Friday, 07 August 2015 08:57

Team Leader 3 Review

Team Leader 3 Customer Review

Born to farm and trained to do it better.

Claire Murray was raised on a 250 acre farm on the border of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. By the age of 12 she was driving tractors, moving irrigators and ploughing, in her words “quite badly”!

Following a 4 year sandwich course in agricultural technology and management at Cranfield University, including a year in Australia with an agri’ research company, she took her Masters at Harper Adams in crop protection and biotechnology. Subsequently working for Dow Agri Sciences she was sponsored through her agronomy qualifications, leading to career in agronomy and, later, paddock management in Yorkshire.

She returned to East Anglia in 2009 and took advantage of the farm business tenancy scheme to acquire her own 230 acre School Farm within a short distance of her father’s farm. This works well as they work together, David Murfitt focusing on cultivation (“boring” in Claire’s mind), while she specialises in spraying and combining.

Among her initial purchases was a second hand Team trailed sprayer, built just down the road at Ely and serviced by Team. However its 20m boom didn’t match her subsequently introduced tramlining programme and she considered upgrading the boom to 24m.

This would not have been a simple fix and Team persuaded her to trade it in for a new Leader Classic with 2500 litre tank and the required boom size with triple nozzles.

Last year she replaced this model with Team’s new Leader 3 giving her 3000 litres capacity and a tracking drawbar, boom stabilisation and computerised boom switching with GPS. Its higher clearance also better suited her OSR crop.

“I admit it was daunting at first getting use to the computerised system but I soon got used to it and it now saves time” says Claire.

Claire grows a mixture of crops on her black sand soil: around 50% wheat, 30 to 40% OSR and beet, although she is taking a break from the latter and trialing potatoes and peas.

Every striving for improvement, she is participating in the Yield Enhance Network with a 13.8 Ha field of ‘Skyfall’ wheat suitable for milling or animal feed.

So far she has only suffered minor black grass infestation on the farm, initially treating it with Roundup which kept the weed at bay for 4 years. It has returned in a small area of potatoes this year but hand pulling has minimised its impact. This is bound to be an ongoing struggle as she is surrounded by farms who suffer higher levels of infestation.

Claire also grows strawberries and had doubled her output this year with the introduction of a second polytunnel, following success on the Ely fresh produce market and establishing her own on-line sales for ‘School Farm Strawberries’.

Team Leader 3

Leader 3 has been engineered to meet the rigorous demands of any farming environment. Tank capacities are 2500, 3000, 3500 and 4000Ltrs fitted with booms from 18 - 32Mtrs. The 28, 30 and 32Mtr have a triple fold design keeping the machine stable and compact for road use. Spraying can be performed with the boom part folded, ideal for field margins.

Leader 3 is available with a range of low drift air-inclusion spray tips including twin caps, particularly popular for vegetable growers. They offer a simple and compact method of all round application, combining two nozzles back to back which maintain twin application at an incline of 30 degrees before and after the boom. They can apply a higher rate with finer spray quality than a single nozzle and are ideal for potato blight fungicides and higher water rate applications in vegetable crops. Moreover they minimise drift, an increasingly important consideration.

The simple to use spray controls feature a clearly defined valve system for all spray controls making this range very operator friendly. A high quality poly’ diaphragm pump withstands any aggressive plant protection chemicals.

All models are fitted with electro-hydraulics enabling boom folding combinations while self-levelling tilt and anti yaw mechanisms increases the boom stability and therefore accuracy of the spray application. Variable boom geometry and computerised spray rate control are available as optional extras.

For details please contact the sales office at Team Sprayers on 01353 661211.