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Sprayer Sprays Three Chemicals At Once
Terry Belzer and his sons Tom and Paul built a crop sprayer that they wouldn't trade "for any other sprayer in the world."
The king-size sprayer has a huge 110 ft. wide boom that folds up to a 12-ft. transport width. In addition, there are three separate sprayer tanks, three sets of nozzles and three separate sets of controls so that the Cando, No. Dak., farmers can carry three different chemicals at once and switch off back and forth between chemicals depending on what weeds they find in whatever field they're working in.
The complex spraying system is mounted on the chassis of a school bus and rides on four tractor tires that provide a smooth ride and good traction. The three men built a metal framework about the chassis, installed a second transmission in line with the bus transmission, and installed a cab that holds as many as three people at once.
"The added transmission gives it 40 forward speeds and several in each range. It'll travel at 35 to 45 mph down the road. We spray in the field at about 8 mph, covering 100 acres an hour," says Terry Belzer, noting that because the unit is so wide they can, in effect, use the individually-controlled boom sections to spot spray. "We have three operators in the cab, each controlling one of the three booms. They turn them on or off as needed."
Because the sprayer has three completely separate spraying systems,the Belzers can carry three separate chemicals and switch back and forth between the three depending on which weed is worst in that part of the field. .
All sprayer controls are electric and there's some 50 switches in the cab. The wide 110-ft. boom folds up to just 12-ft. for transport with the help of electric motors. The boom raises in height from 22 in. to 7 ft. for in-field spraying. Belzer says this gives them the flexibility to adjust to any field conditions. In order to drive the big machine through growing crops, the farmers have established tramlines (driving paths) through the fields.
Terry Belzer says the sprayer has been "a tremendous addition" to their operation. On winter wheat alone, which must be sprayed for leaf disease, the Belzers had been paying about $13 an acre for aerial spraying. With their new sprayer, the cost has been cut to just $6. They use the sprayer, equipped with its 327 cu. in. engine and 2,500-gal. spray capacity, for all their field spraying, and he credits it for the success of their 1,100 acres of no-till wheat.
"It's surprisingly maneuverable," Belzer notes. "We can easily steer to within 1 ft. of a tree. Because the cab is mounted up high, visibility is very good."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Terry Belzer, Cando, N. Dak. 58324 (ph 701 968-3734).


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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #4