Bigger distances from the yard to the field
– Especially in arable farming regions with medium to large sized fields, farms of reasonable acreages have
emerged (500 – 1,200 ha), however with big distances from yard to field.
– This also applies to professional potato farms which often plant 150 to 300 ha in rented areas, widely
distributed, and with only a few employees. Here, the large amounts of water and spray agent necessary make field edge logistics almost impossible.
– The personnel development of many farms result in fewer, however clearly higher qualified employees.
So, today, much work is done by one man operations, so there is no one available who could reduce waiting
times by backing up the field edge logistics.
– Also when filling the sprayer, qualified employees are required in order to ensure the correct tank mix. The bigger the tank volumes are, the less qualified employees are needed.
Trend to fill back in the yard
– Many farms are no longer able to fulfil field edge logistics and/or do not want to handle the crop protection agents “field side” any more.
– Even if field edge filling in theory and practice results in better efficiency than filling in the yard suggests, the cost side clearly leads in the other direction. Whereas in former times on large farms, the small husbandry tractor with its old water tank were available, today the investment cost for a tractor and appropriate bowser with lockable storage compartments are clearly higher.
– In the EU, increasing importance is attached to a well organised filling place with suitable collection and safety measures.
– The vicinity of spray store, the filling and disposal, is getting more and more crucial for the farm documentation.
– Especially in densely populated or tourist regions, public accessibility to crop protection agents is very unwelcome.
Large machinery also in plant protection
– Today, working widths of 30 m and more plus oversized, higher tyres are common. Larger machinery with modern tyres can be operated with little pressure so that compaction damage is not as big as with single axle implements.
- In regions with a continental climate (e.g. Russia) plant protection is often carried out only in the spring season, because due to the early and cold winter, crop protection measures are not necessary in autumn. Under these conditions a big tractor (> 250 HP) can pull the sprayer in the spring season and after harvest
it can be used for soil tillage. This organisation leads to the maximum tractor hours per year and thus to economically optimum results.