a new star arrives – Croplands stara

JUNE 2023

Croplands is introducing a new 4000-litre self-propelled sprayer with an innovative design that provides more stability to the boom and therefore delivers more chemical to the crop.

The Stara 4000 is built by Brazilian company Stara. It comes standard with a 36m boom, 1.6m underframe clearance, four-wheel steer and continuous recirculation and tiered booms.

Croplands national sales manager Jeremy Rennick says Stara has been in business for 60 years and is Brazil’s largest agricultural machinery manufacturer. It produces a wide range of products in addition to sprayers, including spreaders, chaser bins, planters, seeders and precision farming tools.

Stara is an impressive company. The scale of the agricultural industry in Brazil is massive, and Stara builds high-quality machines to meet its needs.

They provide very good customer support, including their own remote access system that factory technicians can use to connect to a machine to help the operator solve issues in real time.

We have done extensive testing in Australia and we are confident that the Stara will stand up to our demanding conditions. It will be a very attractive option for row crop applications, but it will also be very handy in many broadacre operations.”

Jeremy Rennick, Croplands National Sales Manager

Jeremy says one of the Stara’s unique features is the mounting system for the boom. It sits midway between the front and rear axles so, unlike a boom mounted over the rear (or front) axle, it is less affected by any up and down movements in uneven ground.
According to Stara, Brazil’s Agrarian Foundation of Agricultural Research has conducted tests that show 58 percent more of the chemical reaches the target with the Stara’s mid-mounted boom.

“The boom’s ride and the accuracy of the application are pretty amazing, and because it is mounted at the midpoint of the chassis, the operator has a much better view of the boom during work.

“Safety is another consideration and the Stara’s boom does not spray on or under the cab or chassis. The wings only spray out to the sides, and a separate boom at the rear of the machine sprays where the wheels and chassis have passed.

“Another benefit of mounting the boom in the middle of the chassis is it gives a 50-50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles. This reduces compaction, which is a major concern to many Australian farmers, and it also lowers fuel consumption,” Jeremy says.
Australian farmers and contractors often have to work on their own equipment so the fact that Stara has common running gear is a plus. It has a Cummins 6-295 CV electronic engine with a turbocharger and Rexroth hydrostatic transmission.

The spray system, the steel boom and the rigid steel chassis are all technology that Croplands is familiar with, Jeremy says.

Standard on Stara sprayers sold in Australia 1.6m underframe clearance and 3m hydraulically adjustable track widths. Jeremy says this will be the most popular specification and will handle jobs like desiccating taller crops such as sorghum and canola.
There is also the option of a hydraulic lift system that can raise the clearance height to 2m. It is ideal for spraying specialty crops such as corn or sugarcane.

With full boom recirculation, the operator can prime the system on the way to the first paddock, and with the tiered boom, the Stara is always automatically spraying at the ideal rate, no matter the forward speed.

The Stara comes standard with a Trimble GPS receiver on the roof, and Stara’s telemetry system for remote monitoring and troubleshooting.

“With the telemetry system you can either talk to a Croplands technician or a technician at the Stara factory. It can also be used to send assignments to the spray operator,” Jeremy says.

“Stara staff have been in Australia to train our technicians, and we will be holding a wide range of spare parts to back up our customers. We also have full visibility of the stock that Stara has in its warehouses.”

Croplands has been sourcing and importing the world’s best self-propelled sprayers for three decades starting with the SpraCoupe in the early 1990s. Since that time, the range has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of Australian growers.

Last year Croplands celebrated its 50 anniversary, and in its half century of involvement in the industry it has built up a depth of spraying expertise. When farmers or contractors invest in a self-propelled sprayer from Croplands they are also investing in that expertise.

Whether the issue is technology or application, the Croplands team has the experience to provide unparalleled service and ongoing technical support.

The Stara was unveiled at the Farmfest Field Days in Toowoomba in June and will also be on display at the AgQuip Field days at Gunnedah in August.


WEED-IT better for environment and bottom-line says NSW farmer

30 November 2021

WEED-IT is an important tool for controlling difficult weeds such as ryegrass, sow thistle and fleabane.

Brendon Schultz is a broadacre farmer on the Liverpool Plains in NSW in partnership with his wife Amy and father-in-law Kevin Perkins. They grow wheat, barley and sorghum.

Brendon Schultz with his WEED-IT toolbar – supplied and installed by Croplands dealer, NFS Ag

They bought their first WEED-IT in January 2020, when drought pushed them into the purchase.

“Stressed weeds are harder to kill,” Brendon says.

WEED-IT’s core feature is a series of blue LED sensors along the boom of the sprayer, which detect weeds and then sprays them – and only them. It uses a fraction of the spray compared to a traditional boom sprayer.

The saving in spray is huge. Brendon can use higher rates of more effective (and more expensive) chemicals, and still save money because he uses so much less.

We are getting coverage rates between five and eight percent of the paddock. It allows us to use higher rates that would have been cost prohibitive and we still use far less herbicide.

Brendon Schultz

“It also allowed us to use other chemistries that also would have been cost prohibitive.”

Brendon saves time with the WEED-IT because he sprays less often.

“We are not getting the escapes that didn’t get killed in the first application.”

Brendon bought the WEED-IT system of controller, sensors, nozzle bodies and solenoids, and addedthem to his existing sprayer. The boom is 12m and it is used with a 600-litre tank.

WEED-IT is a flexible system. It can be bought as an add-on, as Brendon has done, or it can be bought as a complete spray unit, and it can do both spot spraying and broadacre applications.

Some versions of WEED-IT can even do both at the same time. For example the Croplands WEED-IT trailed sprayers are complete spray units with two tanks and two regulating systems. These sprayers can apply two different sprays at different rates at the same time, one as broadacre and one as a spot sprayer.

Brendon uses his WEED-IT solely as a spot sprayer and runs a larger sprayer with a 34m boom for broadacre spraying.

WEED-IT uses blue LEDs to detect the chlorophyll in plants as blue is more sensitive than red. The blue lights can be used at night, which Brendon frequently does.

“The sensitivity is adjustable. Typically we run in the middle of the range. We know if it is misfiring if a lot of nozzles are going off, but there are not many weeds. That happens if the ground is very wet or in certain types of stubble. Then we just decrease the sensitivity.”

The spray line is 700 mm above the ground, clear of stubble, and the sensors are 1100 mm above the ground to prevent shading of weeds. Each sensor is a metre apart and controls four nozzles.

Brendon’s WEED-IT equipped sprayer

Controlling the WEED-IT is done via its own monitor, which Brendon says is easy to use.

Added to it is GPS control to prevent overlaps or missing sections.

Brendon’s dealer is NFS Ag Machinery in Gunnedah.

He says they have provided good service and can supply everything he needs.

“We had a few small issues with software and they have been quick to come out and get the machinery running again.”

Before WEED-IT, Brendon was spraying herbicides more frequently.

“Now we load up the tank with the brew and we know it is going to kill those weeds.

“The results are very good. We get it done first time in a manner that is economical.

Environmentally and economically it’s a long way in front of where we were.”