How efficient are you when you’re using your sprayer?
Tom Wolf, applications specialist with AgriMetrix Research & Training, told farmers at the November Saskatchewan oilseed grower meetings about a new sprayer productivity calculator his group has developed to help farmers answer this question.
In developing this app, Wolf worked with South Country, a John Deere dealership. He collected sprayer information from eight anonymous John Deere customers using the biggest 4045 sprayers John Deere sells. These eight customers put an average of 450 engine hours on their sprayers every year. But, they were only actually spraying less than half of that time. About 22 per cent of the time the sprayers were in transport, and another 30 per cent of the time the machines were idling.
With the high cost of new sprayers and the hourly depreciation costs of running these machines, this is some very expensive idling. (Wolf compared this to having your Ferrari stopped in city traffic.)
The key to high productivity isn’t always driving faster. If a “sprayer nurse truck” can reduce your load time, it may be well worth the cost.
You can find this sprayer productivity calculator on Tom Wolf’s website: sprayers101.com. It will ask for your tank size, travel speed, headlands and how long you’re spending to load and clean.