A new range of precision vineyard sprayers has been launched by Kuhn Farm Machinery as part of its amenity pro horticultural equipment range.

The Oktopus sprayers, available from Haynes, use an air-blast dispersion system to regulate the size of spray droplets, enabling targeted application of products. A centrifugal turbine feeds air into outlet spouts which feed an interchangeable, double flip-over nozzle where spray droplets are formed. Spray shut-off is controlled by fast-acting diaphragm valves fitted to each nozzle to prevent chemical wastage.

“The idea is to provide better coverage and to potentially reduce chemical use,” said Charlie Lane, UK parts and amenity specialist at Kuhn. “This can not only help with cost saving, but the world is becoming increasingly green and growers don’t want to be blowing chemicals out unnecessarily. All our sprayers offer anti-drip nozzles so there’s no risk of leaving chemical traces either.”

The nozzles are mounted on a pivoting holder and the ability to adjust them horizontally and vertically allows for greater precision and foliage penetration.

“Individually adjustable nozzles allow the sprayer to be adapted to any style of planting,” said Richard Smith, fruit and vineyard sales executive at Haynes. “Vineyards are not identical and this system means growers can get coverage depending on where leaf coverage is and the growing season. It gives the flexibility even if you are working with a variety of crop sizes and heights.”

The trailed machines have also been designed with a pivoting drawbar to reduce the turning radius for easier manoeuvring.

“Generally, we use a double wide angled PTO shaft,” said Charlie Lane. “They offer 80 degrees of turning at each end and when you couple that with a New Holland vineyard tractor with super steer you have a winning combination.”

The Oktopus range features both mounted and trailed machines with various tank sizes. Working with Kuhn, Haynes can develop optimal specifications to meet growers’ needs.

“Recently we produced a 600-litre machine which was only one meter wide for one of our customers,” said Richard Smith. “While there is a set list of tank sizes and widths there is a certain amount of flexibility within that.”

One of the key things offered with the sprayer is the high level of dealer and manufacturer support through Kuhn, one of the largest machinery manufacturers in the world. Haynes who has four branches throughout the South East of England.

“Cost of ownership and service is just as important as the quality of the machine on offer,” said Charlie Lane. “We have a very good dealer network, we can get parts out quickly if they are needed so customers are also buying into a reliable support network.”