Home' Smart Farmer : September 2012 Contents By DAVID EAST
CHEMICAL wiping as a means of non-
selective weed control for later in the
season is growing in popularity.
It is based on the principle of wiping
(and/or brushing) a non-selective herbicide
directly onto unwanted tall weed plants that
stand above crops and pastures.
Wick wipers, as they were then called, first
became available in the 1980s but never sold
in marketable quantities.
They had poor chemical regulation systems
that, in many cases, restricted their applica-
tion on target plants.
Chemical delivery to the wick was by gravi-
ty feed and because of the lack of feed regula-
tion and controls, the wicks suffered problems
of chemical starvation in heavy-infestation
work when chemical replenishment to the
wick was not quick enough or sufficient.
Dirt and dust blocking pores of the wick
prevented sufficient chemical transfer and in
some instances, the wicks became over satu-
rated, causing chemical to drip onto the crop
The design of weed wipers have changed
dramatically since those early units.
Most are now fitted with electric pumps and
hydraulic height control for the more accurate
herbicide placement and application, and
available in working widths that make them
suitable for broadacre cropping and pasture.
Weed wipers are broadly divided into six
• Rope wick
• Blanket or sponge
• Rotary/roller (covered with upholstery or
• PVC piping and canvas
• Weeping hose
One of the more popular weed wipers today
is the sponge type applicator.
This machine comprises a sponge that is
either gravity or pressure-fed -- depending on
its working width -- with dilute herbicide
The chemical mix comes out of the sponge
only when it comes into contact with plants,
affecting only the touched plants.
Its big claim, other than its overall effective-
ness, is that it is effective even if you are using
only low volumes of herbicide.
It can provide additional options for weed
control that avoids using selective herbicides
in exchange for low-cost, drift-free, non-selec-
tive herbicide use.
Weed wiping is also seen as another man-
agement tool for avoiding herbicide resistance
in some continuous cropping systems.
Advocates for weed wiping say the system
can be successfully used in any crop situation
with a height difference of about 10 centime-
tres between the target weed and the crop.
Weed wiping is generally carried out at
speeds between 10 kilometres an hour and
15km/hr and can be carried out in relatively
'breezy' conditions without the worries of
20 SmartFarmer •
Wipe out weed pests
Low cost non-selective herbicides
Simple equipment, easy application
SMALL and lifestyle landholders have a good
range of products to choose from in their battle
against unwanted weeds, particularly summer
The companies mentioned here specialise in
supplying whole-goods equipment and compo-
nents for the do-it-yourself landholders to build
their own spray equipment.
Silvan Australia, with its range of whole-goods
and Selecta range of pak sprayers and acces-
sories, claims to be a one-stop-shop for all
Its product range includes Spotpak, RakPak
and Trolleypak sprayers with tanks of 50-litre
and 200L capacity and ATV-mounting tanks with
a capacity of 50L to 70L which can be supplied
with a choice of boom styles, lancer and/or spray
Lightfoot trailer sprayers with tank capacities
from 100L to 300L and equipped with either
fixed or folding booms up to 4 metres wide
complete the ATV range of sprayers.
Shield, stripper and shielded dome sprayers
for minimum drift problems are available as
hand-operated or PTO-operated units.
Chaplin hand spot sprayers and Condor knap-
sacks with capacities from 7L to 11L and
ropewick applicators are also part of the Selecta
For the DIY inclined, the Silvan Selecta range
of components include 12, 24 and 240-volt
diaphragm and centrifugal pumps, nylon roller
pumps, chemical inductors and extends to spray-
guns and lancers, hosereels, filters, and connec-
All tanks are either UV tuff polly or fibreglass
and all spray Paks are supplied with battery-
powered diaphragm pumps.
Croplands Equipment and its associated
Sprayshop store offer a complete range of spray
units and Optima components and accessories,
from tractor-mounted Agripak units through to
Described as being ideal for pasture spaying
and in vineyards and orchards, Agripak sprayers
are available with 500L and 700L tanks with
boom sizes up to 10m.
Trailer sprayers with folding booms, suitable
for towing behind ATVs and light vehicles, are
available with 200L and 450L tanks, as is a
range of ATV tank mounts which can be sup-
plied with a range of spot lances and hand-held
The Optima range includes a range of Agrimex
and Pakman knapsacks and pump-up sprayers.
For the DIY minded, the Optima range of
accessories include Flojet pumps, 12-volt regula-
tor kits, hose reels and tanks of various capaci-
Enviromist Industries offers a slightly more
'upmarket' range of shield and dome type
sprayers, suitable tractor attachment and mount-
ing on ATVs.
Accessories available with Enviromist sprayers
include spot-spraying kits, hose reels, pressure
nozzle booms and pump kits.
Hardi Australia offers an extensive range of
smaller equipment, from knapsacks and pres-
surised hand sprayers through to 12-volt multi-
pack sprayers and swift compact units for
towing behind ride-on mowers or mounting on
-- DAVID EAST
Specialists offer DIY spraying kits
The design of weed wipers have
changed dramatically since the
wick wipers of the 1980s.
RURAL INDUSTRY SPECIALS
Providing you with a
while working in
Phone: (08) 8351 9222
Fax: (08) 8351 9280
1800 305 564
... SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL
so ask them about our:
Rechargable tractor cab
filter unit for spray-rigs
Reconditioning of your
service the sp
we are using
required to t
of chemical ex
It won't take
one in the photo above. If you allow your fil-
ter to get clogged with dust you will be seri-
ously compromising the ability of the filter to
continue to work, if work at all, putting the
chemical users into a false sense of security.
Ultrasafe filters exceed the standard ASAE
S525 and to help in maintaining every filter to
this standard, we supply a
with all new and
reconditioned filters sent out, this is to help
assist the operator in maintaining an accurate
record of the usage and hours each filter has
been used for.
Carbon filters have a limited life span and in
time must be replaced or if possible recondi-
tioned. You have two options when recondi-
tioning your filter. You can purchase a DIY kit
but it's highly recommended that any recondi-
tioning of the filter be completed by Ultrasafe
to maintain the ASAE S525 standard they are
By using the Ultrasafe Detoxifying Carbon
Filter, and maintaining it to the high standard
it is manufactured to, spray operators are able
to experience a cleaner air-working environ-
ment inside the tractor cab or spray rig, whilst
Ultrasafe stock a wide range of filters, ready
for same day dispatch. We can also manufac-
ture filters to your specific requirements. Our
filters are sold Australia wide and overseas
through a network of machinery dealers with
an overnight airfreight service. Our knowledge
along with our dealer network is there to help
and support you in your local town.
For further information go to
www.ultrasafe.com.au or contact us on 08 8351
9222 for your nearest dealer.
Carbon Filters --
Maintenance is a
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