Avocados in great shape with Croplands Cropliner

May 2023

Croplands Customer Story Goerge Loffler
George Loffler of Loffler Fresh, Ramco SA takes delivery of his Croplands Cropliner 4000. Pictured with Crolands Horticulture Lead and Territory Manager, Andrew Germein

Croplands is helping a busy family business in South Australia reach its full potential.

The Loffler family’s farm in Ramco is called Loffler Fresh. It has 12 ha of avocados and 3 ha of macadamia nuts.

George Loffler and his wife, Sheree, their four daughters and Sheree’s father pack all their own fruit. They sell 50,000 trays of avocados a year.

Producing that much fruit is only possible with their Cropliner XL 4000 tree crop sprayer.

George says there are few pests where they farm in the Riverland region, so insecticides are not vital. What is vital is a plant growth regulator.

The timing and coverage of that spray is critical. It is worth a lot in your pocket, because if it is done right, the plant puts the energy into the fruit and not into growth of the tree. It fills out the fruit and helps hold it on the tree.

George Loffler, Loffler Fresh, Ramco SA

Growth regulators are contact sprays and avocados are tall, vigorous trees. The problem had always been to get full coverage with the regulator up into the upper canopy. George had been searching for a sprayer which could achieve this.

In mid-2022, Andrew Germein from Croplands demonstrated a Cropliner at George’s neighbour’s place.

“The critical height is the tops where the fruit sits. The coverage was amazing. The litmus paper was covered in dots. I said, ‘I want one’.”

George had considered a tower sprayer like the Croplands Quantum, but that would have involved a massive pruning programme because the trees grow across the rows. Instead their 100hp skinny, curvy tractor now eases through the trees, towing the “crop friendly” 4000-litre Cropliner sprayer.

“It follows nicely behind the tractor and it has rounded edges so doesn’t damage the trees.”

The Cropliner XL 4000 has a 4000-litre polyethylene tank. There are smaller models with 1500, 2000 or 3000-litre tanks.

George had first considered a 3000-litre; but the extra capacity allows him to do a 2.4-ha block with one tank.

He usually sprays between 4 and 5 kph. “I was amazed at how quickly I could get through a 6-acre block. It is more than twice as quick as the last sprayer and much more productive.”

Speed matters because there are limited opportunities to spray due to the wind.

“The faster we can get through a block, then the more spraying we can do in the morning.”

Filling the Cropliner is quick and easy. It can take in water through the top fill or through fast fill connections at ground level. A chemical probe inducts chemicals out of containers on the ground.

“You don’t have to handle chemicals or lift anything above your head.”

It has an 80-litre flushing tank and a 15-litre fresh water tank.

George likes good machinery, and expects to look after it. “I make sure it is cleaned out properly before putting it away. The flushing tank is a bonus.”

Cropliners use a Fieni DSV fan. There are two fan sizes, 920 mm or 1060 mm. The Lofflers chose the bigger version.

“The 1060 fan moves the leaves, which enables it to achieve this kind of coverage. I have never seen anything like it. It can blow trees two rows across.”

When he is spraying 8m trees he can see the spray shooting over the top. He has looked for tree damage, but there is none.

Cropalnds Cropliner XV in citrus orchard
Cropliner XV with 1060mm FIeni fan in action in a citrus grove

“The fan has two speed settings. We use the slower speed on the younger trees, which are 3m or 4m tall. We are getting good penetration and saving on fuel.”

He also uses the slower setting on taller trees that have been well pruned.

The standard pump on a Cropliner XL 4000 is an Annovi Reverberi BHS-170. George chose to go higher spec and got the AR BHS-200 which pumps 194 litres/min at a maximum pressure of 50 bar.

It comes with two sets of nozzles – 30 stainless steel with brass cores and 30 Albuz ceramic hollow cones.

Another bonus is how easy the Cropliner is to use and control with the HV-4000 spray controller.

“Once you are in it, you follow your nose, and it is all automatic. It is simple to set up and gives plenty of options.”

With his previous sprayer there were lots of calculations to make to get the correct rate. With the Cropliner, George enters the required rate and row spacing, and the controller factors in the tractor speed and keeps the rate constant.

