Your Simple Guide to Choosing the Right Boom Sprayer for the Best Results
Date Posted: 27 April 2023
Boom sprayers are important agricultural tools that have revolutionised the way farmers apply chemicals to their crops. These sprayers come in a variety of sizes and configurations, each designed to meet the specific needs of different crops and terrains. Some boom sprayers will attach to an all-terrain vehicle or car, while others self-propel, allowing for greater mobility and flexibility in the field. Key features such as nozzles, capacities, control valves, filters, safety features, and sprayer pumps and tanks can greatly impact the effectiveness and efficiency of a boom sprayer.
In this blog post, we will explore the different types of boom sprayers, their key features, and when they trump others in terms of size and capabilities. Whether you are a small-scale farmer or managing a large commercial operation, understanding the different types of boom sprayers, and their capabilities is essential to achieving a successful and profitable crop yield.
Sizing Up Boom Sprayers
When it comes to using boom (or boomless) sprayers, their proportions should be proportional to the lay of the land. This means that farmers will usually use larger boom sprayers for further-reaching fields or spaced-out crops, reserving their smaller models for more compact spaces or crops with less distance between them. Let’s dig into the specifics of ‘large’ and ‘small’, and when you can afford to go boomless.
How Big Is ‘Large’?
When we say ‘large’, we’re talking about sprayers that can hold boom arms 10 to 30 metres long. You can also mount them to the back of tractors, trucks and other vehicles that have a large towing capacity. The advantage of working with larger boom sprayers is that they have higher capacities for chemicals and greater control valves, which can aid you in dispensing herbicides with precision. Of course, if you’re working with wider agricultural spaces, larger sprayers will complete the job faster and with greater efficiency.
And How Small Are We Talking?
Smaller sprayers have smaller boom arms, ranging from 3 to 9 metres in length. If you’re working in tighter spaces or with crops in close proximity to one another, smaller models will allow you to dispense herbicides in a more targeted manner. Alternatively, if you’re working with crops in particularly narrow rows, you could use a boomless sprayer, which has commendable coverage, if less precision. Boomless sprayers can be excellent for areas obscured by rocks, trees and other obstacles that render precise navigation difficult.
What Is the Difference Between a Boom & Boomless Sprayer?
The main difference between a boom and boomless sprayer is the method of application. A boom sprayer uses a series of spray nozzles mounted on a horizontal bar, or ‘boom’, that is typically several metres in length. The boom attaches to the sprayer and extends out to the side of the vehicle or equipment transporting the sprayer. Positioned at regular intervals along the boom, the spray nozzles spray the liquid onto the crops as the boom moves over them.
On the other hand, a boomless sprayer does not have a boom. Instead, it uses a series of spray nozzles that sit on the underside of the sprayer itself. Thanks to their positioning, the nozzles will cover a wide swath of crops, usually in a fan-shaped pattern. In turn, the sprayer will cover a larger area more quickly, doing away with the constant need to adjust the boom to ensure proper coverage.
While boom sprayers offer more precise control over the dispensing of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilisers, they can be more cumbersome and require more skill to operate well. Boomless sprayers, on the other hand, are easier to operate and require less maintenance — although they may not offer the same level of precision as boom sprayers. Ultimately, the choice between a boom and boomless sprayer will depend on the specific needs of the farmer or applicator, as well as the type of crops at hand and the terrain in which they are grown.
Boom — or Boomless — Alternatives
If you’re working on a small to medium-sized landscape, you could forego the boom — or boomless — sprayers altogether. Sprayer attachments, such as our Silvan-branded, small-scale sprayers, can be a great alternative. These sprayers typically have a capacity of around 200 litres and are ideal for smaller areas such as gardens or small farms. Additionally, small-scale sprayers are more efficient with fertiliser use, as they can apply a specific amount in a targeted area, reducing waste and unnecessary costs.
Do You Know These Key Components of Boom & Boomless Sprayers?
Of course, there are other factors to consider when selecting a sprayer. Let’s break down the key components of boom and boomless sprayers and how they contribute to the overall operations:
The nozzles on a sprayer determine the spray pattern and droplet size. Boom sprayers typically have multiple nozzles that farmers can adjust to produce different spray patterns and droplet sizes. Meanwhile, boomless sprayers usually have a single nozzle that creates a fan-shaped spray pattern.
The capacity of a sprayer refers to the amount of liquid it can hold. Boom sprayers come in a range of sizes, from small models that hold a few litres to large models that can hold hundreds or even thousands of litres. Boomless sprayers tend to have smaller capacities: usually less than 100 litres.
Control valves allow farmers to adjust the intensity at which they can spray liquid. Such control will affect coverage and application rates. Boom sprayers often have multiple control valves that allow for precise adjustments to the spray pattern. Meanwhile, boomless sprayers will typically have a single control valve.
Filters are an important feature of sprayers as they help to prevent clogs and ensure that the sprayable liquid is debris-free. Boom sprayers usually have multiple filters to ensure liquid filtration at all stages of the spraying process, while boomless sprayers usually have a single filter.
Safety features are essential for any sprayer. Not only do they prevent accidents, but they also protect the operator. Boom sprayers often have safety features such as emergency shut-off switches, whereas boomless sprayers may have safety shields or guards to prevent liquid from coming into contact with the operator.
Sprayer Pumps & Tanks
The pump is the heart of the sprayer, and it determines the flow rate and pressure of the liquid being sprayed. Boom sprayers typically have larger, more powerful pumps than boomless sprayers, which help them to handle the larger volumes of liquid being sprayed. The tank is where the liquid is stored before being sprayed, and boom sprayers usually have larger tanks to hold more liquid.
To Boom or Not To Boom?
Boom sprayers come in various sizes and offer different features that make them ideal for specific applications. Understanding the key features — including nozzles, capacities, control valves, filters, safety features, and pumps and tanks — is essential in choosing the right boom sprayer for a particular job. Boom and boomless sprayers each have their unique benefits and limitations, and choosing the right one will depend on the intended use, target area, and other specific factors. With this knowledge, it becomes easier to make an informed decision on the best boom sprayer for the job at hand, ultimately ensuring efficient and effective spraying results.
However, if you aren’t sure what is best for your job, you can always talk to the team at Bunyip Equipment! With extensive knowledge of agricultural machinery and more, we can help you choose the right sprayer to keep your crops thriving.