Optimised spraying with Kverneland iXtrack T6

At Charlottenlunds Gård in Sweden, Landén Agro's new sprayer, Kverneland iXtrack T6, has worked over 3000 hectares since March. Max Landén gives both the sprayer and the contact with the dealer, Knickarps Bil & Traktor, top marks.

Optimised spraying with Kverneland iXtrack T6

When Landén Agro's previous sprayer approached 40,000 hectares, it was time for an update. When Knickarps Bil & Maskin visited the farm on another matter, the question of a new sprayer came up and Max Landén decided quite quickly.

- "We had imported a sowing machine for beet from Germany and had some questions about it. Although we had never bought from Knickarp, they came out and helped us. We just wanted their comments and the fact that they then went out and helped us is really good service. Our old sprayer was acting up at the end and when I asked Knickarp if they had another one to sell, it turned out that they had a ready-made one in stock," he says.

Just looking at pictures and film clips of the sprayer was enough to make the deal and the sprayer was delivered to the farm in March this year.

- "It has been very easy to learn, no problem at all to familiarise yourself with the menus and functions. We have had a good instructor from the dealer as well," says Max. 

530 hectares of arable farming

Max Landén leases Charlottenlund Farm's 530 hectares of arable land outside Ystad on the south coast of Skåne together with his father and younger brother in the company Landén Agro AB. They grow beet, barley, rape and wheat in a five-year rotation. The Landéns' collaboration with the owners, originally the Danish Lachmann family, goes back a long way. In 1948, Max's grandfather became head of crop production on the farm. In 1985, Max's father Per took over the same role, and in 2016 the Landéns bought all the machinery and the growing crops and became tenants.

The landscape is hilly and the farm's land ranges from topsoil to stiff clay on the slopes. The farm centre is just under a kilometre from the coast and its proximity to the sea means that the climate is generally slightly cooler than further inland.

- This is often an advantage, but in the autumn it can be a disadvantage as the mist from the sea arrives earlier. "We can rarely thresh later than eight, half past eight in the evening. It gets so damp in the depressions that it is hardly possible to drive. Otherwise it works well with the crops we grow now. Wheat works very well and so does the rape. The dry springs in recent years are causing problems for the spring crops, but that has been the case everywhere in Sweden. For us, especially the barley was really bad. The dry springs will be a challenge in the future," says Max.

Good harvest despite difficult summer

Despite the difficult weather for plant cultivation this summer, he is relatively satisfied with the harvest.

- "We down here in the south should not complain. Sure, the spring-sown crops haven't looked so good, but compared to other parts of the country that have had floods and all that, we've had it much better than most," he says.

Almost all crops have been sown in the autumn. Around 100 hectares of beet and 80-90 hectares of barley are sown in the spring. Last autumn there was an experiment to sow spring barley in October, inspired by southern Germany and Austria where this is not uncommon.

- "We tried it on six or seven hectares and it yielded up to one and a half times more than the spring-sown barley and was more stable in terms of protein content. In fact, we are going to test on a larger area this autumn. This year, the drought came at exactly the wrong time and was hard on the spring-sown grain. If you can save some by sowing in the autumn, it is worth trying. Such projects are fun," says Max.


Cleaning in the field

Landén Agro's new Kverneland iXtrack T6 was almoust ready for use upon delivery. The only modification was to rebuild the ramp to 32 metres to accommodate the eight-metre seed drill and 16-metre roller. The tank volume is 6400 litres and the fresh water reserve tank is 600 litres. Part of Kverneland's iXclean Pro solution with fully automatic electric valve management is the rinsing and cleaning programme that washes and cleans all lines.

- "Being able to run the cleaning programme in the field is a very nice feature that has worked very well. We didn't have that on the previous sprayer," says Max.

The hilly landscape places high demands on the sprayer, both to get a good spraying result and for safety.

- "We have a height difference of up to 28 metres in the same field and on our slopes the automatic ramp system is fantastic. Sensors detect how close to the crop the boom is and the different sections adjust the distance to the exact distance I have chosen. The sprayer also has quite a low centre of gravity and feels very stable, even with a full tank. "We have places where we have driven and tipped over machines before, but with this sprayer you never feel afraid that something like that will happen.

Overcapacity in the machine park

Simplicity is something Max comes back to again and again when he talks about the iXtrack T6.

- "My father is 66 years old now and when we were going to buy a new sprayer, he was a bit worried about how to familiarise himself with all the new features. Even he has said that it is very logical and easy to learn. The same goes for filling the sprayer - it takes a lot to get it wrong. Reading the fields into the GPS system is also very easy. The service really consists mostly of lubricating the joints and the lubrication points are easy to access. The information about the map and the sprayer is on the same screen, which also simplifies things," he says.

With the new sprayer in place, Landén Agro has an overcapacity in the machine park, but it can be valuable in the future considering how the climate develops.

- "Now we can spray the entire autumn wheat crop of 200-250 hectares in one day without any problems if we have to. We have machines now so we can do the job quickly if necessary. And when you gain the trust of the people you buy the equipment from, you dare to work that way. Many had to learn from how Knickarp's Bil & Traktor works, with customer contact and warehouse staff, for example. The contact with Knickarp works very well and with such service they also win new customers," says Max.

Want to speak to a specialist?

E-Mail Simon Wills, Kverneland Crop Care specialist: info-uksales@kvernelandgroup.com

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