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Sprayer Depot Blog

4 Benefits of New Spray Drift Technology

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Mon, Apr 20, 2015

Sprayer TipsToday we’ll talk about that dreaded term — spray drift. It’s one of the basic principals of spraying that spray applicators do their best to control and there are a number of factors to consider. The type of spray drift we’re talking about is when an application like pesticides misses its intended target. It makes the task at hand a bit more complicated. You need to factor in wind, droplet size, height, materials used, and so much more.

Here we’ll walk through some of the drift reduction technologies and tips of the trade that you’ll benefit from in the long run, and that might make controlling it easier.

There is a range of drift reduction technologies out there. The most popular, and those that the EPA recommends, include:

Nozzles
As our friends at Hypro have stated, drift control spray tips are often the smallest and most overlooked components of a sprayer. The technology now involves air induction thus allowing for air-filled droplets that reduce drift significantly compared to conventional nozzles.  

Spray Shields and Buffer Zones
These added barriers help to protect sensitive areas and vary greatly for each landscape, equipment and application type. Design of a buffer area depends on variables like spray method, wind, chemical type and the type of sensitive area that you’re trying to avoid. In general there is not a one-size-fits-all rule.

Drift-Reducing Adjuvant Chemicals
These drift control agents are mixed with your product to enhance performance by changing the droplet size. These adjuvants are used to control drift and slow evaporation once the application hits its intended target.

Now these and other spray drift technologies can be of benefit to applicators and the environment in general for a number of reasons. Here are the four benefits of implementing these new spray drift technologies:

1. Reduce loss of chemicals, like pesticides

2. Keep more of the applied product on the intended target, such as on crops

3. Limit exposure to people, wildlife and the environment

4. Reduce risk of damage and liabilities from off-target drift

All in all, these drift-reducing methods should result in more products being deposited on the intended target and fewer issues with drift.

Topics: sprayers, pest control, spray tips, Pesticide Application Technology, Pesticide Application, spray tip selection, spray drift, spray tip selector, drift control spray tip, drift control

Hypro’s Spray Nozzle Selection Simplified

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Wed, Oct 15, 2014

We’re always looking for ways to make spray nozzle selection easier and we’ve shared some tips of the trade in past posts right here on our blog. With new advances in technology and an ever-evolving line-up of options, we couldn’t resist sharing this Spray Nozzle Selection Guide and helpful information from our friends at Hypro.

Consider this. When selecting nozzles it’s easy to determine what droplet and flow rate you need, but what happens when the chemical you are spraying changes? Does that change the nozzle you should be using?

Hypro has developed a simple set of tools that will help steer you to the correct nozzle technology while considering multiple tank mix characteristics. The Spray Nozzle Selection Guide will walk you through a series of questions to identify the correct nozzle, including:

  • What and when are you spraying?
  • Are you using an adjuvant, and if so, what type?
  • In your chemical Contact or Systemic?
  • Is your primary concern drift or coverage?
Hypro's Spray Nozzle Guide

Nozzle Selection Guide

From there you’ll determine which of six nozzles are best for your application. Choices include Hi-Flow and ESI Six Stream, which are best for Fertilizer Plant Nutrients. Those spraying Herbicides and doing Weed Control would be served best with the Ultra Lo-Drift, Guardian or GuardianAir nozzle types, according to the guide. Rounding out the bunch are the Insecticide/Fungicide Plant Health needs that are best suited by using the Guardian, GuardianAir or GuardianAir Twin nozzles.

Interested in more? Hypro’s Spray Tip Guide digs further into the subject, providing technical details to support your selection. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Why different nozzles should be used when changing what you spray
  • How do adjuvants effect nozzle selection
  • When does using a Contact or Systemic chemical change your nozzle selection
If you still have questions regarding what spray nozzle you should use, contact one of Sprayer Depot's knowledgeable Customer Service Technicians.

