On a farm in Western Australia March 2, an Australian team completed 6,515.86 acres of summer spraying in a nonstop 24-hour, record-breaking marathon.
That’s spraying an average of almost 271 acres per hour. The team, using the Agrifac Condor Endurance, in one hour of particular gusto sprayed 372 acres, another world record, according to a press release from the company.
They wanted to beat the previous spray record of 2,550 acres, the company says.
Karolyn, Tony and Brendan Mason own a 51-meter, or 167-foot, Condor Endurance and farm 21 miles east of Perenjori in Western Australia at the edge of the Midwest region with nothing but bush and salt lakes beyond them, the company says.
“We very much appreciate their kindness in supporting such an event. 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 104F and low water rates. Initially we were going to use 5.2 gallon per acre but Tony and Brendan decided to drop back to 4.1 gallons per acre,” says Mark Slater, who runs the Agrifac business in Australia.
Water is scarce in the area, he said, with only about 10 inches total annual rainfall.
On March 1, Mark and his brother Ben set off from Perth at 3 a.m. to arrive at the Mason's before 7.30 am. Mark prepared the machine while Ben started mapping the boundaries of the fields. To make it official, they invited Jim Gilmour, a local justice of the peace to adjudicate the record. Jim dropped his arm to start the clock at exactly 12 p.m. March 1. By 12 a.m. they had done 3,400 acres.
“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! 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,” Mark says.
By the numbers:
- 6,515.86 acres total in 24 hours
- 271-acre-per-hour average
- Best hour average 372.4 acres
- 27,875 gallons
- 4.1 gallons per acre, medium droplet size HTA
- 15 fields
- 13 and a bit fills
- 11 minutes total stopped time per fill
- Average spraying speed 15.5 mph