Product Focus: Weed-It Quadro Spraying System

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With new technical updates, the Weed-It Quadro spraying system is giving Aussie farmers a major advantage in weed management

Product Focus: Weed-It Quadro Spraying System
Weed-It offers dual spraying – applying herbicide at a low application rate across the boom and at a high rate on every weed detected

 

With over 13,000 sensors sold in Australia, Weed-It optical spot spraying is the best-selling system of its type in the world – and new upgrades have made it better than ever before.

Developed by Dutch precision spraying specialists Rometron, the system uses unique sensors to detect chlorophyll in the leaves of actively growing weeds in fallow fields.

This allows a sprayer to target a weed directly with herbicide, reducing the amount used in a paddock and creating a significant saving for the farmer.

This advanced mode of detection enables faster travel speeds and detects plants with as little as 1–3 square cm of active chlorophyll area.

The Quadro gets its name from the four detection zones of each sensor, spaced 1m apart, which individually control four nozzles spaced 25cm apart along the spray boom, which can be up to 36m long.

The Weed-It system calibrates 40,000 times per second, compensating for dust and stubble; and performing just as well at day and at night.

The sensors use a blue LED light source, which Australian distributor Croplands Equipment says is less sensitive to background noise than the red LED lighting previously used.

The unit was tested in Queensland and South Australia’s Mallee region in 2019 to fine-tune the sensors to ensure their suitability for local conditions.

On top of this, each sensor is fitted with a three-axis accelerometer for integrated speed correction, enabling a sprayer to target weeds around tight corners regardless of how quickly the tips of the booms are moving.

Weighing 700g each, the sensors are positioned 110cm from the ground and powered by 50Hz 6-volt solenoids, which ensure exceptionally fast and accurate nozzle activation. 

Croplands says these upgrades have helped the Quadro identify weeds more accurately and in a wider range of conditions, feeding information to a new dual core processor with guaranteed higher communication speeds for VRA and weed and biomass mapping, as well as working with application maps in the future.

ULTIMATE CONTROL

The Quadro’s display provides constant monitoring of solenoid and sensor operation, reporting any malfunctions or errors on-screen and making it easy to identify and respond to faults quickly.

As well as the industry-leading spot spray mode, the Weed- It system also features an improved pulse width modulation (PWM) mode capable of controlling the flow rate through each nozzle, meaning the system can also act like a standard broadacre sprayer if required and is able to adjust to changes in speed and boom movement by varying the spray rate continuously.

Unlike competitor systems, Croplands says the Weed-It system is the only one on the market that calibrates and corrects automatically for different soil and background conditions.

Each of the unit’s 40-degree flat-even fan nozzles delivers a coarse droplet spectrum and provides great coverage for broadleaf weeds in warm summer weed spraying environments.

Full-cone nozzles are also available on the Quadro, suitable for larger targets where non-systemic chemicals are employed to avoid overuse of glyphosate.

The full-cone nozzle gives you the advantage of spraying forwards and rearwards at an angle, enhancing penetration and providing better coverage.

A low drift air inducted nozzle is also available for sensitive operations where drift reduction is paramount.

All of these fit onto the unique boom built onto Croplands sprayers, designed to maintain an even height above ground to optimise weed detection.

Available in 24m and 36m widths, the heavy-duty booms can operate at five different planes to mirror paddock contours accurately, targeting small grasses effectively with only small variances in height.

The Weed-It’s boom wheels are custom engineered with airride suspension, helping to make the sensors more effective by controlling compression and rebound, while the boom itself can be controlled from within the cab.

WELL-EQUIPPED

Croplands Weed-It range includes purpose-built sprayers designed to make the most of what the Quadro has to offer. The largest is the Weed-It 7000 – named for its 7,000-litre main tank and built with Aussie conditions in mind.

The unit includes an 800L flushing tank and 1,500L hot tank, the latter of which holds high-concentration chemicals for spot spraying, to help manage hard-to-kill weeds and inhibit herbicide resistance. It also has an in-cab level monitor.

Operators can run both the sensors and the blanket line from the main tank simultaneously, using the dual pumps – applying a pre-emergent herbicide through the blanket line and a knockdown herbicide through the spot sprayer,
for example.

The 7,000 also features a standard air ride drawbar system with a heavy-duty adjustable hitch and swivelling eye drawbar, a 30L front tank chemical induction hopper, a 3m air suspension axle and two self-filling, hydraulically driven centrifugal pumps, ideal for spot spraying applications.

Croplands’ two smaller trailing models, with 4,000 and 6,000L tanks respectively, have a 470L flushing tank and an optional 1,100L hot tank for high-concentration chemicals.

All three units can run the sensors and blanket line simultaneously, using a 60L chemical hopper integrated to the sprayer’s control system to deliver chemicals to the main tank, along with a chemical suction probe to induct chemicals from smaller drums.

An optional 12V chemical transfer pump system for use with enviro-drums is also available.

Croplands also offers units with a cable-suspended hydraulic lifting boom for situations where a ground-following boom is unsuitable, such as avoiding ground obstacles and where quick folding for constant road usage is required.

Designed in collaboration with Western Australia’s Sonic Boomsprays, the units come with a 7,000L or 5,000L tank, a 500L flushing tank, 40L chemical hopper and a hot tank of either 3,000L or 1,500L.

Two three-point linkage Weed-It sprayers are also available in widths of 12m and 24m – the smaller with 13 sensors and a 500L tank and the larger with a 1,600L tank and 25 sensors.

They also come with an Astro 5 GPS Speed Sensor and a 30L chemical hopper.

Last year Croplands introduced a retrofit option for the Weed-It Quadro system for several makes and models of self-propelled sprayers.

Using an alloy bracket kit to reduce weight while maintaining strength, the system can be installed on ATVs, orchard sprayers, toolbars and even autonomous sprayers with working widths of up to 36m.

Each of the Weed-It sprayer models are available through Croplands’ national dealer network. 

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