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New Air Blast Crop Sprayer
An air blast band sprayer developed by Minnesota farmer, Bruce Viker, of Halstad, has caused the entire crop spraying industry to stop and take notice.
Among other things, this new concept in crop spraying virtually eliminates drift - even on windy days. What's more, it gets the job done with up to 50% less material and you can zip down the row at a whopping 14 mph.
Vicker adopted his air blast band sprayer to a self propelled Melroe Spray Coupe. However, the concept is readily adaptable to conventional tractor-mounted spraying. In fact, several neighbors who saw Vicker's air blast unit were so impressed with its performance they went right to work in their farm shops to develop similar units which mount on 3 pt. hitches and are driven off the tractor pto.
Vicker's prototype sprayer covers 12 22-in. rows for use in sugar beets. He rigged up a special fan which provides air at high pressure and high volume. It's driven by a 16 hp. gasoline engine and delivers a continuous blast of air to a special hood
over each row. The hoods contain the atomized spray and air turbulence. A 11/z in. air hose mounted on the top rear of each hood forces air forward through the plant and against a front baffle plate which bounces the air backwards to keep it churning.
The rear of the hood is open. A spray nozzle is mounted just inside the end of the air hose so chemical solution is atomized and carried with the air stream, causing the entire space under the hood to be filled with atomized spray. The entire plant gets covered, including the underside of the leaves.
"We're getting weed control with 50% less chemical and water, compared to conventional band spray," Vicker told FARM SHOW. "The secret is in atomizing the droplets so they hit the plant. With a conventional spray pattern, about 90% of the material goes right through the plant and hits the ground, with only about 10% hitting the leaves."
Viker emphasizes that the fan used to provide the air blast has to be a type that provides both high volume and high pressure. Like most sugar beet growers in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota, Viker uses a simple guidance system which automatically steers cultivators and sprayers with precision -accuracy at high speeds - even in narrow 22 in. rows. Two shanks equipped with narrow shovels are mounted on the planter. They're spaced the exact same distance apart as the front wheels of the tractor. The tractor's front wheels are fitted with special mono-ribbed tires which come to a sharp, narrow point at the center. The tires ride in the grooves made by the shovels and automatically follow the row with precision accuracy.
For more details on the revolutionary new air blast band sprayer, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bruce Vikers, Halstad,Minn.(701457-2201).

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1978 - Volume #2, Issue #5