Amazone started developing sprayers in 1969. The original S range, in 400 and 600 litre capacities, started the company towards the comprehensive range of mounted, trailed and self-propelled models available today.
It was the company’s focus on precision technology that led farming and contracting business, Robert Davidson & Son Ltd, to consider the brand – specifically, the AmaSelect electric individual nozzle control system which reduces chemical usage via the GPS actuation of the 50cm boom sections and the automatic changeover of nozzle size.
The company has been farming in Essex since the 1920s and settled in Peldon in 1946. Now covering some 1,350 hectares, it has a varied rotation including continuous winter wheat, marrowfat peas and a growing area of energy crops such as ryegrass and maize. An additional 1,200 hectares of energy crops are foraged for neighbours as well.
Different spray rates are utilised for different operations, with an increasing workload of liquid fertiliser. Therefore, the ability to select the correct nozzle from the seat was a big benefit. In 2015, a new 40m Pantera 4502 self-propelled machine arrived on the premises and this year, with 5,000 hours on the clock, it has been traded in for the improved Pantera 4504 – the 75,000th sprayer to roll off the production line.
“We are delighted to take delivery of such an iconic machine,” said Robert, the third generation and on the farm since the early 1970s. “The out-going model has done sterling service and, although we looked at what else was on the market, its narrow road width, 50kph road speed and improved suspension make it ideal for our further away contract farms plus the service support from Amazone and local dealer, R.W. Crawford contributed to our continuation with the Amazone brand.”
The decision to replace the old machine with a 36m machine stemmed from the increasing acreage of maize grown on 75cm rows. James Faulkner, partner and the next generation in the family business, explained the reduction in the working width.
“AmaSelect has evolved since 2015 and now, with the AmaSelect Row option, we wanted to supply liquid N targeted directly to the plant. The sprayer has the 25cm nozzle spacing option and is able to automatically choose the most appropriate nozzle above the plant and thus make better use of the reduced rate of fertiliser able to be applied.”
The new machine features ContourControl boom height guidance, which automatically recognises the nozzle spacing and the spray pattern, adjusting the boom height to the correct position. It also features SwingStop horizontal boom movement control, with in-built acceleration sensors to measure the turn speed of each nozzle and informs the AmaSelect system.
With an increasing maize acreage, the farm was also impressed with the good underbelly clearance, as well as the hydraulic track width adjustment for spraying tall crops at wider row spacings.
Amazone’s sprayer production is now concentrated at the new assembly facility at Bramsche. Under one roof, the full sprayer portfolio is manufactured and wet-tested ahead of delivery. It’s said that the company will have room for growth when it comes to sprayer numbers.
“Hopefully, in a few years’ time when we are ready for the next one, we will get the 100,000th machine,” concluded Robert.