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Spot sprayer turns on, off automatically
"It's absolutely the cheapest way to control Johnsongrass," says J.C. Allen, inventor of a new electronically-operated spot sprayer designed especially for farmers wanting to use Poast or Fusilade to kill tall-growing weeds in row crops.
Key to the sprayer's fast-acting operation is its ingenious electric system. Each row is equipped with a front "bumper" sponge. When you go to the field, you hose down these sponges with water to make them better conductors of electricity. When a wet "bumper" hits a weed, electricity flows from the tractor's battery, through the wet sponge, through the weed and to ground, from ground to a chain dragging on the ground behind the tractor, up through the chain and through the tractor frame and to three transistors which amplify the current enough to trigger a solonoid which, in turn, turns on three spray nozzles covering that particular row.
With the tractor going about 6 mph, the electronic system is timed so the three nozzles saturate the weed with spray. A built-in delay holds the spray on for .4 of a second - about 5 ft. of travel - to ensure that the plant's completely covered with spray before the nozzles shut off. For broadcast application of preplant herbicides or pesticides, you simply hit the manual override switch to do conventional spraying.
The sponge bumpers will stay wet enough to conduct electricity for several hours. "Generally, when it's time to refuel the tractor, it's time to rewet the sponges," says Allen.
Cost of the sprayer, adaptable to row widths from 15 to 40 inches, is $2,600 for a six row (40 in. spacing) and $3,000 for an 8-row, complete with boom and mounting brackets.
"If your herbicide of choice is Roundup, a rub bar wiper applicator will probably do the job. But, for row-crop farmers who prefer using lower cost Poast or Fusilade, this spot sprayer is tailor-made," says Allen.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, J.C. Allen, P.O. Box 87, Indianola, Ms. 38751 (ph 601 887-2514, or 887-3356).

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1989 - Volume #13, Issue #3