“To change the rate from 2000 litres/ha to 1200 litres/ha for smaller trees is as simple as pushing a button.”

On the last row, one side can be turned off. And when turning at the head of rows everything can be flicked off with one button.

For really small trees George turns off the top nozzles. The controller figures that out too.

“It is so much easier to turn off the top four nozzles and say, ‘I want to spray at 1000 litres/ha and you work it out, Controller’.”

The Lofflers only use the Cropliner three to four times a year for the growth regulator and foliar nutrient sprays.

“Even if we only used it once a year, it would pay for itself. The fruit shape is really good,” George says.

Their Croplands dealer is Ronco Motors at Loxton. “They have been good through the whole process. Whenever we had any questions or problems, they have helped work everything out.”

George is a very happy customer. He has sprayed his own property and that of a neighbour who was having troubles accessing the tops of his trees.

“He saw that our tops were covered with spray, even through heavy foliage. He was impressed too.

“Our Cropliner has done everything we have asked of it. It is awesome. Everything I look at tells me it is doing its job. I am impressed with the whole set-up.”

If you are ever in a café in Sydney, Adelaide or Melbourne the chances are that avocado you are eating exists because of George Loffler and Croplands.

leARN mORE

Quantum Towers protect valuable crop in NSW

April 2023

Lachlan Hoskin Costa Berries
Lachlan Hoskin, Tractor Operations Co-Ordinator at Costa Berries Corindi, NSW

Costa Berries has been growing blueberries in Corindi, New South Wales for 35 years.

Lachlan Hoskin is the Tractor Operations Co-ordinator at Costa Berries’ 330-ha Corindi farm. Costa Berries is part of the Costa Group, Australia’s biggest producer of fruit and vegetables.

Costa grows a variety of berries, including blackberries and raspberries, but Lachlan specialises in blueberries.

“When they first started, growing them here, there was no blueberry industry in Australia. They developed the industry.”

Costa Berries pioneered the blueberry industry in Australia

This pioneering Corindi farm began using Croplands sprayers twenty years ago. Initially they were mixed in with other brands, but over the last ten years they have shifted to using Croplands sprayers exclusively.

Blueberries grow in rows 3m apart. The plants are on a 10-to-14 day rotation for cover spray.

Four Croplands Quantum Tower trailed sprayers work five nights a week, protecting the crop.

Behind the tank is a tower with three QM-500 fans on each side. They cover both sides of the row and give full coverage of the crop, from top to bottom.

The Quantum has six separate heads, rather than one big one. It creates a vortex that gives better coverage without the force of air, so we don’t have to blast the plants with so much air.

Lachlan Hoskin, Costa Berries, Corindi NSW

Lachlan says the blueberries are pruned to a height 1.8m, but the Quantum can be adjusted to cover up to 5m. (Another model, the Quantum Ultra Tower, has eight fans for taller trees.)

“In one night we spray blueberry bushes of different ages and stages. We try to stick with one setting, but if they are really young we can loosen a couple of bolts and adjust the angle of the fan.”

The advantages of the Quantum tower are coverage and fuel efficiency.

“The Quantum has six separate heads, rather than one big one. It creates a vortex that gives better coverage without the force of air, so we don’t have to blast the plants with so much air,” Lachlan says.

The Quantum “has a huge air flow” of 109,000m3 per hour. Lachlan does not need that much flow and can turn it down from within the cab.

“We adjust according to the different types of crops. There are different sub-variants of blueberries. Some are in the ground and are some in tunnels. We adjust the fan speed to suit.”

The litres/ha spray rate is adjustable within the cab, and either side can be switched off for the end row.

Targeted coverage

Each fan has eight ceramic, cone-jet nozzles. They can be optioned at 60 or 80 degrees. “We did coverage tests and found 80-degrees worked best for our crops.”

Lachlan says they change the nozzles every season, “whether they need it or not”.

It takes a bit of effort to block a Quantum Tower. “It has high and low pressure filters. You can block it, but it’s nothing to do with Croplands. It is the operator not mixing the chemical correctly.”

The Quantums are not fussy about the type of chemical they spray.

