Farmer Sought High ROI, Found It with Apache Sprayers

Time is of the essence for Tony Brown on his Lovington, Illinois, farm. That’s especially true with his spraying applications now that he’s grown his acreage to the point at which custom applications were becoming a larger line item on the cost side of his balance sheet.

The combination of increased demands on his spraying operations and the growing cost of custom applications led Brown to purchase an Apache self-propelled sprayer after years of owning a pull-behind sprayer that he said he “didn’t use enough.”

“I still had to hire a lot of spraying done and I was paying $7 per acre for those custom applications, going over 2,500 acres twice a year. That was more than enough to cover what I pay for the Apache Sprayer,” Brown said. “That’s exactly why I bought this Apache, for the return on investment. Money-wise, it just made sense. I can take care of the same spraying with my Apache for $3 per acre.”

While part of the financial equation lies in the original purchase price of the Apache Sprayer, Brown, a former pull-behind sprayer owner and operator, sees cost benefits in both what the machine allows him to do in the field and the time required to do it. That’s especially true at critical points in the growing season when time is tight, and he needs to act quick.

“Compared to my old pull-behind, this Apache has such big booms and you can spray at higher speeds with so much accuracy. It’s amazing how much you can get done,” Brown said. “That’s especially true in the spring time when planting is the most critical thing to get done. It seems like you’re always having to plant soybeans and spray corn at the same time. With this machine, I can spray a couple hundred acres quickly and get back to planting.”

Another cost benefit lies in the simplicity and purpose-driven design of his Apache Sprayer. A combination of the right technology and sound mechanics makes the machine perform optimally, helping him achieve the highest possible ROI.

“It’s simple to operate, with automatic boom controls and components like that. Last fall, I had a $400,000 combine lose a $50 sensor. It was easy enough to replace, but it cost $600 to get it back up and running and it cost me half a day of time during harvest,” Brown said. “With this Apache Sprayer, once you have everything dialed in and calibrated, just about anybody can run it efficiently.”

Though he’s able to accomplish the vast majority of his spraying with his Apache Sprayer, Brown still does occasionally work with custom applicators when time is tight. But because of the flexibility that his Apache self-propelled machine provides, he’s able to better manage his spraying costs, when his fields are sprayed and who does the work.

“A lot of farmers have their own sprayers but still hire custom applicators. I usually have my employees do other jobs and I handle planting and spraying myself unless I need something applied while I’m planting,” Brown said. “By balancing my employees with custom work, I don’t get into a bind when I’m spraying at the same time as planting.”

Want to learn more about the cost benefits of owning and operating your own Apache Sprayer? Start here.

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