Antonio Abballe is an Italian farmer, living in the village of Ivanski, Shumen, whose love in the face of his wife has brought him to Bulgaria. And his passion in the face of agriculture has been keeping him here for over 30 years. Today, the family business manages 27,000 decares of agricultural land, growing traditional crops – wheat, barley, sunflower, corn, and rapeseed.
“I am happy with what I have achieved.”, says Antonio. And adds:
“The land wants the shadow of its owner. This means that you have to constantly be close, to walk around the fields, to look after the development of crops, to consider what it needs, when, and what to be fed with.
And also, if you hope that someone else will do the job, then you won’t succeed. I, myself, read a lot, I am interested and I apply the innovations. Last, but not least, I want to remind you that the land must be in your heart, you should love it. If you look at it only as a business, it just won’t work.”
And precisely because he reads a lot and is interested, Antonio bets only on what’s best for his farm. For self-propelled sprayers, this is the French brand Berthoud and their flagship Raptor, which he bought this year from NIK.
“I decided to buy the self-propelled sprayer Berthoud Raptor, as I am Italian and have many friends and colleagues in Italy, who work with such sprayers and are extremely satisfied. I was looking for a sprayer that has great productivity, efficiency at work, thanks to new technologies. These were the reasons I opted for the Raptor model.”
Antonio Abballe: This currently is one of the latest sprayers on the market.
“The machine works perfectly. It also allows for peaceful night spraying. The working width of the booms is 36 m, and they are equipped with a spray height control system that maintains the exact set distance from the crop.”
The boom height control system is standard equipment for every Berthoud self-propelled sprayer due to the agronomic value it gives farmers – the preparations in one field are applied from the same distance and the size of the drops that reach the leaves are even everywhere. But this alone is not enough for quality spraying, it requires precision and artificial intelligence in the sprayer itself to give it maximum benefit.
Antonio Abballe: Fuel consumption is what impressed me the most.
“In terms of fuel consumption, we have fallen far compared to the previous sprayer. The cost we now have is about 100 ml per decare. The terms in which we carry out the spraying and the amount of the preparations have also changed significantly. The sprayer determines where to spray, does not repeat, and does not overlap. We are seeing great savings on chemicals for this reason. “
The machine that Antonio owns is special, he also shares, because of its latest Spraytronic system, which controls the flow of each nozzle separately through high-frequency pulsations.
Antonio Abballe: This is the latest trend!
What else does the Berthoud self-propelled sprayer Raptor provide?
“I also really like the high ground clearance of the sprayer. With this machine, we spray crops that reach a height of over 2 meters. When the situation requires it, we also spray with UAN with the extended Agrotop nozzles directly in the soil without wetting the corn leaves. This was one of the recommendations of the NIK service team and we really see a great benefit from it! ”
The high productivity of the machine is the result of two things, one of which is the pump and the other is the precision farming solutions that are implemented in the machine. Here is what Antonio told us about them:
“The machine has a very high pump flow rate. The pump is OMEGA – the name itself shows the productivity. I think it is the largest among self-propelled sprayers- 550 liters per minute. The machine is very easy to operate and provides excellent control over all options – this is entirely due to the Trimble equipment, which allows easy section control and is integrated directly into the sprayer.
But apart from the machine, Antonio Abballe is extremely happy with his work with the NIK team:
“On my farm, I have completely trusted the technologies offered by NIK and I have not made a mistake with any of the advice they have given me. I use the GЕОScan, platform, which allows me to monitor crops from a distance and map its vegetation in greater detail, as well as an average rainfall data. All GPS equipment, on any tractor, sprayer, or combine, regardless of its brand, is Trimble – that helps me a lot, and the mechanics work with ease with this brand.
I trust NIK and their laboratory for soil samples and analyses. Thanks to them I know what micro and macro elements are in my soil. This helps me in planning the necessary amounts of fertilizer I need to buy by looking directly at the fertilization prescription card.