“Granules, liquid and powder chemical – they can take it all without problems.”

Lachlan is about to get a Venturi-based mixing station from Croplands to make it even easier for staff to mix the batches. It comes with a flush tank for easy clean-out.

Quantum Towers can be specified with a main polyethylene tank in four sizes: 4000 XL, 3000 XL and 2000 XL. The 2000-litre 2000 XL is also available as in Slimline version that is only 1.4m wide.

“We used to have a wider tank, but we have gone for the Slimline to minimise contact and damage to plants.”

The Slimlines are longer which makes them a little less manoeuvrable, but that is easy to deal with. “We normally have two machines in one block and they do every second row.”

Effortless operations

Costa Berries is a big organisation so there are many people who could be operating the sprayers.

“We do training in operation and maintenance, and they are simple to use and maintain. People get up and running quickly,” Lachlan says.

The Corindi farm has 70 ha of raspberries, which are also grown in substrates within tunnel houses. Currently Lachlan uses six Croplands CropAir air-blast sprayers to protect the raspberries. The CropAir has one big fan.

These come in a variety of sizes and Corindi uses the 1500-litre trailed models.

CropAir 1000
CropAir 1500-litre trailed – shown here in a vineyard

The CropAir sprayers do a good job on the raspberries, but Lachlan is looking at changing to the Quantum Towers for them as well.

There are two main reasons to swap to the Towers – better coverage with more fans and better fuel efficiency. “The CropAir needs more horsepower to turn that big fan.”

Costa Berries’ Croplands sales representative is Dave Farmer, who covers NSW and Tasmania.

“Dave has been servicing our farm for 20 plus years. He has been a great help over the years.

“Croplands holds parts in South Australia. They air freight them to us quickly if we ever need anything.”

Learn more about Costa Berries here.

leARN mORE

Quantum sprayer showcase at WineTech 2022

22 June 2022

For the last 50 years, Croplands has been proudly helping grape growers protect their valuable crops with a focus on designing and building innovative, environmentally sustainable sprayers.

It is this innovation that will be on display at the Croplands site at the 2022 Winetech event.

Held in conjunction with the Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, Winetech is the wine industry’s pre-eminent trade show showcasing world-leading suppliers and products from both within Australia and abroad.

At this year’s event, visitors to the Croplands site (1237) will have the opportunity to learn about our market-leading Quantum spray technology, how to calibrate your sprayer to achieve best-practice application and also get a sneak peak of the next generation Quantum sprayer which is planned for release in 2023.

Croplands Sprayer Testing

Field testing, validation and the importance of sprayer calibration.

According to crop protection suppliers and agronomy advisers, the biggest risk to failure of crop protection products and potential crop loss, is the success of the spray application. In acknowledgement of this important issue, Croplands has recently carried out an extensive vineyard sprayer model testing program. The program was conducted in both warm and cool climate regions, with independent industry involvement to ensure data integrity.

“Sprayer coverage was tested across the Quantum QM-420 and QM-500 fans to establish operating efficiencies along with specific sprayer set-ups for optimal coverage,” says Andrew Germein, Croplands Horticulture Product Lead.

“The benefit to Croplands’ customers will be immense with the extensive data collected to underpin a new catalogue of Product Operating Guides, digital material and calibration tools,”

“This will help ensure sprayers are set up to achieve optimum spray coverage and operating efficiency right from the point of delivery and throughout different growth stages.”

Best practice spraying requires best practice sprayer set up and calibration.

Croplands Horticulture Product Lead, Andrew Germein, recommends growers follow these six simple steps:

  1. Plan and assess Application, canopy stage and growth density
  2. Calibrate Spray speed, rate distribution, nozzle options and mapping
  3. Adjust Fan positioning
  4. Test Spray and record baseline result using water sensitive papers
  5. Optimise Initiate any required changes
  6. Spray with confidence
Quantum Vine Pro
Quantum Vine Pro is set for release in 2023

New concept sprayer platform coming in 2023

Croplands commitment to the development of new and sustainable technology is on-going. Work is well underway on a new concept sprayer platform that will maintain our position as the market leaders for premium vineyard sprayers.

