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Precision, Efficiency Driving Sprayer Ownership

As technology delivers an ever-critical better return on investment, more and more no-tillers are buying self-propelled, pull-type sprayers.

Recent innovations in spraying equipment — greater precision, electronically controlled booms and advancements in nozzle designs — are making it easier for no-tillers to apply inputs precisely where and when they’re needed, in exact amounts.

And many no-tillers are finding they can easily earn back their investment in spraying equipment. For some growers, a new self-propelled sprayer can now pay for itself in 2 years.

The results from a recent study conducted by No-Till Farmer confirmed a trend toward ownership. Among 471 survey respondents, 66% reported that they operate their own sprayer. Only planters and combines showed higher rates of ownership.

“The market as a whole is continuing to grow because of farmer-based ownership, and no-till farmers are our fastest growing market,” says Charlie May, marketing manager for Equipment Technologies, the Mooresville, Ind.-based manufacturer of Apache self-propelled sprayers.

What’s The Payoff?

Innovations with global positioning systems (GPS) are driving many improvements in sprayers, including the placement of pesticides with unprecedented accuracy.

The latest technology is supported by real-time kinematic (RTK) correction, which adjusts the signal to account for the curvature of the earth. RTK runs on the bandwidth of a cell phone and uses cell towers to transmit data, resulting in a five-fold increase in coverage and no line-of-sight requirement.

“Precision technology has gone from an accuracy level of 3 meters to 1 meter to 1 inch to less than 1 inch,” May says. “Farmers are seeing how these changes affect output. It’s moved to a level that is pretty…

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