Eliminating weeds in the crop and weed seed free crop yield are not the only priorities in contemporary arable farming. Farmers are increasingly mindful of obligations to establish and maintain biodiversity along field margins safeguarding them from contamination from herbicides used to treat the crop.
These eco-rich areas typically extend from the crop margin to the field boundary. The latter may be a hedgerow and/or a water course or a grassy bank to encourage and maintain populations of beetles and other useful arthropods.
However, there is a clear farming requirement for establishment and maintenance of a barrier against wild plant encroachment into the crop where ecologically valued species become weeds (a plant growing in the wrong place at the wrong time). In many instances, there is a pressing need to eliminate the opportunity for black grass to re-establish in the cultivated area. By the same token the eco-rich field margin must be delineated and protected against any ingress of herbicide by direct overspray or spray drift from applications to the crop.
The most efficient and cost-effective way of achieving this delineation is through maintaining a completely weed free strip using a non-selective (total) herbicide such as glyphosate. However, there is then absolutely no margin for application error where the crop meets the strip or where the strip interfaces with the field margin.
Ultra-accurate application can be achieved with the Enviromist range of shielded CDA sprayers from Micron Group which satisfies the high degree of accuracy and safety demanded when spraying herbicides in such environmentally sensitive situations. The Enviromist range of sprayers is ideal for crop margin spraying and other applications such as spraying along pathways and fence lines where the same degree of accuracy in targeting and placement is required.
Reduced environmental impact
The Enviromist range of sprayers includes the Spraydome, the Spraymiser and the Undavina, all of which use proven Micron CDA (Controlled Droplet Application) spray technology featuring spinning disc rotary atomisers to produce optimum sized droplets within a narrow size range for maximum spray efficiency. All Enviromist sprayers incorporate a shielded design which virtually eliminates the risk of spray drift whilst benefitting from the spraying accuracy and low volumes achieved by the use of CDA atomisers. This system offers significant increases in spray efficiency and crop and environmental protection and safety which include:
- Excellent targeting of spray droplets and accuracy of spray placement
- Optimum coverage of weed plant surfaces using significantly lower application volumes compared with traditional hydraulic pressure nozzle spraying
- Enhanced spray retention, with discrete spray droplets on weed leaf surfaces drying more quickly to protect against wash off and to allow more rapid entry of herbicide into the plant, and, with systemic products such as glyphosate, translocation to all parts of the weed for faster total kill.
- Economical spray volumes of down to 20 l/ha which allow users to reduce both water and chemical volume, as well as the overall time taken to spray.
- With virtually no drift onto non-target areas or run off into the soil, all-round environmental protection is ensured with minimum wastage.
Spraying along the crop margin and footpaths
When it comes to crop margin spraying, the Spraydome is a perfect choice for achieving a delineated weed free strip along the margin. It has also been proven to be an effective tool for the demarcation of public footpaths across cultivated areas.
Incorporating CDA technology to optimise spray efficiency and a plastic shield to contain the spray, Spraydome is ideal for herbicide application in situations where it is critical to avoid contamination of soil in the adjacent areas, especially in crop margin treatment with an economically valuable crop on one side and ecologically valuable wildlife on the other.
The Spraydome uses up to 90 per cent less water compared to traditional hydraulic pressure nozzle sprayers and features the Enviromist control system to monitor the flow at each individual spray head. The system includes a light indicator to monitor the operation and working of the CDA atomiser.
Any trees encountered are catered for by Spraydome’s ‘breakaway’ system that gently rolls around the tender stems of young plantings to protect their soft and still green bark from mechanical abrasion and herbicide damage.
The sprayer can be ATV or tractor mounted to suit users’ requirements. With units from 40cm to 120cm in diameter within the range, the Spraydome is capable of spraying varying widths.
Along fence lines and pathways
The sprayer of choice for herbicide application along fence lines is the Undavina which can be mounted on most ATVs and tractors. Undavina’s freely rotating and shielded spray heads ensure precision application and minimal drift because the spray droplets are confined and contained under the soft vinyl spray hood.
The Undavina provides efficient application of spray liquid right up to fence lines. This excellent reach is awarded by the Enviromist ‘breakaway’ system which allows the spray head to swivel around fence posts and apply herbicide right up to the post. Like Spraydome, the Undavina also features the Enviromist flow control system including an indicator light to monitor the correct functioning of the spray head.
Undavina comes in a range of dome diameters – 30cm, 45cm, 60cm and 90cm – to cater for all required applications.
Whist Undavina is ideal for spraying along fence lines, the Spraymiser has been specifically designed for pathway spraying. A lightweight sprayer with universal fittings, the Spraymiser can be easily attached to the rear of an ATV, tractor 3 point linkage or any suitable vehicle with a 12 volt DC supply of at least 3 amps. A wide range of models (nominal working widths of 60, 120, 140, 160, 180 and 200cm) is available to cater for almost all pathway weed control requirements.
Spraymiser provides outstanding weed control at low volumes using its revolutionary vertically mounted CDA spray heads that allow for a low profile shield to fit around them to virtually eliminate spray drift. Optimum performance is ensured by Enviromist’s flow control system, allowing use of spray volumes down to 20 l/ha.
The Spraymiser can be used in conjunction with the circular Undavina or Spraydome units to achieve wider spray widths where required and to simultaneously treat pathways and fence lines, making the Enviromist range a versatile and cost-effective choice.