has sold its 1000th sprayer in the UK and Ireland, to Hertfordshire arable farmer Jimmy Hunter. A full-specification 5430i self-propelled machine supplied by local dealer J E Buckle Engineers of Maulden in Bedfordshire, who became part of the Tuckwell Group in March this year, was handed over to the Hunter family at the dealership this summer.
Based at Pursley Farm in Shenley, Hertfordshire, J S Hunter & Sons Ltd is a family run arable enterprise growing 3000ac of combinable crops across 12 farm units, including wheat, oats, oilseed rape and beans. The Hunters have been customers of John Deere
and Buckles for more than 20 years, since they bought their first tractor, a 3650, at the Hertfordshire Show.
The new 5430i, their third self-propelled machine but their first from John Deere, replaces an 840i trailed model. It joins a tractor fleet that includes a 6506 (used for hedgecutting), a 6920S, two 6930s and two tracked models equipped with John Deere’s AutoTrac automatic steering system, an 8400T and a new 8345RT.
The sprayer features John Deere’s automated i-Solutions spraying package, which includes BoomTrac boom height control, Sprayer Pro section control, the SolutionCommand rinsing and dilution system, FieldDoc documentation and AutoTrac automatic steering.
“With an increasing acreage across the various farms we own and manage, we have more to harvest these days and we are particularly busy through the summer and autumn,” says Jimmy Hunter, who farms with his father Stewart, brother John and their children Hamish, Eveey, Hugh, Sion and Charles.
“Replacing the trailed sprayer with a self-propelled model frees up a tractor for harvest, and the extra clearance also means we can reduce damage in our break crops, particularly when turning at the headlands. In addition, everything on the sprayer is made by John Deere, which makes things a lot more straightforward when it comes to parts and service, and we can call on product specialists for advice or assistance at any time.
“I like the technology on John Deere
sprayers too, the ‘i’ package is very useful – once it’s been set up correctly, you can rely on the sprayer to do exactly what you programme it to do, to a high degree of accuracy. You can be confident it won’t spray over boundaries, for example, and it will always apply the right amount of chemical with the right amount of water.
“The FieldDoc automatic documentation system linked to Farmade’s Gatekeeper software also means I can aim for a completely paperless office system, which will make all the necessary record keeping much more efficient.”
The farm has been using John Deere’s AMS GreenStar precision farming technology for about six years, so the sprayer’s AutoTrac system will be making its own contribution to less driver fatigue and increased accuracy in the field. “You can work for longer, and concentrate on other things in the cab without worrying about veering off line all the time,” Jimmy adds. “The combination of the latest technology, a knowledgeable and experienced dealership and fast parts and service back-up made the whole package very attractive.”