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High tech spray nozzles from Syngenta

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South West WA potato grower, Peter Rose, believes a set of high-tech spray nozzles fitted to his 15 metre spray boom will significantly improve the efficacy of his crop protection program.  

Developed by leading crop protection company, Syngenta , the spray nozzles deliver better spray coverage and penetration into the plant canopy, especially on the lower leaves as they develop and mature.  

The nozzles also significantly improve the efficiency of spraying operations by reducing spray application volumes by up to 20 per cent.  

Peter grows 80 hectares of irrigated Atlantic and FL1867 crisping potatoes – 30ha harvested in winter and 50ha in spring – along with lucerne for hay on a 730ha block at Myalup, 35km north of Bunbury.  

He also maintains a home farm at nearby Burekup and manages 500ha of grazing land, where he fattens up to 400 Angus weaners each year.  

Now 84, Peter is a fifth generation farmer in the area and is carrying on a potato growing enterprise started by his father almost 100 years ago.  

“Our light sandy loam soils, 1000mm average rainfall and mild coastal climate make this a good area for potatoes,” he said.  

“We grow two 140-day crops a year, one planted in autumn and harvested in July-August and the other planted in early winter and harvested in spring.  

“Many short season varieties, particularly those grown for the fresh potato market, tend to be susceptible to fungal attack, so disease management is a priority.  

“The two varieties that we grow are actually fairly disease tolerant but we usually apply a couple of fungicides to each crop, particularly during autumn when the risk is greater.  

“This varies of course with seasonal conditions but overall it’s a cheap and effective insurance policy.”  

The cornerstone of Peter’s disease protection program is Amistar 250 SC, an extremely flexible product can be applied in-furrow at planting to control seed and soil-borne diseases in potatoes, including Silver Scurf and Rhizoctonia, and as a foliar fungicide to protect crops from Target Spot and Late Blight later in the season.  

By protecting foliage from infection, the fungicide has a noticeable effect in extending the life and thus yield of the crop. “I’ve been using Amistar as my main fungicide for three or four years,” Peter said.  

“We’ll be applying two applications of Amistar this year, 10–14 days apart, in an endeavour to prolong growth within the crop. We also use Score and other fungicides in rotation with Amistar to manage resistance.”  

Peter believes the use of the new nozzles, which were developed by Syngenta in association with a leading UK manufacturer, will further improve the performance of his crop protection program.  

“I’ve seen photos of trials in which the Syngenta nozzles gave much better penetration and coverage than standard nozzles while using less water,” he said. “I expect that they will perform well for us and give us even better disease protection.”  

Syngenta potato nozzles are available exclusively to growers and resellers involved in the Syngenta Potato Partners initiative.  

Under the program, producers who commit to using the company’s products receive access to unique application technology, training and practical tools to help them get the most out of their crop protection program.  

Peter’s set of 36 spray nozzles were fitted to his 15 metre wide boom spray and calibrated by Syngenta Territory Manager, Richard Packard, and Landmark Bunbury Merchandise Manager, Rodney Francis, with the help of Peter’s potato manager, Paul Valenta.  

The Extended Range 110-04 flat-fan spray nozzles fit a standard bayonet cap and feature a 30-degree, spray-tip angle to improve coverage on the lower leaves of potatoes, which is particularly important at pre-row closure.  

Best results are achieved when the nozzles are alternated forward and back along the boom. “There’s a fair bit of logic in the forward and reverse spray patterns of the nozzles,” Peter said.

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