Riverlea Ag Services

Band Spraying

BAND SPRAYING - 6 Metre Micron Varidome

Key Features

  • Innovative shield technology reduces drift by over 95%
  • Significantly reduced chemical usage
  • Accurate chemical targeting
  • Optional dual spray system
  • RTK GPS Technology achieves less than 2cm accuracy
  • Safely deflects stones and other large debris
  • Constant wheel to ground contact

Band spraying is being increasingly utilised as a precision farming technique to accurately apply agrichemicals to crop or inter rows, leaving the area in-between bands free of chemicals. Riverlea offers a practical alternative to broadcast sprays with the Varidome 6 metre sprayer, coupled with RTK GPS technology to achieve superior accuracy while improving efficacy and reducing costs.

Varidome, developed by Micron, is an innovative range of band sprayers which enable farmers and growers to reduce their herbicide and water usage, cut costs, and improve weed control while also protecting the environment. The Varidome adapts easily to every terrain as each carriage can follow the ground with height variation technology. This is achieved via a unique parallelogram construction ensuring each wheel maintains contact with the ground at all times. This contact negates bounce which, in turn neutralises potential risks of drift and boom whipping. Spray shields are most effective when set to spray just above the ground while the Varidome flexible rubber skirt works to deflects stones and lumps of soil. Riverlea have customised the Varidome band sprayer with dual tanks to allow for different products to be applied simultaneously both over and inter row.

The fully adaptable design of the sprayer permits Riverlea to customise the machine to suit each client requirement.

Drift Reduction of over 95%

Varidome spray shields are mounted onto individual carriages, this cutting-edge configuration is responsible for the dramatic drift reduction of this model. The carriages are positioned on a toolbar with a quick release clamp to align with the crop inter row. The width of the spray band can be easily adjusted ensuring the agrichemical is only applied where necessary.

Case studies* carried out in the UK concluded that the drift of the Varidome spray hood was 95-100% less compared to the reference nozzle. Consequentially, less chemicals are used which reduces costs, improves soil health and safe inter row grazing is available for stock during what is usually a four-week fallow period.

The sprayer design uses a number of adjustable spray shields mounted on individual carriages with ground following wheels for independent operation.

Results of wind tunnel trial, J.S Clayton, 2014.*

Reduced Chemical Usage

The objective of band spraying is to uniformly apply the correct rate of agrichemical to treat only a portion of the paddock and Riverlea accomplish this objective with good management practices, proper equipment and experience in the farming industry. Band spraying with the Varidome provides substantial savings via reduced amount of chemical required to treat an area as well as a potential increase in yield on both growing and subsequent crops. Varidome recognise that successful band spraying requires nozzles to produce an even spray pattern (rather than the standard tapered pattern) to ensure the distribution of spray of each nozzle is as even as possible to eradicate wastage and maximise accuracy. European studies show that band spraying can save up to 70% of agrichemicals used in comparison to broad spraying*.

Band spraying methodology creates a logical reduction to the amount of agrichemical used by applying it to only a portion of the paddock in rows.

*From Science to field, Integrated weed management case, 2008.

Dual Spray System

The modular design of the sprayer implement allows configuration to suit different crop plantings according to planting distance, bandwidth and number of rows. Riverlea have equipped the Varidome sprayer with dual tanks so that different products can be applied simultaneously both over and inter row. The simultaneous application of a second product significantly reduces time and costs.

Deflects Stones and Other Large Debris

Varidome spray shields are mounted onto individual carriages with ground following wheels for independent operation. This enables Riverlea operators to follow the contours of the terrain while keeping each shield in close contact with the ground. The spray shields are set to spray just above the ground and a flexible rubber skirt deflects stones and lumps of soil. Farmers across the globe have deemed the design of the Varidome rubber skirt as unsurpassed for deflecting debris.

The innovative design of the Varidome spray hood ensures the rubber skirt fitting deflects stones, clumps of soil and other debris with ease.

Constant Wheel to Ground Contact

Riverlea recognise the importance of each wheel maintaining constant contact with the ground all times and without bouncing to avoid the drift of material outside of the shield. Each shield is mounted on ground-following carriages with a parallelogram design for smooth travel, which negates drift and boom whipping. The spray hoods are mounted to the carriages to ensure that spray hoods are unable to move from their fixed position creating a consistent and accurate row. The configuration of independent carriages safeguard against boom whipping in comparison to a traditional boom.

As terrain varies each carriage can follow the ground with height variation which is achieved with a unique parallelogram design.

RTK GPS System

Utilising the latest Real Time Kinematic (RTK) technology, Riverlea can provide the most accurate band spraying service. The geospatial mapping technique is used in land survey and in automatic guidance (agriculture) based on carrier phase measurements of GPS signals where a single reference station provides the real-time corrections to Riverlea operators with an accuracy level of under 2cm. This enables staff to be continually productive even in low visibility conditions. The RTK system also allows operators to band spray irregularly shaped paddocks accurately.