Recently Corn and Soybean Digest reported on a newly released smartphone app called Sprayer Calibration Calculator that is designed to assist spray applicators with calibrating a pesticide sprayer. The app was developed by the University of Illinois Extension and is available free to those with Apple and Android phones. As we’ve shared in previous posts, the cost of wasted chemicals can be high when your best tool isn’t set up right.
We took a closer look at the app, developed by Scott Bretthauer, an Extension Specialist in the pesticide safety education program, which includes functions to determine nozzle flow rate, among other things.
The Sprayer Calibration Calculator app allows users to select from one of four main options, including:
This setting allows users to calibrate four different sprayer types, including: aircraft, ground rig, turf boom and boomless. Within each of these sections, the app offers sprayer calibration scenarios that can then be saved for future reference.
We explored the ground rig option for sprayer calibration that starts by entering in a few variables, including: application speed, nozzle spacing and targeted GPA. The app then calculates the required nozzle flow rate in gallons per minute. It’s pretty simple. Note that the boomless option is identical to prompts in the ground rig option, but asks for swath width rather than nozzle spacing. All good so far.
2.) PSI for GPM:
The next section is the ever-important setting that allows users to calculate required pressure (in pounds per square inch, or PSI) in order to provide a specific flow rate (in gallons per minute, or GPM), or do the opposite. A good example of its use was identified in the U or I July/August 2014 issue of the Illinois Pesticide Review that mentions this would come in handy if the flow rate isn’t listed in the nozzle manufacturer’s flow rate table. Or for those “my dog ate it” scenarios.
3.) Nozzle Speed:
The third offering in the app is pretty self-explanatory and should only be used with sprayers that have a flow control system. In short, it lists the minimum and maximum speeds for a specific nozzle.
4.) Convert Value:
Lastly, the convert value function assists users with some of the commonly associated pesticide application-related unit conversions that could be useful as a quick reference guide.
In a prepared statement that discussed how to use the smartphone application, Bretthauer explained that when using the smartphone application, “for most variables, touching the name of the variable brings up a definition of what the variable is and how it is measured.” It also looks like the developer has plans to add a function to assist with tank mix calculations, which could be fun, and more.
If you have the chance to check it out, let us know what you think in the comments below.