For David and Marshall Hargreaves of Mere Farm near Preston, upgrading from a trailed sprayer to a self-propelled machine has made their crop spraying operations faster, more efficient and more accurate. And by purchasing a second-hand, entry-level machine and subsequently upgrading its spray circuit and electronics from a 5-section manually controlled system to an automatic 11-section machine, they have a completely future-proofed machine for the fraction of the price of a similarly specced new machine.
The Hargreaves farm 1000 acres between Preston and Blackpool. Their mixed farm comprises 250 fattening beef cattle, 370 breeding ewes, 140 acres of permanent pasture and 860 acres of arable land on a wheat-barley-oilseed rape rotation.
The Hargreaves have historically used a trailed sprayer and secondary front tank on their arable land, but found that the combined 11 tonne weight of tractor, sprayer and front tank made it difficult to spray when ground conditions were anything other than perfect. After a 12-month hunt to find a good quality, low-hour self-propelled machine, the Hargreaves purchased a 24m, 5-section Househam Spirit. It has subsequently been upgraded by LH Agro to convert it into an 11-section sprayer with fully automatic section control.
The upgraded machine enabled the Hargreaves to work more efficiently during the spring’s catchy weather, with the added sections making the sprayer more accurate and reducing chemical usage at headlands and overlaps. At approximately 6 tonnes fully loaded, it is also considerably lighter than the trailed machine it replaces, enabling spraying operations to be carried out even when ground conditions are still quite wet.
The entry-level, 5-section, 24m sprayer was purchased with 800 hours on the clock. It has subsequently been upgraded by LH Agro to convert it into an 11-section, fully automated machine