How does it work?
Frequently Asked Questions.
How much crop damage do you get?
With the crop standing erect and a good level inter-row you should not be able to see any crop damage with Crop Stalker. If the tractor tyres are pushing the crop over and it runs underneath the shields, the lower crop leaves are on the ground, the inter-row is really uneven or the crop regularly traverses last years stubble there may be some crop damage. There also can be some evidence of crop damage on headlands as the machine is lifted and some chemical may drip off the edges of the shields. Often with contact herbicides damage to the crop e.g. on the wheel tracks will not be visible as the season progresses to harvest. With some crops such as canola that have very horizontal growth habit early the window of opportunity can be small for using a Crop Stalker in narrow row spacings.
Is it safe to use Glyphosate?
Yes it can be safe to apply Glyphosate with the Crop Stalker although the impacts of potential crop damage due to as mentioned above are greater with systemic herbicides. Many Crop Stalker owners also see the machine as a good opportunity to use other alternative contact herbicides and groups to Glyphosate as a good rotation strategy. As Crop Stalker band sprays products on the inter-row only effectively only applying to 70-80% of the paddock area slightly more expensive brews are still economical on a per paddock hectare rate.
How does it work around corners, trees or on headlands?
While the Crop Stalker guidance system has 60cm of lateral adjustment and the machine will follow curves on the path the seeder, due to the depth of the shields there is a point when the shields will potentially push over and spray the crop when the angle gets to steep.
Do I need to have sown the crop with RTK gps and have RTK in the tractor when operating the Crop Stalker?
RTK accuracy for planting the crop and on the tractor towing the Crop Stalker is great but not a requirement for a good result. Even more important is ensuring the planter rows are set up accurately, do not move during seeding and a consistent direction or pattern is used so it is easy for the Crop Stalker operator to follow in the same direction as the crop was sown.
How big does the crop have to be before we can use a Crop Stalker?
The vision guidance system can detect and guide between crops as small as 5cm high. Two guidance cameras are standard on most machines and they work together if the guidance on one side is poor due to patch crop or more weeds than crop.
What is typical operating speed?
In broad acre situation with our standard shields 12-15km/h, with the Lift & Stalk style shields 10-12km/h can be the upper limit in some crops.
Does it work at night?
Yes, Crop Stalker can work at night and every machine is now fitted standard with diffused LED lights to illuminate the view of each vision guidance camera.