Dutch spray manufacturer Agrifac has been working to enter the Canadian market for the past year and a half, and the company is currently making its way through the Canadian agricultural trade show circuit.
Its largest offering, Condor Endurance, was on display at Ag In Motion near Saskatoon last week. It holds 2,100 US gallons, offers boom lengths from 80 to 180 feet.
Tom Wolf of Agrimetrix says the wide booms offer producers the opportunity to slow down and improve application without giving up productivity.
A dedicated compressor powers an air induction system, which adds airflow to the spray stream and increases spray coverage.
“You can decrease the amount of water up to 50 percent of what you usually spray. If you use 12 gallons per acre right now, you will be able to go as low as six gallons per acre and still have the same coverage, said Rob Blijdorp of Agrifac.
A benefit of having an air induction system is consistent droplet size.
“We call it droplet size controller,” Blijdorp said.“Usually when you start to slow down for headlands, your pressure will drop. With a conventional nozzle, droplets start to become more coarse. We start to inject more air into the system and therefore your droplet size remains more constant independent from your speed.”
A recirculation boom comes standard with the Condor Endurance.
Liquid constantly flows through the boom as soon as the pump is engaged. The liquid will return to the main tank when the machine is not spraying, which means operators no longer have to worry about charging their booms.
Blijdorp said this feature allows pressure to be more equal through-out the entire boom than is the case on booms without a recirculation option.
“You have a better rate output through the boom, but also the cleanout will be much faster and more convenient because we don’t have to exit all of the chemical water through the nozzles,” he said.
“We can just run fresh water through the boom.”
Sprayer clean-out is also helped by a self-cleaning filter and a comparably low amount of resting liquid in the pump.
“This whole plumbing system only contains two gallons of water. We made everything very compact and therefore we have a very low amount of rest liquids. You can clean out much faster and it will also save you a lot of money.”
Agrifac’s Condor Endurance features an air induction system that controls spray pressure to prevent coarse droplets. | Robin Booker photo[/caption]
The spray pump has a 150-gallon per minute capacity.
Operators can adjust track width by up to 40 inches, and all track widths between 76 inches to 181 inches are available.
“We make use of a walking beam concept, meaning that both right wheels are connected to each other with a beam, as well as the left wheels,” he said.
“They pivot on a central shaft. The same central shaft is where we do the track width adjustment.”
The walking beam axle helps reduce the forward and back movement on the boom and helps keep a uniform application on rolling terrain.
“We have a very stable ride be-cause we have air suspension as well as a hydraulic shock absorber, and it will give us a very stable boom,” Blijdorp said.
“Because we have limited movement in the boom, we are able to go to wider boom widths.”
The Condor Endurance has a 50-inch ground clearance and is rated for a working speed of 22 m.p.h. and a road speed of 32 m.p.h.
Four-wheel steer comes standard, but only the front wheels are used when spraying to reduce boom movement.
A dedicated hydraulically powered fill pump at the front of the machine can fill the machine with water within seven minutes. Operators can use the sprayer’s auto fill option, and the pump will shut down once a desired amount of water is loaded.
A Claas cab is used on the Condor Endurance, but Agrifac uses its own electronics.
“GPS wise, we can deal with any system in the market,” Blijdorp said. “Our approach is that we will adapt to the GPS system that the farmer uses instead of the other way around.”
The touch sensitive operating screen displays all relevant information without having to scroll though menus.
“Since we make use of all electronic values on the machine, you can operate them by pressing on the screen,” he said.
Operators can use the in-cab console to run fresh water through the boom, dilute the main tank when cleaning it out, adjust track width, control rates, and adjust water and air pressure.
The 320 horsepower Volvo engine is located in the middle of the front axle, and the hydraulic system is designed to run at low r.p.m.
“On very flat surfaces, you can run the engine at 1,300 or 1,400 r.p.m.,” Blijdorp said. “With low r.p.m., you can save a lot of fuel. When you really need the power, for example to climb a hill, you can rev up to 1,700 or 1,800 r.p.m.”