Anyone who’s ever walked the aisles of Agritechnica, the giant German farm machinery show, will understand that Europeans have taken sprayer technology to an entirely new level. A relatively intensive agriculture regime coupled with extremely stringent regulations and intense public scrutiny of herbicide use has demanded it.
At the same time, farmers are still looking for efficiency and capacity in sprayers. Germany’s Herbert Dammann GmbH is one of a very large number of sprayer manufacturers in Europe that have had to face those challenges on that continent, and it is now looking at introducing its machines to the Canadian market.
“We’ve come to show it to customers, to farmers,” Jens Schmidt, one of Dammann’s sales staff, told Grainews at the company’s display in Woodstock, Ontario, during Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in September. “We’re trying to figure out what are the possibilities here and what are the questions farmers have. What do they want (in a sprayer)? That’s why we decided to show the machine again and show what’s possible with this machine. And also show the farmer what option we are offering them.”
It was the second year Dammann has exhibited one of its sprayers at the show. But this year the company is ready to start seriously exploring the market, according to Schmidt. And it has a pretty wide range of products to offer farmers, which include three high-capacity self-propelled models as well as a range of pull-type and tractor-mounted designs.
“At the moment we have this machine, here,” said Schmidt, referring to the BT3200 on display. “But we can bring more models than just this one. This is a BT3200 model. It’s a bit older. The new model is the BT3500. It has a new cab with more space for the driver.”
The BT3500 is available in a variety of configurations with tank capacities of 8,000, 10,000 and 12,000 litres and boom sizes that range from 30 to 42 metres (98 to 138 feet).
“We have three different tank capacities, he confirms. “We can do it with a three-axle system or also with a two-axle system. The (under-body) height is adjustable. It goes from 3.5 feet to 6 feet under the machine.”
Under the hood the Dammann gets is power from a 7-litre MTU diesel engine mated to a hydrostatic transmission that drives individual wheel motors on all six wheels.
Schmidt said the liquid system is designed to provide even application and ensure product remains in proper solution inside the tank
“It has a central circulation system and we open the nozzle with air pressure so we always have the pressure we need for spraying in the line. We use diaphragm pumps so we can go with low, equal pressure all the time. And we can go all the way up to a high pressure. It’s a better way of moving fluid in the boom, it’s more equal across the boom all the time.”
At the side is a large induction hopper-style tank. “It’s around 60 litres,” he said. “And it can be used for powders without any problems and mix properly.”
“We have a special rotating agitation system in the (main) tank to make sure we have a good concentration all through the tank. Often the pesticide sits at the bottom and it takes a long time to get even concentration throughout. With our system it is really fast.”
ISOBUS-compatible digital systems are used throughout the machine, and include turn compensation control on the boom.
“It calculates how fast the boom will be going and adjusts all the nozzles so we have 100 percent coverage across the boom,” said Schmidt.
Currently, the company is looking at a direct marketing model as it begins selling in Canada. And it is actively searching out dealers that can represent it in order to provide service after the sale.
“At the moment we’re going for direct dealing,” Schmidt explained. “We’re more looking for service (providers), because farmers are now looking more at service than dealers. They just need a dealer once to get the machine, but they need service to be in the region and at their farm when something is broken.
Who is Dammann?
Herbert Dammann GmbH is one of several family-owned, Germany-based companies that produce a specialty line of farm equipment. It’s named after its founder.
Dammann was established in the same way as many Canadian Prairie companies: a farmer couldn’t buy the kind of machine he wanted, so he built it himself. Herbert Dammann began building sprayers to meet his own on-farm needs. Eventually that developed into a business and the company entered commercial sprayer production in 1968. Now, after 40 years in business, it is looking at expanding its market reach outside Europe, including coming to Canada.
For more information on Dammann sprayers, go to the company website.