Convenient Packaging Chops 10% Off Spray Time on This Farm
Spray 7,000 acres in a single week? Colin Marshall does and credits DuPont™ PrecisionPac® herbicides with chopping 10% off the time it takes him to spray. These customized herbicides provide time-saving convenience during a hectic spray season.
Colin Marshall and his wife Leanne crop about 7,000 acres near Edgerton in east- central Alberta. Spraying this much crop is always a challenge, as changing weather patterns can make spraying conditions less than ideal. While Marshall hires seasonal help at peak periods of the crop production cycle, he tries to handle as much of the fieldwork as possible himself. After all, every dollar saved on labour is more than welcome on the farm’s income statement.
That’s where PrecisionPac® herbicides enter the picture. They allow Marshall to farm the way he likes to, while saving him time and money in the process.
Marshall follows a zero till, direct seeding system. It usually begins in early May with a pre-seeding herbicide burnoff with glyphosate at the half-litre rate over the whole farm. In fields where he may have patches of narrow-leaved hawk’s-beard or volunteer Roundup Ready® canola, he’ll also add Express® SG to glyphosate for expanded weed control. A single-pass seeding operation follows right after the pre-seeding herbicide treatment.
Marshall uses a 64-ft. wide Bourgault 5710 air drill, equipped with knife openers, with small wings on the opener to place liquid fertilizer to the side of the seed row. He’s used PrecisionPac® herbicides for the past two seasons for an in-crop herbicide application on about 5,000 acres of wheat. Marshall’s crop protection retailer is in Wainwright, about 25 miles away. Naturally, the fewer trips to town to pick up herbicide, the better he likes it.
Depending on the weed mix in different fields, Marshall uses three different herbicide blends. “I do most of my own field scouting, but I do rely on the advice of my chemical dealer as well,” he says. “I explain what weeds I am seeing in the fields and then we decide on the best combination of products for that field.”
Marshall applies herbicides with an 80-ft. wide Spray Coupe Model 4650 with a 400-gallon capacity tank. He brings a 2,000 gallon water tank to the field, adds the herbicide to the chem handler, which mixes the product with water. From there, it’s pumped into the sprayer.
With the assistance of GPS and autosteer technology, Marshall has an accurate measurement of field size and application speed. On an average day, he figures one sprayer operator can cover about 1,000 acres. Marshall gives PrecisionPac® herbicides some of the credit.
“It is more efficient and probably reduces the time spent on the whole spraying operation by about 10 percent,” says Marshall. “The nice feature for me is that I can have the packages of chemical tailored either to field size or sprayer capacity. Whether I am running the sprayer myself, or have a hired man on the sprayer, each pack is exactly what I need."
Roundup Ready® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company.
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