Exclusive: Horsch enters Australian market

By: Lincoln Bertelli

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Muddy River Agricultural says its first Horsch sprayer is an ideal fit for the Australian market.

The Leeb 6.280VL from Horsch is now available

German manufacturer Horsch has entered the Australian sprayer market.

Its first unit, the newly-released Leeb 6.280VL sprayer, has arrived in the country and will initially be shown to customers before being made available for sale.

It marks a new product direction for Horsch, which has previously been focused on broadacre seeding and tillage equipment in the Australian market.

Jan Moens, service and training manager at Horsch distributor Muddy River Agricultural, says the introduction of sprayers to Australia has been on the company’s radar for several years but finding the ideal model had been a hindrance.

"We’ve been looking at sprayers for a number of years but one of the issues we’ve had is finding the right specifications," he says.

"Being a European product, Horsch started  developing the machine for their European market and it’s only the last couple of years they have  developed this differently configured machine for the North American and Canadian market, which also suits our market better.

 "For example, up until now, we couldn’t get the 3m wheel track and that’s something we need for the Australian market. 

"We weren’t going to try and introduce a product that was never going to be suited 100 per cent to  the market."

The sprayer Horsch and Muddy River Agricultural have decided on for its Australian debut is the Leeb 6.280VL.

It offers 280 horsepower (210kW) of power, 1,035Nm of torque at 1,500rpm and is fitted with a 6.7L FPT engine.

There is also four-wheel steering, hydraulic wheel track adjustment from 2.67m to 3.57m, 36m boom and 25cm nozzle spacing.

A 6,000L main tank, 750L fresh water tank and 15L hand wash tank all feature in the sprayer, as does a 75L stainless steel induction hopper.

Moens highlights the boom control technology  as being one of the sprayer’s standout features.

"It uses up to six sensors plus a gyroscope-type sensor, which allows the boom to operate at less than 50cm above the ground or crop," he says. 

"If you think about flying a drone with a camera on it; that has got a gyroscope to keep that camera stable. Horsch uses similar technology to keep the boom stable, which allows us to run the boom very close to the ground.

"It’s all about drift control and getting the chemical to end up where it is needed. 

"The Horsch boom control, in combination with 25cm nozzle spacing and PWM-controlled nozzle, allows us to reduce spray drift to a minimum.

"The PWM nozzle control used is the Raven  HawkEye 2, and is completely integrated in our controller."

Another aspect of the sprayer Moens highlights is the CCS Pro water system.

"It runs fully automated fill and cleaning  programs," he says.

"Plus, we have a pump, which we use for the  spraying and then we have a separate pump,  which we only use for the fresh water side of it. 

"That also means when we do our rinsing  program, we’re rinsing with fresh water and we’re not rinsing with product. 

"The way you can compare it with the two pumps – one fresh and one product – is you are going to wash your hands under a running tap, that’s what we do. 

"If you use one pump, it’s like you fill your basin and wash your hands in the water in the basin."

The Leeb 6.280VL offers 280hp (210kW) of power

Other key features of the Leeb 6.280VL sprayer include front, rear and boom cameras, the ability to set different track widths for the front and rear, 1,000L per minute filling capacity, 450L per minute spraying capacity from the stainless steel main pump, speeds of up to 32km/h in field mode and 50kmh on the road and capability to work with controllers such as Trimble and Greenstar.

The cancellation of some agricultural events  and field days due to COVID-19 lockdowns has impacted the ability for the sprayer to be showcased to customers.

It is hoped the sprayer will be available for wider sale by early 2022.

In the meantime, Muddy River Agricultural will continue work with Horsch on staff training, parts back-up and remote service support options.

Muddy River Agricultural’s head office is in Toowoomba; however, the company also has an office in the Victorian town of Mooroopna as part of a national footprint. 

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