A few weeks ago you mentioned a new spraying system called the Mankar. Is this suitable for municipal use and where can I get further information?

German-made Mankar equipment is particularly suited to commercial use - and that can be in municipal situations or in crop production.

Introduced this year, the equipment combined with Roundup Pro Biactive 450 high-advanced glyphosate-based herbicide, is attracting a lot of attention from contractors because of its benefits in terms of productivity and costs.

One of the first contractors in the UK to use the Mankar ultra low-volume (ULV) spraying system for weed control is the Coventry branch of English Landscapes. The company gave the thumbs-up to the system's effectiveness and ability to reduce chemical inputs and labour costs compared with conventional knapsacks and spraying methods.

English Landscapes used both the Mankar MC20 ULV handlance and the Roundup Pro Biactive 450 herbicide for weed control within Coventry city centre on a four-week assessment during early spring. The equipment and products were supplied by Telford-based distributor Amenity Land Services (ALS).

English Landscapes' Coventry branch contracts manager Tim Fox said: "We were attracted because the Mankar ULV system is able to apply the minimum necessary quantities of translocated herbicide - typically two litres per hectare - to achieve the required results.

"We knew that the system had been used successfully for some time on the continent where feedback has been positive. The system is safe, effective and easy to use, with increased productivity and lower costs thanks to the reduced labour and chemicals inputs, the latter helping also to minimise the impact on the environment."

Fox also highlights an additional productivity benefit in the ability to treat weeds successfully in windy weather.

English Landscapes' principal grounds supervisor, Bob Steel, likes the equipment's low weight, balance and ease of use of the MC20 handlance. He also noted that with an application rate of two litres per hectare, the 500ml herbicide container lasts at least 80 minutes before refilling is required.

A vertical rotating disc produces small, evenly sized droplets of around 40 microns, instead of 200 microns associated with conventional CDA application. Rather than disperse the droplets sideways in a circle, this system propels them vertically downwards at high speed in a flat fan shape, enabling the droplets to stick to the plant or ground before they lose momentum and drift off.

The MC20 and MC30 handlances have shrouded spray heads designed to apply herbicide over widths adjustable from 100mm to 300mm and 130mm to 450mm respectively. There is also a 200mm shrouded spot sprayer, a dedicated path/pavement sprayer and a kerb/pathway edging sprayer - the latter two have a support wheel.

In addition to the pedestrian equipment, Mankar ULV spraying systems are available for use with ATVs, tractors and utility vehicles.

ALS offers the equipment for outright purchase or hire nationwide, the latter being inclusive of supplies of Roundup Pro Biactive 450 herbicide. Prices are available from ALS (tel: 01952 641949) but as a rough guide, the MC20 ULV handlance with 500ml pesticide container costs £345 ex VAT.

- Sally Drury has reported for HW and its forerunner GC&HTJ for 25 years, and has spent more than four years testing machinery for HW and What Kit? The advice in this helpline is independent.


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