“Obviously any new model comes with a degree of confidentiality, but we are genuinely excited with what our design team has delivered,” says Mr Germein.

“We have looked at all aspects of the viticulture industry, working parameters, customer needs and desires,”

“After what will be an extensive field testing and validation program, we expect to release the new model in early 2023 for spring 2023 delivery.”

Visit Croplands at Winetech, stand 1237 to learn more and for a sneak-peak into the future of Viticulture spraying.

EXPLORE CROPLANDS quantum vineyard range

Quantum Vine Pro

The future of Viticulture spraying is on the horizon. Quantum Vine Pro from Croplands is coming in 2023.

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Quantum Smart Spray

Our premium model vineyard sprayer, packed with new technology and innovation.

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Quantum Classic 500 Two and Three Row

Quantum Mist Classic sprayers offers a multi-row model solution fitted with the original QM-500 fans.

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Quantum 420 Two and Three Row

Featuring the new QM-420 fan with dual spray ring, these Quantum Mist sprayers take the proven formula to the next level.

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Quantum 420 Single Row

Perfect for smaller scale and estate vineyards, Quantum Mist 420 Single Row sprayers take coverage to the next level.

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Quantum 420 Linkage

Quantum Mist™ Single Row linkage sprayers are ideal for smaller vineyards or where topography means a trailed sprayer is not suitable.

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croplands horticulture range 2022

01 APril 2022

It’s been 50 years since the first Croplands sprayer made its way onto an apple orchard in New Zealand. The Croplands 50th Year Horticulture range continues to build on the promise that was set all those years ago: spraying solutions that are efficient, reliable and engineered to endure.

From the iconic Cropliner air-blast sprayer right up to the Quantum Ultra Tower and Quantum Smart Spray vineyard sprayers, the team at Croplands is always seeking to save customers time, reduce costs and maximise productivity.

Quantum Ultra Tower in citrus orchard
Quantum Ultra Tower reaches even the tallest trees.

To be the best, you need to test.

In addition to the continuous improvement of our sprayers, we also undertake extensive field testing and validation to ensure our products perform to the highest standards.

Croplands Horticulture Product Lead, Andrew Germein, believes strongly in the need to test and validate.

“When is comes to disease control in vineyards and orchards, spray coverage are performance efficiency are key,” he says.

“To assess the performance of Croplands sprayers, we have recently embarked on an extensive sprayer testing program,”

“Conducted with independent industry involvement to ensure integrity, sprayer coverage was tested and validated for a number of Croplands models and fan types,” says Mr Germein.

Croplands Horticulture Testing and Validation
Croplands have recently embarked on a sprayer testing and validation program.

The benefit to Croplands’ customers will be immense as the extensive data collected will underpin a new catalogue of Product Operating Guides, digital materials, and tools.

View 2022 Croplands HORTICULTURE Spray RangeS

Vineyard Guide

Tree Crop Guide

EXPLORE CROPLANDS HORTICULTURE FAN SPRAYERS

Quantum Vineyard Sprayers

The ultimate performer in grapes. Available in single, two or three row spraying configurations.

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Quantum Tower Sprayers

Fitted with market-leading Quantum Mist fans, these tower sprayers set the standard in tree spraying.

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Cropliner Trailed Sprayers

Conventional air-blast sprayer design, available in a range of models.

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Quantum Smart Spray brings speed and smarts to SA vineyards

21 October 2021

Croplands Quantum - Steve Liebich
Steve Liebich has already put his new Quantum Mist Smart Spray to work

Brothers Dave, Chris and Steve are the guys behind Liebich Family Vineyards, which owns vineyards along the Murray River around Cadell and Taylorville in South Australia.

Their eight vineyards produce 14 different varieties of wine grapes.

The brothers bought their first Quantum Mist vineyard sprayer 10 years ago. They updated it five years later, and then, in 2020, they purchased their first Quantum Mist Smart Spray.

Croplands Quantum Mist Smart Spray
Quantum Smart Spray is available in two or three-row options

Quantum Mist Smart Spray vineyard sprayers are available in two or three-row options and the Liebich family chose a three-row version.
The Smart Spray has a 4000-litre tank and a new heavy duty boom design for multi-row spraying. Each dropper arm on the boom is fitted with three hydraulically-driven QM-420 fans.

