A meticulous path to the top
FSOOTY winner 2018 – Andrew Woolley
Detailed knowledge of spraying along with an understanding of legislation and an ability to communicate with the public, has helped Wiltshire-based Andrew Woolley to win the 2018 FSOOTY competition.
Andrew, is the arable manager at Puckshipton Farms, near Pewsey in Wiltshire, where he looks after 450ha of crops grown on a range of soils. He operates a 24m wide Lemken front- and rear combination sprayer, which provides a total capacity of 3,000 litres.
This replaced a 1,200-litre Bargam mounted with a 600-litre home-made front tank courtesy of an old Allman sprayer.
“A self-propelled just doesn’t stack up financially on our acreage, he says. “And a trailed sprayer involves pulling a dead axle, and in winter, the risk of getting stuck is high – particularly in the greensand soils.”
“Typically, I’ll spray at 11-12km/hr, but using just 1,300rpm,” he says. “The cab is quiet and comfortable – and I can drop the sprayer off the tractor in minutes thanks to its extending top-link coupling system which creates space to simplify hitching and unhitching.”
The farm moved over to RTK around five years ago, which has delivered a huge leap in overall efficiency, but the full advantages have not yet cascaded down to spraying.
While the New Holland T7 is RTK-equipped, there is insufficient communication between the tractor and sprayer – the latter is using Egnos, through a Lemken-branded TeeJet guidance unit.
“Keeping the boom at a 50cm height needs constant attention,” he adds. “I like the design of the boom which protects the nozzles, but it is outdated and lacks an auto-height system. On some of our rolling fields, it needs constant attention to maintain the correct height above the target.”