The HARDI NAVIGATOR 4000 delivers in difficult conditions in KartalNAVIGATOR 4000 l – 24 m boom
Janos Gergely, a farmer in Kartal, Hungary bought the HARDI NAVIGATOR 4000 trailed sprayer a few weeks ago. With this newly acquired sprayer, he can do the work more efficiently and cost-effectively on his several hundred-hectare territory, where he mostly concentrates on traditional plant based agriculture. For eight years, before getting the new machine, his farm was already using a HARDI sprayer, which the seller accounted for in the price. In Nograd County, using precise and appropriate machinery is especially important, since weeds present a major problem from year to year, and terrain conditions are not ideal either. However, in a place where HARDI proved itself over eight years, no serious technical problem should emerge in the next eight years, either.
Describe your land on which you cultivate your plants.
For the most part, we cultivate large fields, about 40-50 hectares each. This one of the reasons we chose the 4000-liter HARDI sprayer. As for the terrain, you rarely find any flat areas; we work almost entirely in hilly conditions. Our soil isn’t the best either. In the Kartal region, the part where the Hatvan plains extend is okay, but in the Nograd region, our soil is acidic, clay-like, clumpy and difficult to cultivate. Under these conditions, farming is very expensive; we use more pesticide and fertilizer than in other regions. And because of elevation variations, we have to buy the more expensive and bigger machines, not to mention fuel costs. So we have to be especially careful and thorough in our investments.
“We’ve already noticed that the new HARDI sprayer is more cost-effective” Janos Gergely
Are weeds a big problem, too?
We have a lot of weeds of all kinds; in this respect Nograd County is in terrible condition. One reason is that this region is where the cooperative farms first began to fall apart, and where the farming was first discontinued. A great deal of land was neglected for decades. On some hectares that I just acquired I will have to use broad-range herbicides for years, until the soil becomes usable. Overall we have to use a lot of herbicides - in some cases a single plot has to be sprayed twice. To achieve this, precision and efficiency is key.
Which accessories did you HARDI sprayer come with?
We asked for an HC 8600 monitor, GPS AutoSectionControl, and AG Leader guidance system, but I already know this won’t be enough. For our terrain, we also need an ultrasonic height-regulating system for our sprayer. There are many creeks and wild boar digs the driver can’t see. On steep terrain, you must look out in the turns, to avoid one of the outer parts getting caught in the ground. This system will help eliminate human error. For the same reason, we plan to install an RTK system for automatic navigation. Our HARDI NAVIGATOR 4000 came with a 24-meter boom and 4000 litre tank, to which we added a 10 000 litre tanker to improve our efficiency. In choosing our tires, we also considered our terrain: we asked for wide tires for greater stability.
Are you satisfied with your efficiency?
Basically yes, because the boom is now 24 meters instead of 18; we don’t have to stop as often thanks to the size of the tank, and even at a speed of 12 km/h, we do precise work with the help of our 160 LE tractor. This is the most important thing, because the right weather conditions for spraying are becoming less frequent, so our opportunities are limited. If it’s not raining, it’s windy. But given our weed situation we can’t skip the herbicide treatment.
Do you expect your expenses to drop?
We’ve already noticed that the new HARDI sprayer is more cost-effective, mostly because of its GPS AutoSectionControl, which our old sprayer didn’t have. With the 18-meter boom, we could only manually handle three sections, compared to the six sections we do now. In the past, no matter how hard we tried to do precise work, a human being could not see where chemicals had been sprayed and where they haven’t. In many instances, we could’ve turned off several nozzles, but we didn’t, and on a big plot that meant a lot of wasted money. The GPS AutoSectionControl prevents this. Fuel costs savings are also significant, because our area-based efficiency is greater, and stopping is less frequent because of the bigger tank. We also save money because we don’t have to mix that often.
What average production yield can you achieve in these conditions?
Last year the winter wheat yield was 5-6 metric tons, while sunflower seeds were 3.8 metric tons per hectare. This is a very good result in Nograd County. Rapeseed was 3.4 metric tons, while durum wheat was 6 metric tons. All in all, last year was a great year, and luckily, this year had a great start too, although we face major challenges in the area of crop protection.
As for prices, oil seeds get a good price, but wheat prices are going down. But we depend on Gyermelyi Zrt., with whom we have a contract, and they have been great partners so far. Durum cultivation requires a learning curve, but after that, it becomes profitable. There is tremendous potential in it if you have the right partner. Gyermelyi is always very helpful, and they always pay on time. If we had a few more mills like this in the country, farmers would be in a much better position.
We have talked about weeds, crop protection and the fact that under these conditions only the best equipment will ensure successful and efficient farming, the reason why you bought the HARDI NAVIGATOR 4000 sprayer. Why did you choose this brand?
We looked at many sprayers at AGROmashEXPO in Budapest this year, but the decision wasn’t hard to make. For one thing, we knew HARDI already, because for eight years we worked with an TR 2000, which we bought second-hand. This was a 2000-liter model, which we used to spray several thousand hectares. During this time, we only had to change a pump membrane once. We loved its performance and durability, but we wanted to up the capacity. Agroázis Kft. The local HARDI dealer gave us a trade-in price based on their confidence that they could soon resell it. This is the best brand guarantee we could ask for.
Of course, the price was important too. As I mentioned, we looked at the market very carefully, requested price quotes, but at the end Agroázis met all our requirements.
As you mentioned, you bought your sprayer from Agroázis Kft. What is your relationship with them?
Even with our old HARDI sprayer, we needed very few parts and repairs, but I can tell you that Agroázis Kft is a very flexible and dependable firm. Right after we bought it, the new machine had a little accident because of our terrain, but we didn’t have to wait long, the new part arrived the next day. When they delivered the new sprayer, they gave our driver a one-day training session where he learned everything he needed, and ever since then, he loves our new HARDI sprayer.