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Cereals 2014 : Gold Award for the Garford Robocrop Spot Sprayer

Garford Farm Machinery Ltd, exhibiting at the Cereals 2014 event, were hugely encourgaged to be awarded the Gold IMMA Award for their Robocrop Spot Sprayer

The award was received for Innovation in the Sprayer category, in this new competition organised by the Cereals Event and supported by the Agricultural Engineers Association, IAgrE, the Royal Agricultural University and Farmers Weekly.  The competition aims to reward companies who have produced machines that show particular innovation, effectiveness and value and Garford's Robocrop Spot Sprayer was seen as an emerging innovation. 

TheRobocrop Spot Sprayer is the latest in the Garford Robocrop Family utilising the Robocrop imaging system which in the case of the spot sprayer firstly defines the position of the crop and then looks for clumps of weeds growing between or amongst the row which it then targets with a special jet of weedkiller in order to kill the weed but avoid contact with the crop.  In this way problem weeds can be controlled with extrememly low rates compared to overall spraying, often only 1 or 2% of the overall rate. 

On receiving the award from the IMMA Chris Lunn, Export Sales Manager, said, "It is a great honour for the family owned business to be presented with this award and is the result of many years of building high quality precision weed control machines for the professional farmer.  The Robocrop Spot Sprayer takes the control of weeds to a higher level with minimum chemical use to the benefit of the farmer, the consumer and the environment". 

The Robocrop Spot Sprayer has been in development over the last few years by Garfords technology partners, Tillett Hague Technology, prompted by the impending withdrawal of key herbicides particularly those used for volunteer potato control in onion and carrot crops.

Philip Garford, Managing Director, commented "This type of intelligent chemical applicator is likely to play an ever increasing part in world agriculture as the armoury of selective herbicides become further depleted and herbicide resistance increases.  The environmental benefits is also considerable".

The technique could be employed in other crops where a regular crop row structure can be identified and clumps of problem weeds exist.

As well as development of the image analysis software the project also involved the design and development of a special fluidic nozzle, in conjunction with Hypro EU Ltd, to provide an accurately directed jet of spray composed of a very narrow range droplet size in order to avoid splash off or drift.

 

The Spot Sprayer is currently available in sizes up to 6mtr working width and working speeds of 7kph are normal.

 

                                                                

 

Notes for Editors:

Garford Farm Machinery Ltd has been established since 1986 and currently employs 22 local staff at their base in Frognall, Deeping St James.  They are committed to developing and producing the technology based equipment to aid the modern farmer for an environmentally sustainable future.

 

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LAMMA 2014 : Multi Award Winning Garford Robocrop Spot Sprayer

 

Garford Farm Machinery Ltd, the Deeping based farm machinery manufacturer, enjoyed a good couple of days at the recent LAMMA2014 show, walking away with 2 major awards for their Robocrop Spot Sprayer;  

 

Garford are delighted to come away from LAMMA 2014 with another double award through the LAMMA 2014 awards for Innovation competition.

 

The Robocrop Spot Sprayer was awarded both the Maurice High Trophy for Best New Product or Innovation at Lamma 14 and the IAgrI Ivel Award for the Best New Product or Innovation – Environmental. The awards come 5 years after winning the same awards for the Robocrop InRow Weeder.  Philip Garford, Managing Director, commented “being a LAMMA exhibitor since almost the start of the show , LAMMA Awards are always that bit more special to us at Garfords and we are thrilled to receive both awards”.

 

The Spot Sprayer is the latest in the Garford Robocrop Family utilising the Robocrop imaging system which in the case of the spot sprayer firstly defines the position of the crop and then looks for clumps of weeds growing between or amongst the row which it then targets with a special jet of weedkiller in order to kill the weed but avoid contact with the crop. In this way problem weeds can be controlled with extremely low rates compared to overall spraying, often only 1 or 2% of the overall rate.

