2015 - Volume #39, Issue #1, Page #26[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Dutch-Made "Wingssprayer" Reduces Chemical Use, Drift
It’s not in the U.S. yet, says inventor Harrie Hoeben. But he hopes to connect with a sprayer company and has already begun demonstrations in Canada.
“It’s different because it works with very fine drops,” Hoeben says of his design, explaining that the drops are 10 times smaller so they cover 10 times more area. “It has a windshield so the wind can’t get to the fine droplets.”
The “wings” flow over the top of the crop, opening up the plants, placing plants just inches below the sprayer nozzles. With increased speed the wing acts like a spoiler and improves spray penetration into the plants instead of ending up as spray drift.
“Some farmers used 40 percent less chemicals, but the average chemical reduction is 15 to 30 percent,” Hoeben says. A video on his website provides visual evidence that spray drift is nearly eliminated when compared to conventional sprayers.
The son of an apple orchard grower, Hoeben has been spraying since he was 14. He contracted as a professional sprayer and came up with the Wingssprayer to help meet his government’s focus on reducing spray drift. He worked on the system for seven years and introduced it in 2010 to farmers in several European countries. Testing on thousands of acres covered a variety of crops including grains, potatoes and up to 9-ft. tall corn. Special trials indicated that it didn’t spread diseases, despite the fact that the Wingssprayer has contact with plants.
There are 3 patented models available. The Single Wing is ideal for small farms and can be pulled up to 11mph. The Double Wing works well for large farms and travels up to 22 mph. The vertical Wing is designed for orchards and vineyards.
Hoeben welcomes inquiries from U.S./Canadian sprayer manufacturers to set up demonstrations to give his equipment a chance to prove itself to farmers.
“The Wingssprayer can bring more profit for farmers, healthy crops, healthier people and not harm the environment (with overspray),” Hoeben says. In the Netherlands the sprayer meets government regulations to use within 20 in. of ditches, rivers and lakes.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Harrie Hoeben, Rummeling 5, 6026 RH Maarheeze, The Netherlands (ph +31 6 53226920; www.wingssprayer.com; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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