Demonstration facility attracts farmers and dealers Amazone’s new education, training and research centre at Orchard Farm, Auckley near Doncaster was the venue for an ambitious technical day to which dealers and customers from all over the UK were invited. David Williams was there. ‘Amatechnical 2016’ replaced Amazone’s traditional annual crop conferences, providing an event at which the full range of products could be seen working on one day. The Orchard Farm facility opened in March this year and comprises 12ha (30 acres) of arable land and buildings. Since opening it has been visited by individual farmers, farmer groups, students and dealers attending for product training, the grass leys and spring barley providing land suitable for almost any activity. New products due for launch a month later at Cereals were displayed and specialists were on hand to answer technical questions on precision farming equipment, Isobus control as well as sprayer and spreader performance. Working at the event were 12 tractors pulling drills, cultivators, ploughs, sprayers and spreaders along with the Pantera 4502 self-propelled sprayer. Machines working for the first time included the 12m Catros 12003-2TS compact disc harrow and the 5f Cayron 200VS-100 reversible plough with S Force hydraulic overload protection. The Cirrus 4003-2C grain and fertiliser trailed cultivator drill and the AD-P Super combination drill, with Isobus control, were also working. Shown for the first time was a new rear packer; the 600mm DW disc roller, on the rear of a Cenius
4003-2TX mulch cultivator. Forming part of the spreader technology display was a ZA-TS Hydro twin-disc mounted spreader with the Argus Twin spread pattern monitoring system.
Nozzle The new AmaSelect nozzle control system, displayed for the first time at Agritechnca wasn’t shown working but a spray head was available for potential users to examine, and specialists were on-hand to talk them through the benefits. “AmaSelect allows the operator to work with a selection of four nozzles, each of which can be selected from in the cab,” explained Amazone UK brand manager Simon Brown. “The system also allows the whole head to be switched off, so the operator can select the spray width by the number of nozzles working, for example on headlands.” Simon says the new head provides added flexibility in that any two neighbouring nozzles can be selected to work jointly, providing combined application rates depending on their size. Automatic switching can be set, so that as pressure alters, for instance with forward speed, the system selects the most appropriate nozzle, or combination of nozzles when carrying out variable rate applications, the nozzles can be set to switch to suit spray volume as well as pressure.
Specialists were on-hand to talk through the benefits of the AmaSelect nozzle.
Based on Amazone’s revolutionary prototype Argus System, the new commercially available Argus Twin spread pattern control was launched at Agritechnica last year. Previously only the spread pattern from one disc was monitored and then both discs were adjusted simultaneously, but Argus Twin uses seven radar sensors to monitor each disc, and the spread pattern from each is altered individually, as necessary. “Trial users have expressed surprise at how much the pattern adjusts during work, but factors including topography, spreader geometry and quality of the products can all affect the spread,” said Simon. A tray test is used to calculate the optimum angle for each product being spread and the result is saved in the system for recall. The cost is £5,220 and Argus Twin can be retrofitted to any mounted ZA-TS or trailed ZG-TS spreaders with a 16 prefix to its serial number. The cost of equipping a 36m sprayer with the technology is approximately £21,000, or £600/m, over the cost of a standard 9-section boom. “But, a 13-section boom converted to individual nozzle switching will typically reduce overlap by 85 per cent which could equate to five per cent of the chemical bill, so pay back time is short,” he said. A cost-effective alternative discussed at the event was AmaSwitch, which offers manual selection of each nozzle but retains the individual shut-off and costs approximately half as much as the
full-spec version. Simon said four AmaSelect sprayers have been working on UK farms this season, all of which have generated enthusiastic feedback from users, and that the system is now generally available on all trailed and self-propelled models. Also included as standard is LED boom lighting and a dual-fed booms option for high rate applications such as liquid fertiliser. “Pressure is growing to use chemicals effectively for the benefit of the environment and AmaSwitch and AmaSelect both offer significant continued over...
A new 4m version of the Cirrus drill extends the range from the previous 3 and 6m variants. All folding models include a fertiliser option.
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