 

The Robocrop Spot Sprayer has been in development over the last few years by Garfords technology partners, Tillett Hague Technology, prompted by the impending withdrawal of key herbicides particularly those used for volunteer potato control in onion and carrot crops.

 

The technique could be employed in other crops where a regular crop row structure can be identified and clumps of problem weeds exist.

 

As well as development of the image analysis software the project also involved the design and development of a special fluidic nozzle, in conjunction with Hypro EU Ltd, to provide an accurately directed jet of spray composed of a very narrow range droplet size in order to avoid splash off or drift.

 

The Spot Sprayer is currently available in sizes up to 6mtr working width and working speeds of 7kph are normal.

 

                                                                

 

Notes for Editors:

Garford Farm Machinery Ltd has been established since 1986 and currently employs 22 local staff at their base in Frognall, Deeping St James.  They are committed to developing and producing the technology based equipment to aid the modern farmer for an environmentally sustainable future. 

 

 

 

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HDC precision herbicide research moves toward commercialisation

 

Precision technology that will allow reduced herbicide use by accurately identifying and spot-spraying weeds, developed from research funded by the Horticultural Development Company (HDC), is to go into commercial production.

 

The prototype device combines an innovative image analysis-based system for identifying a variety of weeds in row crops, coupled with a choice of two precision spraying modules to directly apply herbicide either to single spots or to small patches of weeds. The technology is based on evidence from HDC project FV 307a, Reducing herbicide use in row crops with targeted application methods treating detected weeds in small patches or spots.

 

“We looked at how combining new spray technologies with vision guidance techniques can deliver targeted application of selective or total herbicides,” explains lead researcher, Dr Paul Miller of Silsoe Spray Applications Unit. “The results showed high precision for spot application to weeds in onions, leeks and sugar beet—an advance on an earlier technique pioneered to develop spot application of glyphosate to volunteer potatoes in onions and carrots.”

 

Speaking on behalf of Garford Farm Machinery, which is to commercialise the technology, Philip Garford said, “Results from field experiments have showed that this technology has great potential to benefit field vegetable growers all over the UK. We are pleased to be working with the research team to develop the device into a commercially viable product.” Leek grower Patrick Allpress of Allpress Farms added, “Growers are always under pressure to reduce chemical use, so we welcome the development of this device that could eliminate the need for broadcast herbicide application.”

 

The HDC funds projects to support the commercial development and sustainability of the UK’s horticultural crop sectors. HDC Knowledge Transfer Manager, Rosie Atwood, said, “Providing value for money for levy payers is at the heart of everything we do. We’re excited that this research has led to the commercial development of a practical, useful tool that will not only cut costs for field vegetable growers while maintaining effective weed control, but will also reduce the impact of chemicals on the environment.”

 

Another success of the project is that the glyphosate-based herbicide ‘Roundup Energy’ (Monsanto UK) has recently secured approval for an Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use (EAMU). This EAMU (0354/2013) now allows UK growers of various tuber, root and bulb crops to use ‘Roundup Energy’ as a spot-sprayed, inter-row herbicide.

 

For full advisory information for use and restrictions, please view or download the EAMU from the CRD website. A Growers Summary and full reports for project FV 307a can be found by searching by project number at www.hdc.org.uk.

  

Notes to Editors:

If you would like more information on this release please contact Charlotte Corner, HDC Communications Manager: charlotte.corner@hdc.ahdb.org.uk on 024 76478880.

 

  • The HDC is a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) which administers the collection of an ‘industry levy’ to fund essential near-market research and development. The research programme and knowledge transfer activities are strategically aligned to the needs of the industry by working closely with growers, consultants, scientists and funding bodies.

 

  • The HDC has responsibility for over 300 crops in the horticultural industry and commissioned over 75 research and development projects in 2012.

 

  • The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is an independent, evidence-based 'Levy Board' which plays a pivotal role in improving farm business efficiency and competitiveness. The AHDB is wholly funded by farmers and growers through statutory levies. Because the levy is statutory AHDB is classified as a non-departmental public body.