Updated boom control system has many uses

Updated boom control system has many uses

Editors' Choice: Interest in high-clearance nitrogen application fuels demand for more precise boom height control.

Bestway introduced AutoGlide at the 2012 Farm Progress Show. The new boom height controller used ultrasonic sensors to help maintain a consistent boom height above either the canopy or the ground while spraying.

PRECISION HEIGHT CONTROL: When trying to keep nitrogen application products the right height above the ground, Bestway’s AutoGlideXR is a quality option.

This year Bestway offers an upgraded version, called AutoGlideXR. Dave Benson with Bestway says this new version builds off the success of the company’s original automatic sensor. The XR version has more advanced features, and is designed for use on a variety of sprayers. At the heart of the system are rugged, long-range ultrasonic sensors mounted on the spray boom. These sensors monitor and maintain height of the booms above the ground or crop canopy. A consistent height means more consistent spray patterns and better coverage of spray applications on target weeds. It can also mean reduced drift potential.

This upgraded version is timely because more farmers and applicators are looking at applying nitrogen with high-clearance sprayers later in the season to spread out N nutrition for corn. Some are using Y-Drop from 360 Yield Center. Other options are also available on the market.

The AutoGlideXR system can be used to help maintain a constant height for that type of drop across the spray boom, Benson says. To make the nitrogen application successful, it needs to be delivered accurately above the surface. The ability to maintain a consistent boom height makes that more practical.

AutoGlideXR has an exclusive three-mode sensor setting, meaning you can set it to keep booms a consistent height above bare ground, plant canopy or partial canopy. The sensors used in the XR version have longer range than those in the original system. For more information, visit bestwaysalesllc.com.

What editors say

Three Farm Progress editors who cover new products at farm shows checked out this new system and offer their insights. The editors are Tom J. Bechman, Indiana Prairie Farmer; Lon Tonneson, Dakota Farmer; and Mindy Ward, Missouri Ruralist.

Tom’s take
Precision begets more precision. As companies introduce products to deliver nitrogen closer to when corn plants need it, these products need application hardware and software that complements them and allows them to work as precisely as possible. Boom height control is a proven concept. It is as important for delivering nitrogen in this new use as it is for spraying. This upgraded system seems like the right product at the right time.

Mindy’s views
Keeping new technology simple is a challenge. One aspect of this product any farmer can appreciate is that it is an add-on to your sprayer. According to the company, AutoGlideXR uses a sprayer's existing electric-over-hydraulic controls, so you don’t spend money or time installing extra hydraulic components — making adding new technology, well, simple.

Lon’s observations
I also like the fact that AutoGlideXR uses a sprayer’s existing electric-over-hydraulic controls. According to Bestway, this makes AutoGlideXR one of the simplest and easiest automatic boom height control systems to install, saving time and money. You also can order it factory-installed on a new Bestway sprayer. AutoGlideXR is apparently easy to use, too. Turn the system on, select auto, and go. When you activate normal boom controls, AutoGlideXR is overridden. A time delay feature allows you to preset timing for the system to resume automatic function.

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