming Magazine
Closed transfer coming closer
In the field Nick Field, West Sussex
Farmer and contractor Nick Field shares a sprayer filling area with Norfolk Estate Farms, Arundel, West Sussex.
An easyconnect unit is being trialled to fill both his Knight self-propelled sprayer and the estates Fastrac/ Knight demount combination, which between them cover some 6,250 hectares a year.
We built a freestanding trolley to move the easyconnect between the two sprayers and each machine has been fitted with flush fit couplings to fill from it, Mr Field explains.
We currently have to remove the caps from containers and fit a compatible version, but as well as being a safer operation, once the products are supplied with dedicated caps it will be much quicker than filling the sprayer through an induction bowl. He says the compatible caps have changed in design a couple of times during the process but now work well, and all products they have tried induct smoothly.
Fitting the container into the easyconnect and rinsing out once empty is described as âuser friendly.
Mr Field says other operators in the trial have requested a modification to induct part-packs and he would also be keen to try this out.
The unit was supplied via Nufarm distributor Bartholomews, and they collect our feedback and monitor the process so we can contribute to the ongoing development of the system.
Our trial is open-ended but we look forward to continuing to use a product which contributes to the safety and efficiency of spraying.
In the field Matt Redman, Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire contractor and NAAC chairman Matt Redman has also been trialling the easyconnect system for several seasons, having initially mounted the unit on a trailed sprayer.
But now we use it to fill our two Batemans so it is easier to keep it at the filling point, he says.
Long term it will need to be integrated with the sprayer, especially where we are contract spraying, and how to retrofit the unit onto an existing machine is one of the issues that will have to be tackled.
Its easier on a new sprayer as manufacturers will be able to include them into the initial design. The trial has proved the ease of use of the system.
He says: Its as quick or quicker than using an induction hopper, the cans are easy to put on and take off.
The only improvement we would like to see is the ability to induct part cans.
For this we need to be able to measure the remaining chemical which means making the packs translucent.
Weve been able to fit the compatible cap to all of the products that we use except Roundup, and that comes in an IBC so filling is low exposure anyway.
One or two generic products that come in one litre packs dont fit the cap, but I believe manufacturers will come to realise that unless they fit their packs with closed transfer caps, operators wont use their products.
We are all are very aware of the need to reduce exposure, and every time the topic comes up on social media there is a lot of interest. Mr Redman adds that the crop protection partners who signed up to the scheme have been engaged with the progress of the trial and have visited him to see how he is getting on.
I was keen to trial the system as I believe it will be required in the future, so it makes sense to be able to offer feedback and ensure it meet our needs when it goes into production, he says.