Dale Wiens’ tradeshow booth was garnering quite a bit of interest at the Canadian Farm Progress Show in June. And it’s no mystery why: his company, SprayTest Controls Inc., offers practical solutions to on-farm problems.
SprayTest’s original product was the remote control boom, which Wiens brought to the CFPS’ innovation completion in 2002. It was a product borne of necessity on his Beechy-area farm.
“We wanted to eliminate over-spraying in one spot, which is better for the environment. And it’s safer for the operator because we can stay out of the drift. We can make sure the drift, when we turn the booms on, is moving away from us,” Wiens explains.
The remote control boom also makes it easier to ensure the sprayer is working properly. Plugged nozzles cause problems with a rate controller, Wiens says. “It will put more out the other nozzles.”
The remote control boom consists of a plug-and-play electrical harness, a remote, and a receiver. It plugs into existing connectors, usually close to the valves at the back. It works on “virtually any shape, size, and colour. As long as it’s got electric controls, we can make it work,” says Wiens.
Farmers were lining up to talk to Wiens about the system during Farm Progress. Saskatchewan was very windy in 2016. Many farmers probably resorted to spraying at night that spring. Wiens cautions that temperature inversions and drift are potential risks of night spraying.
But the LED lights are a useful tool for farmers spraying in reduced lighting. The lighting system illuminates the spray, revealing any problems such as plugged nozzles.
The system includes two square LED lights, with nine blue bulbs in each light. The blue lights do a better job of illuminating the spray than white lights. They’re also easier on the eyes at night than white, Wiens says. Wiens notes the system isn’t white LEDs with a blue filter — instead the LEDs themselves are blue.
Farmers should install the lights behind the booms so they illuminate the nozzle pattern. It’s best to install them on the wing booms, close to the pivot. Because they draw only 1.5 amps, connecting them to the sprayer’s existing light circuit shouldn’t overload it, the SprayTest website notes.
“It’s simple to install and it’s cost-effective. It’s not a lot of money. $650 is nothing,” says Wiens.
For more information, visit spraytest.com. Farmers can also contact Wiens at [email protected] or by calling 1-855-859-1200.