This week I spoke with Gerry Bell, a producer from near Gravelbourg in southern Saskatchewan (a beautiful town with a historic downtown, church and school, also, home of the Gravelbourger at the local diner). He told me about a project he recently completed, converting his older pull-type sprayer to a granular spreader. It’s a great project, worth sharing.
The concept was first popularized by Manitoba farmer Kyle Holman in 2012, who uses the #SprayMar hashtag on Twitter to promote it.
Gerry wrote his project up for us and I’ve posted his description below.
Bourgault 1460 Field Sprayer
The sprayer sat in a machine shed from 2011 when we purchased a Patriot 4420 sprayer. For many years we wondered if we couldn’t find a use for the sprayer as Bourgault had build a very rugged unit. So, in 2017 we decided to mount a Valmar tank (now owned by Salford) on the sprayer frame to be used for granular herbicides and granular fertilizer applications.
The liquid tank and plumbing were removed as well as the secondary boom with the wet boom. A few modifications to frame were made but for the most part the frame was left as is. The unit was painted with the Salford colours. (Case IH red)
The Valmar/Salford unit is a ST8 which is used lots in Eastern Canada and the States for strip tilling for applying granular products. We purchased the tank, hoses, splitters and deflectors from Salford.
The unit as purchased had the following features:
- 8 imperial tons (16,000 lbs)
- Stainless steel tank and duct systems
- Mueller Hydraulic metering system with two sets of rollers – one pair for granular herbicides and one pair for granular fertilizers
- Two hydraulic driven air fans – usually just one fan but we chose two fans – one for each boom
- Weight scales for tank
- ISOBus system with mapping, auto on off, sectional control (one for each boom)
- 18 outlets – 9 outlets on each side of tank
We designed unit in consultation with Salford engineers:
- Each of the 18 outlets has a 2” flexible hose from the tank going to 2” stainless steel tubing stacked on the boom frame
- Just prior to the deflectors each 2’ tubing is split into two 1-1/4 streams with special splitters supplied by Salford (according to Salford these are commonly used and have an accuracy of less than 2-3 % variation if mounted properly). Need to be horizontal.
- The deflectors are mounted every 30” along the length of the boom (36 deflectors)
- The sprayer boom was cut down from 110’ to 90’ to give the correct spacing
Comments on use of the unit
- Functionality seems to work very well as designed
- Weigh scales, GPS, mapping, auto on/off, sectional control a real plus compared to original field sprayer with none of these features
- Accuracy of product metering seems very good
- Distribution across length of unit seems very good
- Travel speeds of 10 mph
- Product takes 2.5 seconds from time meter starts turning until product reaches far end of boom
There is a difference of about thirty feet in travel distance with start and stop of product on the ground between inner side of boom and outer end of boom. Therefore, we have set look ahead time at 3.3 seconds and shut of time at 0.3 seconds.
- Load products with a belt conveyor in yard
- Apply 100 lbs of elemental sulphur (0-0-90) on 25% of the crop land each year
(Tank does 160 acres)
- Applied Avadex at 12.5 lbs per acre last fall on some acres prior to snow.
- Apply Edge at 20 lbs per acre each fall just prior to snowfall (for pulses)
Tanks holds 10 minibulk bags – 12,000 lbs, and does 600 acres. On a long day have put out 1200 acres of Edge.
We did extend the axles and also put on new hubs and new tires which were a bigger size. A Bourgault 1850 with 1600 gallons would have worked better but it is hard to find them. Plus they would probably have needed new tires anyways.
It took a lot more time than we had imagined to build but that is true of most building projects. But I would say that we are very happy with the results. It is a pleasure to operate and appears to serve our needs very well.
Thank you, Gerry, for sharing this with us!