With the help of an Indian Summer in the Pacific Northwest many dryland farmers were faced with the decision to till their fields one last time or to broadcast spray for weed pressure accounting to 10% of the field. This gave Papé Machinery the opportunity to offer these growers a cost saving option with John Deere's Self Propelled 616R Sprayer with See and Spray-Select Technology.
On September 16th, just north of Pendleton, Oregon, this sprayer was demonstrated on various types of farming operations such as no-till, conventional-till, and minimum-till ground. The Eastern Oregon region can expect to get as little as 8 inches of moisture annually, which makes summer fallow [a moisture conservation practice] quite common.
See & Spray Select Technology
The See & Spray Technology is designed to see green-on-brown while utilizing ExactApply nozzle control. Both cameras and processors are used to see the weeds, then the on/off pulsing controls of the ExactApply system target the weeds. At this time, See & Spray Select Performance Upgrade kits are to be ran only on specified models of John Deere Self Propelled Sprayers.
Some premier engineering went into the integration of this system, where the cameras are flush to the booms without risk of exposure. The consistency with John Deere’s plumbing and ExactApply allows the system to go from See & Spray to Broadcast Spray within seconds via the Generation 4 Monitor. The system also allows the operator to see the percentage of area applied, while giving a percentage of pesticide savings breakdown in the Operation Center.
"An input cost replacement solution with a clear calculatable return on investment."
The rate of efficacy, or weed hit rate, was measured during the demonstration and allotted to the 98% success rate. When measuring this rate it is important to scout the field prior to spraying to determine weed species, weed sizes, and pressure levels.
The efficacy of this system is directly related to the sensitivity settings, spray length, ground speed, and dust levels. Defining a tighter cone angle on nozzle selection is another consideration for growers expecting to do higher volume acres with this system.
John Deere’s release of the ExactApply System in the summer of 2016, has been utilized as a stepping stone to prepare growers for this technology. Having a good understanding of how ExactApply, Section Control, Guidance, and Operation Center Systems operate is the base recommendation for being prepared to run this technology.
The biggest benefit this technology will offer growers is a minimum of 77% herbicide savings, better weed control, reduced chemical usage, and productivity.
- Herbicide Savings
Reduced Cost Per Acre After several trials the average remains at a minimum of 77% savings while consistently exceeding expectations.
- Better Weed Control
Alternate Modes of Action The opportunity to utilize multiple Modes of Action with pesticides as well as using the A+B nozzles for a boosted rate increases the coverage.
- Less Chemical Usage
Savings on Non-Residual Herbicides The option to spend more on better tank mixes becomes viable when expecting to apply on only 25% of the acres covered.
Down Time Though this system is capped at 12mph the need to return to the mix truck is reduced significantly, while giving opportunity for operator to run both outfits.
See & Spray Select versus Competition
Though Weedit and Trimble's WeedSeeker2 have held a spot in this market for years there are variances in the See & Spray- Select system to be aware of. These other systems see weeds with the Near-Infrared (NIR) Camera, instead of the camera and processor duo John Deere has designed. These kits can be retrofitted onto John Deere sprayers which will remain an option but can become extremely invasive due to the need for nozzle body removal, flow control variances, and some additional fabrication work.
A couple other things to know when considering these outside systems are the following:
These other systems will run at a faster ground speed of 15-20mph. A couple agronomic concerns to consider when pushing ground speed are the following:
- Dust Control
- Quality of Application
- Consistency of Ground Speed
Conversion to Broadcast Application
One thing to note about converting within these systems is you that you will forfeit a full day of down time. With the See & Spray Select you get:
- Automatic Conversions
- Fall-Back Spraying in excessive dust conditions
- Fall-Back Spraying in speeds above 12mph
Ultimately the John Deere See & Spray Select system is developed with a high rate of efficacy, with consistent cost saving margins. The system is engineered for better integration of boom protection, and employs features like turn compensation, recirculation systems, and processor units. This technology allows the option to run a well-designed system while keeping a consistent fleet to optimize tools like the Operation Center for management.
If you have further questions, or you're interested in John Deere's See & Spray Select for your operation, contact your local Papé Machinery Ag & Turf Territory Manager.