According to the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, agricultural sprayers, used in orchards, are used to apply foliar nutrients, plant growth regulators, and pesticides to orchard trees. There are a wide variety of models available, depending on the need of the farmer and the type of trees. Tree height, as well as the size of the orchard, are often the key factors in selecting an agricultural sprayer.
Slimlline Manufacturing manufacturers Turbo-Mist Sprayers. These airblast sprayers use an adjustable air delivery system specifically designed for agricultural use in orchards. These pumps utilise an offset pump reduction drive system. They also feature a bypass protection system. Slimline offers four versions of the Turbo-Mist Sprayer--the 150-series, 250-series, 350-series, and 450-series.
The 150-series sprayer features a 200-gallon trailer. This was developed for small orchards of not more than 10 acres. By using the orchard head or the optional tower, orchard owners can spray trees up to 10 feet in height. Because of this height limitation, this sprayer is not recommended for cherry trees that are more than 10-feet tall, since the spray will not reach the top of the trees as needed. Instead, this unit is well-suited for dwarf orchard trees. The 250-series features a 250-gallon trailer that is only 138 inches long. When equipped with 24-inch turbines, the sprayer can reach 12 feet in height, making it perfect for peaches and dwarf apple trees. Sprayers equipped with 30-inch turbines can reach heights of 20 feet, making this set up well-suited for cherries and taller apples. The 350-series of the Turbo-Mist features a 400-gallon tank. With its 30-inch turbine, it was designed for orchard trees not taller than 20 feet. However, in California, almond growers often use this model for trees up to 40 feet in height, as the height obtained depends greatly on the speed of travel and type of foliage. Lastly, Slimlline's 450-series Turbo-Mist features a 600-gallon tank and 38-inch turbines. This unit was designed for large orchards with trees extending up to 40 feet in height. A citrus tower and optional turbosteer are available for this model.
Slimline Manufacturing 559 Okanagan Ave., East Penticton, British Columbia Canada, V2A 3K4 800-495-6145 turbomist.com
Fimco Industries Sprayers
Fimco Industries provides a series of tree sprayers for small to medium-sized orchards in 60-gallon, 110-gallon, 150-gallon, 200-gallon and 300-gallon sizes. Their 60-, 110- and 150-gallon tree sprayers are single-piece sprayers that are transported on a flatbed trailer or pickup. These units are connected to a 12-volt power source and come with a 25-foot hose. These units will reach a vertical spray height of 33 feet, making it suitable for a variety of orchard trees. However, the small tank sizes makes these models ideal for only small orchards. The 200-gallon skid sprayer, in contrast, comes with a 45-foot hose, and has a vertical spray height of 60 feet, making it perfect for medium-sized orchards with taller trees. Fimco's 300-gallon unit comes not only with 100 gallons of additional storage capacity, but also a 300-foot hose. This sprayer is suited for medium-sized orchards, but can also double as a firefighting unit for grass fires.
Fimco Industries 800 Stevens Port Dr. Suite DD836 Dakota Dunes, SD 57049 800-831-0027 fimcoindustries.com
Proptec Atomizers offer orchard owners two ways of using its agricultural sprayer. Their unit can be configured in a vertical tower or in a horizontal spray arm. The horizontal configuration is only suited for small trees under 14 feet in height. Both configurations allow the orchard owner to spray two rows for each pass. Their targeted design also allows for faster application, at speeds up to 5 miles per hour. This reduces the number of gallons needed per acre, according to Proptec, and also reduces the amount of active ingredient that is needed per acre, reducing cost. During normal applications, Proptec notes seven to 15 acres can be sprayed in one hour. The horizontal configuration further improves efficiency since its downward spray pattern resists the negative effects of wind. Proptec offers numerous examples on their website of third-party research regarding the effectiveness of their system versus air-driven systems.
Proptec Ledebuhr Industries 101 Innovation Parkway Williamston, MI 48895 866-641-4671 proptec.com
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