There’s a lot to like about self-propelled sprayers. But there’s still plenty of room in the shed for a pull-type sprayer, especially on smaller-acreage farms where the price of a self-propelled unit might be a little harder to justify.
Farmers also have more opportunities than ever today to upgrade pull-type units with new technology to boost performance and efficiency.
I was impressed last year while visiting no-tiller Allan Brook’s 2,100-acre farm near Markesan, Wis., and saw that he had five pull-type sprayers, all configured for a specific purpose in applying fertilizers, fungicides and herbicides.
Brooks grows sweet corn, early peas, snap beans, green beans, lima beans and winter wheat, as well as barley for cover-crop seed. His farm uses a lot of different chemical treatments, sometimes simultaneously.
“My total investment with five pull-type sprayers isn’t any more than if I had a couple of self-propelled sprayers, but I wouldn’t have this kind of flexibility,” Brooks says. “You can get the technology in a pull-type sprayer that you can buy in a self-propelled, so you’re not sacrificing anything there.”
What have you done recently to upgrade the capabilities of your pull-type sprayer? Have you added new precision technology or other tools? We’re planning an article about this for the May 2012 edition of No-Till Farmer’s Conservation Tillage Guide, and would like to hear what you’ve done.
If you’ve made improvements to your pull-type units that have helped you no-till better, send me an e-mail with the details, and please include pictures if possible. We’d love to share your story!