NEWS RELEASE June 13, 2023
See & Spray Select™ a 'Huge Leap Ahead' in Weed Control
Crestmead, Queensland (13 June, 2023) — TWELVE months after investing in a John Deere 616R self-propelled sprayer equipped with See & Spray Select, Jake and Felicity Hamilton say it has been 'hugely beneficial' to their dryland cropping business "Krui Pastoral" west of Condamine, on the Darling Downs.
They rate the machine's simplicity, efficiency, and ease of use but most of all, its ability to save them time and money in chemical application, with savings varying from 70% to as high as 95%*.
Jake's family has been farming in the region since 1937 but the climate is changing, and the challenge for Jake and Felicity is to adapt their cropping regime to more intense rainfall events that are less regular.
"We've been chasing efficiency gains and making incremental improvements over the years with John Deere products such as AutoTrac™ for pass to pass overlap control, and section control with older sprayers to save on chemical," Jake explained.
"All of these machines and technologies have brought small gains, whereas See & Spray Select has helped us to make a huge leap ahead."
Technology reduces weed seed bank
Rainfall at "Krui Pastoral" is 570mm a year and the Hamiltons grow mainly winter crops including wheat, barley, chickpeas, faba beans and mungbeans, with summers too hot to make sorghum viable.
Over a decade ago they began to invest in more efficient weed technology as part of a move to integrated weed management (IWM), in the wake of the glyphosate resistance of the mid-2000s.
The main aim was to stop weed seed-set at all costs, and the program has worked well.
"We used IWM practices including high seeding rates to create strong crop competition, an in-crop and summer residual chemistry program and optical spot-spraying, and treated sparse, hard-to-control weeds such as feathertop Rhodes grass with a mobile spraying unit on a John Deere Gator," Jake said.
"For the last decade, we've had a pretty strict regime of using residual herbicides over summer to try to keep our weed burden down, but even with that you're always going to get escapes. And that's where the See & Spray Select really comes in, because we can just go out and hit any of those escapes without having to spray the whole paddock."
Not spraying boosts productivity
See & Spray Select integrated camera technology detects green weeds as small as 0.9 cm diameter in fallow and triggers a spot treatment application from multiple nozzles to these plants only. Jake said the 616R sprayer has increased their productivity through not spraying all the time.
"We're not filling the tank all the time. We just load it up in the morning, the operator jumps on and can go spraying all day with just one tank — it's that easy.
"It all comes down to simplicity, efficiency and ease of use. The boom folds up in 30 seconds and I don't know many tow-behinds that you can pull at 55 kilometres per hour, so the transport speed makes changing between paddocks a breeze.
"It has really made our spraying a lot more efficient."
GreenStar™ displays make monitoring easy
The couple are quick to add that the See & Spray Select has reduced chemical usage and in turn, their chemical costs.
"It depends on your application but we're seeing savings from 70% and up to 95%*.
When we're fallow spraying with See & Spray Select we just leave the cameras on all the time, so even if we're only saving five to 10%, that's still a saving that most businesses would take any day," Jake said.
Felicity said the data generated in the cabin also makes it easy to monitor each operation for compliance.
"We have a legal responsibility to document what we're putting out with the sprayer. We're documenting the weather, the products that we're using and the rates that they're going out at, and the technologies in the GreenStar displays in this cab make that so easy for us.
"Technological advancements like See & Spray Select have been hugely beneficial to our business. It makes us more environmentally and more economically sustainable and that's something that we need to keep building on into the future," she said.
About John Deere:
Deere & Company is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, golf & turf, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including the John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor and See & Spray™ are just two of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at JohnDeere.com or in New Zealand at JohnDeere.co.nz.