Sweet spraying for sugar team

North Queensland sugar producer, MSF Sugar, has recently added two high capacity, self-propelled Miller Nitro sprayers to its fleet.

The new Nitro’s will also improve application and weed control, add versatility and safety as well as environmental benefits – important when the farm is adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

MSF Sugar’s General Manager of Agriculture, Trevor Crook said the investment would pay off.

“It has resulted in big improvements, including cost savings, yield increases, a safer workplace for our employees and improved environmental performance,’’ he said.

The integrated grower, processor, marketer and exporter of raw sugar grows cane over about 9500ha in three locations, including 4000 ha around Maryborough, 2800ha on the North Tropical Coast and 2700ha on the Atherton Tablelands.

Spraying was previously carried out by several smaller sprayer units at varying degrees of efficiency.

“We knew we had to upgrade our systems, but had limited ability to achieve the outcomes we wanted if we had to upgrade many smaller units,” Mr Crook said.

“Going with Miller Nitro SP sprayers allows us to upgrade to the best and latest technology and facilities for safety compliance and efficiency on just one machine.’’

MSF Sugar initially used a contractor with a Nitro sprayer back in 2008 and purchased its own a few years later for the expanding Maryborough properties. Last year it acquired another two Miller Nitro 5240 sprayers, for its South Johnstone and Tableland operations.

“They are high capacity SP spray rigs with 4500-litre tanks. We also went with the auto grease option for easy maintenance. In a few minutes, the whole machine is greased,’’ Mr Crook said.

“Our farms are quite scattered and we need to move quickly and efficiently between farms.

“We need high clearance and at 1.8 metres, the Miller Nitros are one of the highest clearance machines available,” he said.

Having a front mounted boom has also proven a bonus. “It has made a huge difference for our cane operations. Our operators have much better visibility of the 27 m boom and potential obstacles.