The efficacy of crop protection sprayers continues to play a very important role. However, the environment in which crop protection is performed has changed: Ongoing climate change already causes many regions to be affected by pests and plant diseases that they were previously free from. Pests and pathogens rapidly adapt to changed conditions and are able to develop resistance against proven crop protection products, and once proven products lose their efficacy, there are not necessarily new active substances available to replace them. That is why there is more and more demand for ever greater precision of application, including individual nozzle control, ideally with automatic activation and deactivation of nozzles, as farmers need to be able to spray in the evenings and at night, when the wind tends to drop. Fields need to be sprayed as precisely as possible and under conditions that promote optimal efficacy. As a consequence, the further development of chassis, steering systems and spraying booms is gaining importance, since the aim is to apply reduced quantities of crop protection products as precisely and reliably as possible while minimising drift. Nozzle lighting and automatic nozzle monitoring are therefore also becoming more significant, as are automated steering and boom control systems.
The DLG Field Days test course for field sprayers has been redesigned this year: Sprayers will initially be driven across an obstacle course that is extremely challenging in terms of boom stability and balance (bumpy track and field track) at a speed of 8 km/h. This is where the effectiveness of boom and chassis suspension and dampening are put to the test. This course is for the first time also open for sprayers with automatic boom control. The working speed achieved by the individual implements will be measured and displayed to visitors. This year, sprayers will need to complete an obstacle avoidance manoeuvre immediately after the headlands section before continuing on to the contoured terrain section. This latter section tests how well automatic boom control systems on trailed sprayers and self-propelled implements are able to follow natural surface contours. In this part of the course, field sprayers will move at a speed of 12 km/h. Harald Kramer from the Chamber of Agriculture of North Rhine-Westphalia and Albert Spreu from RKL, Rendsburg, will provide the commentary for the demonstrations. A number of international participants have registered for this event, which will therefore allow a wide-ranging, practical comparison.