Next generation flexible hooded sprayer debuts

  • First reveal of Flexi Hood from Garford Farm Machinery – the new innovation in hooded spray applications

A new flexible hooded sprayer concept that incorporates floating side shields with a flexible fabric membrane, was debuted by Garford Farm Machinery at Cereals and will then be on show at Groundswell 2024, offering maximum precision at high work rates, for a variety of crop applications.

Initially developed at the request of tree growers, looking for a hooded sprayer for weed control that would go through the very narrow spacings between saplings in the rows, the Flexi Hood has been designed with a spray band width that can be adjusted down to 90mm.

“It allows us to go much narrower than we ever have before, and also gives us greater clearance between the hoods for the crop to go through,” explains Allan Knight, Garford Farm Machinery’s technical sales and marketing manager.

“This makes it an attractive proposition for a number of crop applications, from saplings and root crops to fresh produce, salads and herbs and even bulbs,” he adds.

Using a flexible fabric membrane at the centre part of the assembly, attached to a pair of Garford side shields, the Flexi Hood prevents droplets from dissipating onto the crop, without the constraints of a plastic or metal hood.

The side shields can float independently, working to the contours of the ground, and the fabric bellows can flex to that independent movement to ensure the best possible seal, while a spring wire skeleton supports the structure of the fabric cover and maintains the integrity of the hood.

“This has enabled us to reduce crop clearance by half, from 200mm to 100mm, and the Flexi Hood can also be used in raised bed or flat-bed situations,” explains Mr Knight.

Advanced mechanical weed control products

The new Flexi Hood concept will be on show at Cereals (stand 811) and Groundswell (stand DN1), alongside Garford’s range of technologically advanced mechanical weed control products, including its Robocrop Precision Guide Hoes, InRow Weeders and standard Hooded Sprayers.

With over 20 years of hoeing experience, and having brought many innovations to market, from the Robocrop vision guidance system to the compact hydraulic side shift mechanism, the Robocrop Side Shift, Garford is recognised as the industry leader in precision mechanical weed control.

Garford’s Robocrop guidance system allows for accurate and efficient hoeing and chemical application for both in row and inter-row weed management and prevention control. The system uses video cameras and image analysis computers to locate crop position and then guide the hoes quickly and accurately.

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Latest technology on display in Sprays and Sprayers Arena at Cereals 2024