WEED-IT Quadro is the tool NSW family needs for modern farming
Leonie and Rodney Guest are the owners of a 2400 hectares cropping business and grow barley, wheat and peas. Their son-in-law Sandy Nixon and his wife Tanaya also live on the farm and it is Sandy who operates the WEED-IT Quadro.
The soils on the farm are Mallee sandy loams with some sandy rises that have lower organic matter levels. In those low organic matter areas, 2,4-D was building up and they found Roundup residues. This limited following crops as canola and legumes are sensitive to these and could therefor not be planted on these soils.
One of the main reasons of the Guest family to choose WEED-IT Quadro technology was to reduce the amount of chemicals used.
The WEED-IT Quadro
The latest WEED-IT evolution is WEED-IT Quadro. Quadro refers to the four detection zones of every WEED-IT detection sensor, each accounting for 25 cm of the entire spray boom width. The new blue LED-lighting is more sensitive to weeds and less sensitive to background noise. This way, the system never misses any weed and only sprays where necessary. Due to this, the reduction of the amount of chemicals used has been huge.
Part of the farm rotation is to leave 400 ha fallow. This serves as a weed break and also preserves moisture for the following crop. Sandy has started spraying the fallow land just after getting the WEED-IT in September. He says: "I used just 25 litres of chemical spot-spraying, compared to 1000 litres if I had sprayed it conventionally. There are huge savings to be made."
Cutting down the amount of chemicals is good for the environment, for the soil and for saving input costs. In this industry, reducing the use of 2,4-D is also very positive. Sandy hopes that the evolvement of herbicide-resistant weeds is delayed due to WEED-IT usage. Right now they are starting to see resistant ryegrass. They hope to beat this weed by spot spraying during the fallow rotation.
Sandy operates the WEED-IT at 15-20 kph and the ground-gliding boom is 24 metres wide. This way, Sandy can cover lots of hectares per day. The WEED-IT system can be added to any type of sprayer. The Guests family purchased their WEED-IT at a local Croplands dealer. The family knew of WEED-IT because their neighbouring farmers use it very succesfully. They also have had great support from Croplands.
“The Croplands representatives have been fantastic. When we first got it, one of them stayed with us for three quarters of a day to make sure I was confident. I have had three visits from them so far. I can’t fault them.”
When Sandy is using the WEED-IT for blanket cover, he controls the section through a Topcon monitor. This gives the WEED-IT the chance to use the tractor's gps. This ensures that there's no overlap. The Guest family is achieving their goals with the WEED-IT Quadro. They are dealing with troublesome weeds and are using less chemicals.
Because of the technology, the family is able to meet the ever tightening regulation of chemical use and they save money. It also decreases residue build up, which increases the range of crops they can plant.