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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

It's Spring, And A Man's Thoughts Turn To...

Posted Sunday, March 29, 2009, at 8:53 AM

(Photo)
The Old Fashioned Way
It's Spring, and a man's thoughts turn to... sprayers??

When I was a kid, my dad had one of those old metal can type pump sprayers. He would mix up a batch of smelly stuff in the can, put the pump lid on with a twist to lock it in place, and pump the handle a few times to build up pressure to spray the mixed up smelly stuff on whatever the target of the day was. Sometimes it was the fruit trees we had in the back yard, other times mom's flowers or vegetables in the yard or garden, but dad always had bottles of stuff he used to improve his yard, garden, and fruit trees.

When I got my first house, I wanted to spray for bugs and such outdoors so I went out and bought a pump sprayer of my own. I might as well have thrown the money out the window and saved the trip for the good I got out of it. It worked fine the first 2 minutes out of the box, but the plastic tanked sprayer sprung a leak the very next time I tried to pump up the pressure, so back to the store it went. My replacement idea was one of those hose end sprayer attachments that you put the chemicals in the plastic jug, set the sprayer on the desired amount of mixture, and hook a hose to the works and spray away. I use this type of sprayer a lot, but I quickly discovered that it takes a lot of hose to get around 5 acres... and I don't have that much hose anyway.

Now farmers have got this spraying stuff down to an art form. The sprayers they use around my place resemble a bird in some respects as the long folding boom spray arms resemble birds wings, and the extremely high clearance machines move across fields so fast that they resemble a huge slow flying bird to me. The summer follow in front of our place was attacked by one of these mechanized sprayer birds yesterday, and it didn't seem to take more than a half hour or so to cover the field. I mean this thing moves!

To add to it's appeal to me, it's got unreal ground clearance, and it's much quieter than I expected. I don't know what they use for a power plant, but I expected pumps for spray and the engine noise would be much louder than they were. One of these years, I'll get a chance to see one of these machines up close and learn about what their real capabilities are, but when I compare them to dad's old hand pump, they still do pretty the same thing only on a much larger scale.

Farming and gardening would sure be a lot different today if it were not for chemists and mechanical engineers. Between the chemicals we use to enhance our organic output/harvest and the machines and devices invented to distribute the products that control bugs or fertilize, advanced technology makes life much easier.

Now all I need to do is find the perfect sprayer to go after some of the bugs and weeds I'm trying to keep under control around the farm(stead). Maybe one of those ATV sprayer attachments modified to fit the Jeep would work...



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Brian Hoag
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