J. Wattie Canneries Ltd., Introduce
Something NEW in Spraying….
A few weeks ago, for the first time in New Zealand, fruit trees were sprayed from the air by helicopter here in Hastings. Since then further trials on fruit trees and vegetable crops have been undertaken. The conclusions are that spraying by this method can be carried out successfully and economically.
The ﬁrst trial on peach and pear trees was carried out on our No. 1 Farm at Mangateretere. Winter oil was applied at fifty gallons to the acre. The strength used was a 4% mixture of red oil at 3X concentrate – in other words, 12 gallons of oil in 100 gallons of water. Seventy two jets were used of varying sizes to give a fairly fine droplet size, and 12% gallons were applied in each of four runs over a given area.
Three rows at a time can be covered comfortably and an acre can be covered in four minutes, including mixing and ﬁlling.
Magenta dyed cardboard squares were used to record spray pattern in all parts of the tree. We were pleased to ﬁnd the pattern very even and at least comparable to conventional concentrate sprayers by ground application.
Very little information on helicopter spraying could be gleaned from any source. Applications by conventional concentrate sprayers were used as a basis. Ideas from our own experience, from Helicopter Services Ltd., who did the spraying, and from ofﬁcers of the Horticultural Division, were pooled. The rest was a case of trial and error.
The ﬁrst trial showed that coverage on the upper part of the tree was satisfactory, but the base and underside of the larger limbs were not sufficiently covered to give good red mite control. Further trials with a change in technique will be necessary.
Much useful information was gleaned, however, and in this respect the trial was well worth while.
Photograph, showing the helicopter which was used in the spraying of fruit trees on No. 1 Farm at Mangateretere.
Left to Right: P. Marshall, pilot, E. Shakespeare, Farm Manager, R. J. June, Field Supervisor and J. Wattie, Chairman of Directors.