|The spreader can be attached to any type of machinery, here it is seen attached to a front-end loader.|
I recently made a trip to visit with other nursery crop weed scientists in Connecticut. While there, we visited several nurseries and saw some very interesting production methods and ideas.
The most interesting and useful thing I saw was a granular herbicide applicator. This nursery mounted a Raven controlled, Gandy Orbit-Air Model 64FS12 on a front-end loader. This particular design had a 14 foot boom, which is precisely the width of the beds at this nursery. The boom can be as long as 30 feet.
The nursery demonstrated how the equipment works by applying herbicide to empty black plastic. The uniformity of application was impressive.
|Granular herbicides were applied uniformly with the Gandy applicator.|
As I have discussed with many of you, the major drawback to granular herbicides is that they are difficult to apply uniformly. Using a belly grinder (or a hand crank spreader), herbicide uniformity has been reported to be as low as 1/2 and high as 2 times the intended rate. Herbicides must be applied at the labeled rate. Too little herbicide will result in poor weed control, and too much herbicide could result in plant injury.
Not only does this equipment apply herbicide uniformly, it reduced labor costs. At Imperial Nursery in CT it reduced labor needed to apply herbicides by 61%. Reduced labor costs, and the hidden savings of improved weed control and improved herbicide uniformity/efficacy should more than make up for equipment costs.
My intention with this email is not to promote the Gandy company, but to promote the use of equipment that applies herbicides uniformly. If there is other equipment that performs similarly, please let me know so I can pass that on with other Oregon nursery growers.
More photos of the equipment.
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