UK compact sprayer manufacturer, Martin Lishman, has designed developed a bespoke sprayer system for a soft fruit farm in North Yorkshire.
Given the challenges of achieving 100% chemical coverage across a strawberry plant, traditional spray booms have proved impractical due to the height and shape of the plants and Karl and Mandy Avison at Cedarbarn Farm Shop in Pickering turned to Martin Lishman for a solution.
Mr Avison said: “Our challenge was to accurately spray the entire strawberry plants. With a herbicide program repeated every 10 days, we needed a system that could be quickly set up during favourable weather. Our old system could only spray one row at a time, and because the sprayer was mounted on a 3-point linkage, it made it difficult to navigate uneven ground. Additionally, the flat bar spray resulted in poor penetration of the spray into the plants.”
Having approached Martin Lishman to provide a solution, the in-house design team was able to formalise the design that Mr Avison drafted and turned it into a reality. Joel Capper, managing director of Martin Lishman, said: “Customisation is something that seems to have been lost in today’s mass-produced world. While there are some amazing sprayers on the market today, customers sometimes require something that doesn’t exist. Our entire sprayer range is designed to be easily adaptable to meet user requirements like Karl and Mandy’s.”
The final design is based on the Martin Lishman 250-litre Trailed Midi-Spray. The two-section, height adjustable folding boom is a unique build specifically shaped to fit around two rows of strawberry plants. It features a unique nozzle placement that guarantees a high-precision application of chemicals to the plants.
Mr Avison said: “The trailed design makes it more versatile for future vehicles, and you can connect it up quicker if the tractor is switching jobs. The new sprayer is very easy to use, and the controls are easily accessible, which is very important. The independent Honda Motor also helps speed up preparation time. The new boom means we can now cover two rows of strawberry plants at a time, which saves time, and the penetration of chemicals is excellent.”
The team at Cedarbarn Farm Shop are looking into working with Martin Lishman on other design options. Mr Avison said: “I could put across the problems I was trying to resolve and my own ideas at the early stages of design. I found the stages helpful as they gave us time to tweak the design if needed. I would use Martin Lishman again in the future for our next project! I would be interested in adapting a Raspberry boom and developing a boom for other soft fruit.”
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