Specifically designed for sprawl and vigorous canopies, three fans per row achieve comprehensive canopy penetration and industry-leading coverage.

New row width boom sensors ensure the boom and fan frames are precisely positioned in the row. Each QM-420 fan is fitted with dual spray rings with five nozzles fitted on each ring. This gives a total of 10 nozzles for maximum spray rate flexibility.

Although most row widths across the Liebich operation are 3.35m, the new boom can be set from 2.5-3.6m by re-setting the in-cab Fusion controller. Steve Liebich says some of the vineyards are on single wires.

We can direct the fans to the single wire and turn off the fans we don’t need. This minimises waste and directs all the spray to where it is needed in the canopy.

Steve Liebich, Liebich Family Vineyards SA

With the new Fusion controller, Steve can perform all required adjustments from the cab including rate, row width, fan speeds and boom height giving him total control from the tractor seat.

“For example, if we are going from small canopies to large canopies, we can increase the rate at the push of a button,” he says.

By simply changing from Tier 1, 2 or 3 on the Fusion controller the sprayer operator can spray a low, medium or higher rate using the new touch screen controller.

“It’s quite handy. Some grape varieties are more prone to powdery mildew, and we can just hit them harder without changing nozzles.”

Croplands QM-420 Fan
QM-420 fans are fitted with dual spray rings for maximum spray rate flexibility

Generally the vines are sprayed at least every 14 days, although in some seasons it is more often.

By moving up to a three-row Quantum Mist sprayer, they can now cover a vineyard quicker. Steve says by using less diesel, they are more environmentally friendly.

“The speed and efficiency of our new Quantum Mist Smart Spray allows us to cover the ground quicker, knowing coverage hasn’t been compromised,” Steve says.

Quantum Mist Smart Sprays have upwind and downwind compensation. This new feature allows the left and right facing fans on the sprayer to operate at different speeds. This is great for combatting cross winds and minimising spray drift.

Fusion Controller
Quantum Fusion controller features full colour touchscreen and integrated joystick control

The new Fusion controller system uses a full colour touchscreen and integrated joystick control.

“We like the adaptability and ease of operation. It is easy to drive, so operators have less fatigue, especially when they spray at night.”

Working speeds with the Quantum Mist vary depending on the grape variety and the type of canopy. It can be up to 10 kph if rain is threatening and they need to get on with it. Usually they work at a slower speed, and with full season canopies this could be as slow at 5-6kph.

Dealer Stuart McKay from McKay’s Auto and Ag Centre in Waikerie, SA helped set up the family’s Quantum Mist Smart Spray and he has given great support service.

McKay’s Auto Centre stocks most parts, and the Croplands factory in Adelaide is only 90 minutes away if anything further is required.
Steve says the Smart Spray was only released last year, but it has already attracted interest from neighbours.

I have had other growers ask me how it’s going. We must be happy as we are buying another one. We will have two operating this year. We like to keep on top of the new technology.

leARN mORE

Croplands spray controller technology

25 May 2021

Croplands Quantum Mist Fusion Controller
Fusion controller – standard on Croplands premium Quantum Mist Smart Spray grape sprayer

At Croplands, we recognise the important role that spray rate controllers play in accurate spray application.

Spray rate controllers have long been acknowledged as essential in achieving accurate application when spraying wine grapes.

Like all technologies, spray controller capabilities are rapidly evolving to meet customer demands and industry requirements. 

Andrew Germein, Croplands Horticulture Product Lead

Coverage mapping or “proof of placement” is becoming more common across the viticulture industry.

Fusion Controller
Fusion controller – full colour touchsreen and integrated joystick

In 2019 Croplands released a new Fusion control system which is standard on its Premium Smart Spray model range.

Using a colour touch screen and integrated electronic joystick, the Fusion controls both sprayer and hydraulic functions eliminating the need for multiple control boxes in the cab.

A NuPoint 850 data management system can be added to record spray coverage and rate applied at travel speed.

