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AIM Command Technology Helps Manage Rising Chemical Costs

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With the cost of chemicals having doubled over the past two years, contractors and farmers are moving to systems such as Case IH’s AIM Command, which delivers precise and efficient chemical application in a range of field conditions, at speeds of up to 40km per hour. 

AIM Command, which is exclusive to the Case IH range of Patriot sprayers, allows operators to specify droplet size and pressure from the cab, regardless of water rate or ground speed.  

“With other systems, when you slow down for obstacles, you lose pressure and hence your application and chemical use isn’t as even across the field as it should be,” explained John Shadbolt, who runs a 12,000-hectare mixed cropping operation at Nungarin, near Mukinbudin in Western Australia.

“The AIM Command system on our two Patriot 4410s allows us to travel from 6 km right up to 40 km per hour at the same pressure, ensuring efficient coverage and helping us to make the most of our chemicals.”  

Fellow Western Australian farmer, Greg Della Bosca, who runs an 11,000-hectare operation with his brother, Ian, agreed. “I would never go back to another system. You get better value for your money with AIM Command because you don’t end up wasting your chemicals – which is really important given that the cost of glyphosate has almost tripled from six to sixteen dollars per litre.”

For contractor Rob Boschen, one of the biggest benefits of AIM Command is its ability to deliver results. “We contract spray between Hamilton in Victoria and Hay in New South Wales and in our game, you have to make sure you provide a good service if you want follow-up work next season.  

“So when we expanded our aerial spraying business to include ground spraying five years ago, we looked around for a system that would maintain consistent droplet size with varying speeds when operating in awkward shaped paddocks and around obstacles, thereby delivering superior weed control.” 

“Farmers won’t always tell you if you’re doing a good job – but you can usually tell if they’re not happy. And given the fact that we have a great relationship with our customers, I’m pretty confident that AIM Command is effectively controlling weeds and thereby improving yields, which is critical to our business success."

The risk of spray drift is also reduced using AIM Command. “We spray within metres of vineyards in the Clare Valley, South Australia so minimising spray drift is one of our principal concerns,” explained David Maitland, who with his son, Jim, runs a 3,000-hectare mixed cropping operation spread within a 30 km radius of Clare. 

“I first heard about AIM Command at the Horsham Field Day and its ability to reduce drift appealed to me, given the sensitive nature of the area we crop in. And because it’s fitted to a self-propelled Patriot 4410 that is capable of spraying at speeds up to 40 km an hour, we’ve been able to more than double our workload compared to previous machines. The end result for us is a more efficient operation and less worry at the end of the day about damaging neighbouring vineyard crops.”

All Patriot Sprayers manufactured from July 2008 will be AccuGuide autoguidance-system ready, eliminating the risk of skips and overlaps. Other new features include standard boom height control on Patriot 4420 models enabling control of the perfect distance between boom and crop and a new High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting package to improve visibility during the ideal spraying conditions offered by night time operation. 

A free information package on AIM Command is available from Case IH.

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