AS macadamia nut orchards have matured over the last fifty years, pest and disease control has become an increasing issue.
Dense canopies favour the development of many pest populations and increase the incidence of disease.
Macadamia grower, Mark Smith from Astonville in northern NSW said the changing character of growing practices, including spray techniques and machinery options, have been interesting him for some time.
Mr Smith said his 17 hectare plantation is now thirty years old and had been laid out by the original owner in a traditional tight row spacing.
“The challenge I faced was getting sprays up into the canopy,” he said.
Mr Smith said this was the motivation for purchasing new spray equipment, specifically a Silvan cannon jet sprayer with a 2000 litre capacity spray tank.
“I wanted to get the spray mist well into the canopy,” he said.
Silvan spraying product specialist David Carr said growers looking to spray aged macadamia trees required a sprayer with increased air speed and a more directed spray plume than standard air assist units have traditionally provided.
“The Silvan cannon jet sprayer fulfils this objective with a 450mm twin turbine fan that delivers medium volumes of air at a significantly increased speed and directed by the cannon’s chute up into the tallest canopy of the trees,” he said.
“With hydraulic adjustment of the chute angle the airstream can be easily directed into the densest part of the tree where the coverage is essential for maximum pest and disease control.
“The Silvan Cannon Jet is also fitted with adjustable cannon-type nozzles in the top of the chute with three nozzles in a removable panel on the side of the chute for coverage of the lower foliage.
“The adjustable cannon nozzles form a narrow stream of spray which is carried in the airstream from the fan into the canopy.”