James therefore fitted the sprayer with the latest Norac UC7 Total Control kit. Additional support during the installation was also provided by Chris Limb of LH Agro who upgraded the operating software within the sprayer’s Topcon Apollo ECU so that it could be controlled by the John Deere spray tractor’s existing ISOBUS terminal.
“According to James and Chris the install was a relatively straightforward process which only took a day or so for them to complete,” Ed explains. “It made no sense for me to give myself a headache by trying to work out how to get the sprayer, boom levelling system and tractor to talk to each other, so I handed everything over to the experts and let them get on with it.
“Throughout the entire process, it was refreshing to see four different companies – Ridgeway Sprayers, LH Agro, Chafer and Hunt Forest (my local John Deere dealership) – all working together to make sure the sprayer was ready as quickly as possible,” Ed continues.
With the upgrades complete, the sprayer is working exactly as Ed had hoped: “We only started using it part-way through the spring so it’s still too early to tell just how much the new sprayer is saving us in terms of inputs and time, but from the outset it was very clear that the boom levelling system is resulting in improved target contact,” he explains. “It has also reduced the number of lost or damaged nozzles I’ve needed to replace which, across a 36-metre boom, can soon add up if the levelling system isn’t working properly.”
Ed also explains that driving the spray tractor is now a less stressful and tiring exercise: “Once I’ve activated the Norac system I just leave it to get on with controlling the boom height, which lets me concentrate on negotiating the farm’s various slopes and topography changes at the appropriate speed,” he describes. “I’m not necessarily covering the ground any quicker, but I’ve certainly got more mental capacity to think about other aspects of my farm management responsibilities.”
Learn more about Topcon solutions for boom height control