This data collected forms the basis of an electronic spray diary, with the business manager able to generate spray jobs which are sent to the operator’s smart phone.

Arag IBX-100

Released for 2021 is the ARAG IBX-100 ISOBUS controller system.

It too controls spray and hydraulic functions, can map spray coverage and auto section control if suitably optioned.

early order program

21 April 2021

Croplands Horticulture sprayers deliver unparalleled coverage, performance and reliability.

And with the extension of the instant asset write-off, there has never been a better time to invest in the market-leading quality of a Quantum Mist, Cropliner or CropAir sprayer.

The instant asset write-off program has driven unprecedented early demand for Croplands horticutural sprayers.

Andrew Germein, Croplands Horticulture Product Lead

In addition to the instant asset write-off, early order incentives are also on offer from your local Croplands dealer.

If you’re looking to upgrade, don’t delay – order now to take advantage of the early order incentives and secure your sprayer for the new spray season.

Cropliner 2000 delivers great coverage for Hop Products Australia

18 December 2019

Dale Gilber, Bushy Park Estates Farm Manager, taking delivery of HPA’s new Cropliner 2000 with 920mm DSV fan

Hop Products Australia (HPA) is the largest hop grower in Australia. With 390 hectares of hops at their Bushy Park Estates farm in Tasmania and another 510 hectares at Rostrevor Hop Gardens on the mainland of Australia, HPA hops are purchased by brewers from all over Australia and as well as being exported around the globe.

When it comes to spray application, HPA rely on Croplands sprayers to deliver great coverage with ease.

At the Bushy Park Estates farm, HPA have been using Croplands Cropliner sprayers for over 20 years and they have recently taken delivery of a new Cropliner Slimline 2000L with 920 DSV fan – purchased through Rhiannon Denney at the team at Spray Shop Tasmania.

Dale Gilbert, Bushy Park Estates Farm Manager, likes the Croplands product for its ease of use and great coverage throughout the season.

As hops grow up strings, it can be difficult to get correct coverage when in full canopy. The Cropliner with 920 DSV fan does this with ease.

Dale Gilbert, Bushy Park Estates TAS

 All of HPA’s sprayers are fitted with HV 2400 Croplands auto rate controllers as well as Self Tracking drawbars.

What are hops?

Hops 3

Hops are the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant. They are used primarily as a bittering, flavouring, and stability agent in beer, to which, in addition to bitterness, they impart floral, fruity, or citrus flavours and aromas.

HPA handle around 90% of the hops grown in Australia, about 1% of the world’s production.

learn more

Gibb Bros increase spray capacity with new Bargam Fox

24 July 2019

Gibb Bros taking delivery of their new Bargam Fox

Gibb Bros is a third generation, vegetable farming business based in South East Queensland. The company farms across several sites, including the fertile Fassifern Valley and the rich plains of the Darling Downs, near Toowoomba.

Following a recent acquisition of additional land, Gibb Bros had the need to add a new sprayer to their fleet. Having purchased a Bargam Fox trailed sprayer in 2012, the team at Gibb Bros elected to purchase another of the same model, taking delivery of a new Bargam Fox 2700 trailed sprayer with 16.5 metre air boom.

Fox trailing sprayers are manufactured in Italy by the Bargam group, one of the premier sprayer manufacturers in Europe, and imported into Australia by Croplands Equipment. Well known for their variable track axle (1.5m – 2.1m) and fully galvanised, side folding hydraulic boom, the Fox is a versatile sprayer for both row and broadacre crop types.

Fitted to the two Gibb Bros sprayers are the Bargam Air Assisted Booms which make it possible to work with 6/8 m/sec strong winds, making the machine less dependent on surrounding weather conditions and significantly minimising spray drift.

These sprayers operate twelve months of the year across a wide variety of crops including lettuces, celery, kale and cabbages, often needing to move from spraying young seedlings to more mature crops within a few hours. As such, air volume and speed adjustment from the cab was a critical requirement. This is accomplished via an optional integrated ARAG control system which controls the fan speed that produces the air to the boom.

Other optional extras included electric over hydraulic in-cab switchbox and a Bravo 180S fully automatic rate controller.

related products

Trailed Sprayers

Bargam