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Miccar Aerial Ltd. Crop Spraying in Yorkton, Saskatchewan

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Blog posts : "Crop Spraying"

Farming for Health

We are proud to be supporters of the Yorkton Health Region Farming for Health program.  Local businesses donate time and resources in an effort to help raise money for a new Health Care Facility here in Yorkton.  We have participated since 2014 and will continue to support this great cause.  In 2017 we reached and surpassed our goal of $1,000,000.00 which is an amazing achievement that we are proud to be a part of.

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Ground vs. Aerial

In the 2015 season we participated in a Ground Vs. Aerial trial to determine if one is better than the other.  The product applied was Prosaro on wheat, two applications were made with a ground rig.  One at 12 us/gal per acre and one at 15 us/gal per acre to compare the two ground application rates.  The aircraft made one application at 2 us/gal per acre.  A 200’ + check strip was left between the ground applications and the aerial application.  The results confirmed that the aircraft is capable of achieving the same results at significantly lower water volumes compared to the ground rig.  The aerial yield actually averaged 1 bu/ac higher than the ground rig in this particular trial.  This solidifies our statement that we can do an equal if not better job with an aircraft with lower water volumes using rotary atomizers calibrated to ensure adequate coverage.  Please see trial photos and results below.

Above: Aerial photo of trial field a few weeks from harvest.  Note the difference in color between sprayed and unsprayed wheat.

Above: Left - ground rig yield, Middle - unsprayed check, Right - aerial yield.

Above: View from the combine between sprayed and unsparyed parts of the field.

Above: Yield results at harvest. 

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Improving Efficiency Through Calibration

We are always looking for ways to improve our efficiency and productivity to better serve our customers.  Over the years we have improved many systems such as upgrading pumps to reduce fill time.  In 2012 we purchased our first Turbine powered aircraft that proved to be a true work horse, in 2013 we converted our two Air Tractors to Turbine which again improved efficiency, reliability and productivity.

One area of spraying whether with an aircraft or ground rig that can be changed to improve productivity and efficiency is reducing water volumes.  This has been a debate amongst growers, manufacturers and agronomists that has been ongoing forever!  The mindset has always been that more water will ensure better coverage and therefore better results however we have proven that is not always correct.  The industries solution has been to build larger sprayers with enormous tanks to try an improve efficiency.  What about reducing water volume and focus on proper calibration and set up of your sprayer.  Take a 1200 us gallon ground rig making a 10 us/gal per acre application of fungicide.  On a full quarter section (160 acres) you still need to stop and fill once before completing the field.  If you reduce the water to 7.5 us/gal per acre or less think of the efficiency and productivity gains per hour.  Now it is not as simple as just cutting back the water, careful consideration has to be given to ensure the sprayer and nozzles are set up properly and capable of creating the correct droplet spectrum to ensure proper coverage.  It is not the amount of water you put through your sprayer that ensures proper coverage but the selection of nozzle and sprayer set up that creates the correct droplet spectrum for the product being applied. 

We have spent a great amount of time and effort on researching different aerial application nozzles, including bringing in aircraft calibration specialists that have worked with some of the largest farms in the world to improve efficiency and productivity.  These specialists convey the same message that more water is not the answer, but a properly calibrated sprayer with lower water will do the same and in most cases provide better results and improved yields.  Our research has shown that rotary atomizers are one of the most effective nozzles available for aerial application.  The nozzles ability to control droplet size over a broad range make them very effective at producing a uniform pattern that ensures proper coverage.  Through numerous calibration and product trials using our ASC A10 rotary atomizers we have proven that our systems are most effective in providing efficient and adequate coverage at 2 us/gal per acre or less.  

Above: Thrush Calibration flight at 1.5 us/gal per acre, note the uniform pattern and amount of droplets created by the ASC A10 Rotary Atomoizers.

 

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McCracken evaluates Mexican AT-402B spray pattern

Spray Patter

Courtesy of AgAir update...

When most people hear the name Chihuahua, they think of the smallest breed of dog. However, Chihuahua is a state in Mexico with a colorful history of Spanish, French and American occupation. The region of Cuauhtémoc is a beautiful open plain famous for apple production and more recently the production of corn utilizing the latest technology complete with irrigation and agricultural aircraft for the control of pests and diseases. It is the third largest city of the state at an altitude of over 6400 ft MSL and is located 103 km (64 mi) west of the state capital. Most of the modern farming is conducted in various Mennonite colonies surrounding the city.

This report deals with a technical visit to calibrate an AT-402B, sold by Lane Aviation and to determine the optimum settings for the ASC Rotary Atomizers supplied by Encap-it. A number of flight tests were made to evaluate the droplet spectrum with emphasis on obtaining a narrow droplet spectrum with a minimum of very small droplets that could be lost to drift and also a minimum of large droplets that result in poor crop coverage.

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McCracken - Minimizing effects of high temp, low humidity

Courtesy of AgAir update

When working with agricultural aircraft on a hot dry day I often question the logic in loading an aircraft with water knowing that a very significant  portion will never reach the crop due to evaporation losses, especially so when the product label specifies high volumes of 3-5 gals/acre.  On many occasions when I applied sun protectant I observed that the whitish cream stayed wet for many hours even though it had some water, an invert emulsion.  This observation led me to contact chemical suppliers searching for products that could be missed in the field to form a stable invert emulsion with agro-chemicals.

This short report deals with some aspects of this development and potential benefits for aerial application with emphasis on improved deposition under hot, dry conditions.

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