Vicki Wall, Technical Manager at Spray CDA, suggests there are ten top reasons to ditch the knapsack and switch to Controlled Droplet or Ultra Low Volume Applicators
Time Savings - with CDA and ULV systems there are considerable time savings to be made. The efficient low volume chemical application reduces the need for frequent trips back to base to refill. ULV lances are capable of delivering total weed control at a rate of 2 litres per hectare, so you could spray a hectare with two fills of the tank. A 15 litre knapsack delivering 200l/ha would take more than thirteen knapsacks to spray the same area; assuming ten minutes per refill' that's a time saving of over two hours.
Manual Handling - reduced volume equals reduced weight; a full ULV lance weighs in at around 4kg, a full knapsack nearer 20kg. CDA and ULV give a significant reduction in manual handling and major improvements in comfort for the user.
Health and Safety - With no need to carry vast amounts of water, the operator is less physically tired by the job and more alert to his/her surroundings, which can help with improved accuracy of application and improved safety for the operator and the environment.
Drift Reduction - CDA lances produce a controlled droplet which minimises the production of very tiny droplets which are prone to drift. The use of hoods on ULV systems, coupled with improved technology, ensures that the chemical goes exactly where it is intended, and pesticides can be applied in windier conditions than through traditional application methods.
Improved Efficacy - the small uniform droplets produced by low volume sprayers coat the target effectively and ensure maximum uptake by the weed.
Lock Up - there is no reduction in pesticide efficiency through lockup caused by high levels of lime or variances in Ph because you are not adding any water to the spray mix.
Environmental Benefits - an additional benefit to improved efficacy is to reduce the overall amount of pesticide required. Because none of your pesticide is lost by lock up, drift or poor application, the amount you need to apply can be reduced. ULV Systems can halve the amount of glyphosate applied. 50% less glyphosate means less risk to the environment and less risk to the operator.
Water Savings - no need to carry large amounts of water, saving on fuel, not to mention the cost of the water itself and standpipe hire.
SUD - low volume systems help to reduce pesticide usage, which is in line with the principles of the Sustainable Use Directive.
Significant Cost Savings - when you add up reduced operator time, reduced water costs, reduced down time due to wind and less pesticide use, it all adds up to significant savings.