Straight Talking, Michael Reed of P Reed & Son
Michael Reed of P Reed & Son runs three farms, ten miles apart, across South Warwickshire. Five generations of the family have farmed in the area, the business is predominantly arable. The main crop grown is wheat, both milling and feed. Other crops include oilseed rape, winter beans, spring beans, spring oats, spring barley, peas and occasionally winter barley.
What Bateman sprayer do you run?
It's an RB35 with a 4,000-litre tank and a 32-metre boom. We specified Pulse Width Modulation, Bateman Boom Levelling and the Lighting Pack. We also decided to fit the larger circumference tyres.
You moved from an RB26 24mtr to an RB35 32mtr, can you tell us why and how you find it?
The extra 8 metres on the boom and the larger capacity tank fits in with our drilling width. We now drill with an eight-metre drill, the 32 going that bit wider just makes life a lot easier, we can now cover the ground more quickly.
I would also say that the taller tyres have helped with better weight distribution on the fields – we make less compaction. We’ve noticed the extra speed on the road too, it doesn’t hang about. Basically, we can keep on top of the job.
How long have you been running Bateman sprayers?
For over 30 years. We started with a Hi-Lo 2,000-litre tank, moved to the RB25 two and a half thousand litre, then up to the RB26 with a 3,000-litre capacity. Now we’re using the RB35 with 4,000 litres, the sprayer is getting bigger like everything else machinery-wise on the farm.
Why do you choose Bateman?
For several reasons. Bateman have never let us down; they make reliable machines which last a long time, are easy to use and simple to maintain. Also, they are much sought after and hold their value, which is an important consideration.
You chose Pinpoint III PWM what difference has it made to target application? (Are there other obvious benefits)?
We had to think hard about choosing PWM, because of the additional cost. However, we have quite a lot of irregular shaped fields and curved margins, also, having moved up to a wider boom width I was a bit concerned about us over and under-applying.
We have bought accuracy. We now achieve accurate application all the time, which is impressive, it makes our decision easy to justify. When conditions aren’t quite right, we can adjust the droplet size and work in the fields, previously we wouldn’t have been able to do this. Another plus is that it’s very easy to use.
Can you describe the terrain you spray across and the benefits that BBL provides?
We've got a few banks and undulating ground, it's not all level by any means. Bateman Boom Leveling has made a noticeable difference, we used to have to manually adjust the boom height, whereas now the boom does the job for us.
I was recently spraying at night; the boom control was fantastic and with the boom lights switched on I had good vision down the boom and all around. I was quite happy to be out there, and although I was finished by 10pm, I could have comfortably carried on.
How would you rate the back up from Bateman?
Should we have a problem, which doesn't happen very often, or if there’s something we don't understand, I can guarantee that whoever is on the other end of the phone will know exactly what I’m talking about. I value that level of service.
I prefer for Bateman to carry out an annual service and MOT, just to make sure everything is in order. I’ve been very impressed by their service engineers too.
Are you able to sum up what owning a Bateman means to you?
It means reliability, we can depend on Bateman. We enjoy driving the sprayer, it's a machine you want to jump on and use. With the cost of chemicals now, it’s probably the machine where most of the expense goes, more than ever we need to apply chemicals accurately and efficiently. I trust Bateman to help us achieve the best results for our business.