Two new world records were set on 2 March 2017 at the farm of Karolyn, Tony and Brendan Mason, 35 km east of Perenjori in Western Australia. Source: AFDJ eNews
The Condor Endurance completed 2638 ha (6,515.86 acres) of summer spraying in nonstop 24 hours. That’s an average of almost 110 ha per hour.
There was one hour in which the machine sprayed 150,7 ha, a second world record.
The Mason’s own a 51m Condor Endurance. They are right at the edge of the Midwest region with nothing but bush and salt lakes beyond them.
“We very much appreciate their kindness in supporting such an event,” said Mark Slater, who runs the Agrifac business in Australia. “The Mason farm is a very efficient operation, yet few people at this time of year would allow spraying during the day with high temperatures.
“For the plants that they are targeting (early growth stages, predominately small plants) they have always achieved good results even at 40°C and low water rates. Initially we were going to use 50 lts/ha but Tony and Brendan decided to drop back to 40 litres/ha with the added benefit of the HightTechAirPlus (HTA) and conditions on the day.”
He emphasizes that water is scarce in the area with very low rainfall (annual rainfall 270mm).
Agrifac did little preparation leading up to the event. The demonstrator 48 meter HTA Condor Endurance was close by and after a few phone calls, it was all set. The timing was right and the Mason’s were keen to set a new world record for 24hr spraying. The target was to beat the previous record of 1032 ha.
Mark Slater and brother Ben set off from Perth at 3am to arrive at the Mason’s before 7.30am.
Mark prepared the machine while Ben started mapping the boundaries of the fields before a quick team briefing.
To make it official they invited Jim Gilmour, a local JP to adjudicate the record.
The role of a justice of the peace (JP) in Australia is to act as an independent and objective witness at official and legal issues.
Mr Gilmour was delighted to be involved and dropped his arm to start the clock at exactly 12pm on the 1 March 2017. By 12am (in 12 hrs) they had done 1,376 ha.
The record is even more special when we take into account that the fields were not all smooth going and regular shaped.
“We had a bit of everything from trees, power poles, tight corners, gradual slopes and some bumps too. We wanted to make it as real as possible!’ Mark said.
“In total there were 15 fields with a 10-minute drive between the two blocks. I did drive into the wrong field in the middle of the night which cost us a little time.”
Brendan Mason and Drew Fraser were responsible for running the nurse truck to keep the sprayer running. They did a fantastic job and the operation was seamless.
After no sleep in at least 30 hrs for the team and at 12 o’clock on 2 March the clock stopped and Mr Gilmour was on hand to record the total hectares.