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  1. #1
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    Default Sprayer Question

    I'm looking at a sprayer setup for my 40 acres of hayfields for fertilizing spread among 5 fields. My choices are 3ph and trailer. I'd prefer the 3ph over the trailer due to maneuverability among the smaller fields and cost. How large a 3ph tank can I comfortably go to before a 8,500#-100hp 4wd tractor w front weights is too small? All the tractors I'm considering will lift 5,000# plus at 24" out. The 3ph systems I'm looking at are from 300 to 500 gallons and some of the fields are at 12-15% grade so stability is a factor. The advantage of the trailer units are stability and the ability to pull a 1,000 gallon tank and larger. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Member AKfish's Avatar
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    JD 5075M; JD 110 TLB; JD 4720; Ford 9N; JD X300R

    Default Re: Sprayer Question

    Couple of considerations that come to mind -

    Five fields that make up 40 acres. If they were all the same size; they'd be 8 acres apiece. How many gallons of fertilizer would you apply at one time to an 8 acre field? Or how many gallons would you apply to your largest field at a single application? I'd begin my size criteria list with that in mind... how many gallons will I need for my biggest field without having to refill the tank?

    Total weight of tractor and sprayer combo. I fertilize in the Spring and sometimes in the fall. Usually the wettest times of the year and in the Spring with frost going out of the ground - the softest ground! So, I use my smallest, lighest tractor to avoid rutting, compaction and generally getting stuck and tearing the fields up!
    I'd be looking at the size of sprayer that would comfortably measure up to my biggest field but still small enough that it wouldn't be too heavy in the fields, either.

    Dual rear wheels on your tractor? I know you aren't looking for another way to spend money... but they are a real help with stability, traction and weight distribution over a larger footprint - less compaction.

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sprayer Question

    Largest single field is 18 acres, followed by one that's 14. The rest are all a couple acres or so and irregularly shaped. Since the fields haven't properly been fertilized in almost ten years (and then with cow manure) I'm figuring 2 gallons/acre of 4-3-3 with maybe a gallon of lime/acre mixed with 50 gallons of water for the first two years or so. So, at 50 gallons/acre I'd need a 900 gallon tank to do my 18 acre field w/o refilling. I guess that would preclude the 3ph systems. The dual rear wheels on the tractor is something I hadn't thought of and bears consideration as I haven't gotten the tractor yet. I know I don't want/or need to go over 90-100 hp and stability is a concern. Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Gold Member Localmotion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sprayer Question

    Only my opinion of course, but a sprayer with a 1000 gallon tanks seems a large investment for a 40 acre plot - probably cheaper to simply do more trips or use prilled fert?
    Check out our website: http://localmotion-spain.co.uk

  5. #5
    Super Member AKfish's Avatar
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    JD 5075M; JD 110 TLB; JD 4720; Ford 9N; JD X300R

    Default Re: Sprayer Question

    Quote Originally Posted by HenRut View Post
    Largest single field is 18 acres, followed by one that's 14. The rest are all a couple acres or so and irregularly shaped. Since the fields haven't properly been fertilized in almost ten years (and then with cow manure) I'm figuring 2 gallons/acre of 4-3-3 with maybe a gallon of lime/acre mixed with 50 gallons of water for the first two years or so. So, at 50 gallons/acre I'd need a 900 gallon tank to do my 18 acre field w/o refilling. I guess that would preclude the 3ph systems. The dual rear wheels on the tractor is something I hadn't thought of and bears consideration as I haven't gotten the tractor yet. I know I don't want/or need to go over 90-100 hp and stability is a concern. Thanks for the reply.
    Sounds like you're maybe using liquid chicken manure (4-3-3). Is your hay organic?

    IMO - a 900 gallon tank in a 2-3 acre field is not very sensible.... You could do it - but, do you really want to??

    'Course the next question that comes to mind is... do you really have to go with a 90-100hp tractor, too? I'm currently using a 75hp tractor on about 30 acres and sometimes have to wonder if I didn't go a bit overboard?

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

  6. #6
    Veteran Member D7E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sprayer Question

    Whats wrong with a small sprayer and making a few trips ..? I cover over 3000 acres a year with 110hp and 950gal sprayer . Sprayer worth $1200 and tractor $10'000 . Dry fert would be far easier and cheaper for you.
    Last edited by D7E; 07-03-2011 at 03:17 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sprayer Question

    i would get a 200 gallon 3 pt sprayer.i added a boom less nozzle to mine.it works good for pasture and hay fields.i spray 10 gallons a acre ,so 40 acres would be 2 fill ups.

  8. #8
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Sprayer Question

    My sprayer has a 300 gallon tank. I use it primarily on a 60hp/7500lb 2wd tractor (Deere 2440) When we're spraying crop ground, I also have a pair of 250 gallon saddle tanks mounted on the tractor. That combo gives me almost 80 acres of capacity. ( I generally do my tank mix @ 10 gal per acre)

    I don't like boomless spray nozzles. Too much drift under the best of conditions.
    There are three kinds of men;
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    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    Niagara County, N.Y.
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    Long 530, 2360, 360,2310, Ford 641, 8N, 2N

    Default Re: Sprayer Question

    I spray about 40 acres with a 110 gallon 3pt. hitch sprayer at about 10 gallon/acre. Tractor is 57 hp / 5200 lbs.. Have to make a couple more trips, but how many times do you spray hay field anyways. Works great for me with minimal investment. My fields are somewhat local, but if long distance was involved, I would tank my F450 truck.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Sprayer Question

    Great replies, guys. Thanks. My goal for the hay is to produce the highest quality possible for our own few horses and for sale to the higher end horse farms in the area. For the first couple of years (as I figure out what I'm doing and the field soil chemistry is restored) I don't expect to make any money. Breaking even would be nice thereafter. But as I'm semi-retired and not farming for a living, my satisfaction with farming hay comes from the challenge of getting the most out of my 40 acres rather than pure profit from any sale.

    I'm fairly sold on liquid fert. and definitely will go the organic route although I recognize going dry is vastly less expensive. Spray nozzles will give better, more consistent coverage but nozzleless sprayers are simpler, less costly and weight less. Still leaning toward the nozzle/boom setup with a 3-way controller so as to get the coverage and to get into the corners of some of the smaller fields by raising booms and shutting off sections.

    Thanks to your comments, I'm thinking I'd get the most bang for my buck with a 200-300 gallon 3ph system. The number of trips would be more but my fields basically surround me on almost three sides with the barn (refill area) located in the center. Plus, after a year or two when I get the soil chemistry to where it needs to be, I won't be needing as much fert. per acre or the need to fert. as often.

    Cowski: What size tractor do you have for your 200 gallon 3ph sprayer? Do you have hills and do you use front weights?

    Farmwithjunk: Is your 300 gallon system a 3ph or trailor? The saddle tanks I bet settle any stability issues.

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