Silvan sprayer upgrade for WA avocado grower

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Silvan Supaflo 4,000-litre sprayer to be used on 4,500 avocado trees

The Silvan Supaflo at work
The avocado trees are substantial in size with bulky canopys that need to be penetrated by spray applications
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There are a number of avocado orchards and producers in the south west of Western Australia who seek to time their production to fill a niche market between October and January each year.

This niche market opportunity arises when summer avocado demand in the eastern states of Australia is strong and the northern producing areas of NSW and Queensland are not able to supply.

One of the original producers at Eastbrook near Pemberton is the business of DR & DJ Roche Farms, which planted one of the first orchards in the district over 25 years ago.

A family business now in the second generation under director Lisa Roche, the orchard is in five blocks with about 4,500 established trees spread over 17 hectares (42 acres).

The Roche Avocado orchard has just upgraded its spraying equipment with the purchase of a new Silvan trailed G2E Supaflo 4,000 litre sprayer with the Radak conveyor assembly.

The challenge with mature trees, says Silvan, is to achieve spray penetration into the voluminous and bulky canopy of the trees to protect against dieback and apply copper supplements.

The new Radak Sprayer replaces an original 2,000-litre capacity Silvan sprayer that was used for over 10 years.

The design and flexibility of the Radak conveyor and fan assembly directs the spray application up and into the canopy of established trees.

The conveyor has readily adjustable hydraulic operated top wings that can serve a wide range of orchard plantings, especially where trees are of different ages of establishment and their canopy growth, says Silvan.

The Silvan Supaflo G2E 4,000-litre sprayer delivered to the Roche Orchard has a number of unique features.

Amongst these are a 182-litre/minute Comet diaphragm pump with an Arag Bravo 180S automatic spray rate controller in the tractor cabin while the operator safety features include a fresh water hand wash tank and a chemical induction suction probe.

The sprayer is fitted with the aluminium leaf guard assemble that prevents the induction of orchard floor material such as loose grass or leaf matter into the 920mm-diameter fan.

Lisa Roche says that the benefits she is seeing from the new sprayer are increased flexibility, with a faster response time across the orchard giving the ability to spray in the specific window required in terms of weather and application timeframes.

Silvan Australia’s WA sales manager Peter Hele says that the Radak conveyor and fan design has become the standard choice for growers with large, well established and bulky tree plantings common in orchards like avocado, walnuts and also citrus groves.

"Our Radak assembly design is preferred in numerous plantings of this nature and we are regularly seeing growers in all producing districts moving over to this design as the spray needs of established groves and orchards are demanding better efficiency and especially spray penetration," says Hele.

The Silvan G2E Supaflo 4,000-litre sprayer was supplied to the Roche Avocado Orchard by district dealer STANS Manjimup Farm Machinery.

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