One of the first contractors In the United Kingdom to use the Mankar ultra low-volume (ULV) spraying system for weed control has given an unqualified thumbs-up to the system's effectiveness and ability to significantly reduce chemical inputs and labour costs compared with conventional knapsack and CDA spraying methods.
The contractor is the Coventry regional office of English Landscapes, a national organisation delivering a wide range of grounds maintenance, cleansing and construction services to the public and private sectors.
Both the Mankar MC20 ULV hand lance and the Roundup ProBiactive 450 herbicide being used by English Landscapes for weed control within Coventry city centre were supplied exclusively by Telford, Shropshire-based distributor of amenity horticulture products and services, Amenity Land Services (ALS).
Contracts Manager of English Landscapes' Coventry branch, Tim Fox, explained that
he had arranged with ALS a four-week assessment of the Mankar equipment applying Roundup ProBiactive 450 glysophate herbicide during early spring: "We were attracted initially by the fact that the Mankar ULV system is able to apply the minimum necessary quantities of translocated herbicide - typically two litres/ha - to achieve the required results," he commented.
By comparison, CDA (Controlled Droplet Application) systems can use between 10 and 15 litres/ha while a knapsack sprayer uses around five litres/ha of herbicide in achieving an effective weed kill.
In addition to confirming the Mankar system's ultra low herbicide use, the early-season trial revealed a number of further benefits, said Mr Fox: "It proved that the system is safe, effective and easy to use, bringing increased productivity and lower costs to the job thanks to the reduction both in labour and chemical inputs, the latter helping also minimise impact on the environment," he added.
A further productivity benefit highlighted by Mr Fox is the ability to treat weeds successfully in windy weather due to the Mankar equipment's shrouded nozzle which eliminates the risk of spray drift.
As a result of the successful trial, the Mankar ULV system and Roundup ProBiactive 450 herbicide combination has now become English Landscapes' preferred method of pedestrian weed control along and around building lines, pathways, litter bins, benches, signs and lighting structures throughout Coventry city centre.
"Although the Mankar system is new to Britain this year, we knew that it had been used successfully for some time on the continent where feedback has been very positive," concluded Tim Fox. "From my point of view, I am delighted with the many benefits brought by the system while our principal grounds supervisor, Bob Steel, likes the low weight, balance and ease of use of the MC20 hand lance. At an application rate of two litres per hectare, the 500ml herbicide container lasts at least 80 minutes before refilling is required."
Available in hand-held and tractor/vehicle-mounted designs, Mankar ULV application equipment is ideal for a wide range of amenity, highway and general horticulture weed control requirements.
Distributor, ALS, says that the most popular items are the MC20 and MC30 hand lances with shrouded spray heads designed to apply herbicide over widths adjustable from 100mm to 300mm and 130mm to 450mm respectively. There is also a hand-held 200mm shrouded spot sprayer, a dedicated path/pavement sprayer and a kerb/pathway edging sprayer, the latter two both being equipped with a support wheel.
In addition to pedestrian-operated equipment, Mankar ULV spraying systems are available for use with ATVs, tractors and utility vehicles and there are standard and row crop configurations suitable for spraying within plant and tree nurseries, garden centres, vineyards and general horticultural crops.
ALS offers the equipment either for outright purchase or for hire nation-wide, the latter inclusive of supplies of Roundup ProBiactive 450 herbicide for which ALS is one of the few authorised outlets within the UK.
Purchase and hire prices are available direct from ALS, telephone 01952 641949, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.amenity.co.uk. As a guide, the MC20 ULV hand lance with 500ml pesticide container being used by English Landscapes' Coventry depot is priced at £345 (plus VAT).
Picture :-Supervisor, Bob Steel, finds the Mankar MC20 hand lance easy to use and extremely well-balanced thanks to the shoulder strap which, he says, makes the equipment feel almost weightless.