Topics: Hypro, herbicides, Sprayer Depot, Sprayer Parts, pest control, spray tips, Spray Nozzles, pesticides, Pesticide Application, Pesticide applicator, spray tip, spray tip selection, Sprayer Parts Guide, spray smarter, sprayer nozzle, tip selector, tip selection, spray tip selector, fungicides, Sprayer Nozzles, spray nozzle, weed control, fertilizer, insecticide, plant health, spray tip guide, nozzle selection guide, spray nozzle selection

5 Tips for Seasonal Sprayer Maintenance

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Mon, Sep 22, 2014

Kings Sprayers

As the season changes to autumn (officially on Sept. 22, 2014), the scenery for many of us quickly follows, adding to it shades of red, orange and yellow to the typically green landscape. The weather too will turn cooler (at least we’re hopeful in Florida) and of course the needs of our sprayer changes too. While we’re not quite to the point where we need to winterize our tools, care should be given to prep for that necessary activity and to ensure the changing weather elements don’t impact the end of your season. We’ve combed over our collection of trade tips to uncover the essential needs for this time of year.

Below are five tips for autumn sprayer maintenance from Sprayer Depot to keep you going through the end of the season. 

1. Flush your sprayer.

To get rid of all excess chemical and chemical residues, flush your sprayer at least twice with clean water. It would be awful to not flush your pump with a month left in the spray season and then rupture some diaphragms. That would result in late season repairs you might not have accounted for, let alone the hassle. When you’re finished, make sure there’s no debris left in the tank.

2. Clean strainers.

This is one of those tasks no one enjoys, but is so necessary. Partially clogged strainers can result in drops in pressure and even reduce the flow rate of your nozzle. Not to mention that a clogged or dirty strainer can be a source of contamination where you may least expect it. Since most sprayers have more than one strainer, take care to clean each.

3.  Check fuel levels.

Make sure the oil levels in your spray pump, gearbox and engine are at appropriate levels. If you do need to refill oil, check with the part manufacturer to ensure you’re using the recommended oil.

4.  Inspect machine.

What you’re looking for are a number of things, including: worn nozzles; damaged nozzle screens and strainers; cracks, leaks and overall performance in the pump; hose condition, especially cracks or brittleness; any possible leaky valves or areas where valve seals may have loosened; and finally your booms (if applicable) to make sure there aren’t any cracks that need to be fixed. While you’re at it, keep the equipment clean by wiping down motors, pumps and lines.

5. Get a winterization game plan.

As the weather changes, winter is fast approaching and it’s time to dig out your winter coat. This is also the time to think about scheduling your annual winterization maintenance and end of year sprayer tune-up. Remember that caring for your machine properly now will pay off next year when it’s time to break it back out and use it. Put it in your calendar today and check back for more tips on winterizing your sprayer as the date approaches.

With sprayer season coming to a close in most parts of the country, our friends in the lawn maintenance and pesticide industries are busy making one more pass at killing weeds before the season ends. With so many holidays approaching it can be easy to get swept away, but don’t let regular sprayer maintenance slip.

Consider implementing these five tips for seasonal sprayer maintenance and let us know if you have additional tips to share by making a comment below, on Facebook or Twitter

Topics: Spray Equipment Maintenance, Winterizing Spray Equipment, lawn sprayer, diaphragm pump, spray equipment checklist, sprayer performance, sprayer strainer, Pesticide Application, spray nozzle, valves, parts, sprayer tips and tricks

5 Tips for Seasonal Sprayer Maintenance

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Mon, Sep 22, 2014

As the season changes to autumn (officially on Sept. 22, 2014), the scenery for many of us quickly follows, adding to it shades of red, orange and yellow to the typically green landscape. The weather too will turn cooler (at least we’re hopeful in Florida) and of course the needs of our sprayer changes too. While we’re not quite to the point where we need to winterize our tools, care should be given to prep for that necessary activity and to ensure the changing weather elements don’t impact the end of your season. We’ve combed over our collection of trade tips to uncover the essential needs for this time of year.

SD_KSedited

Below are five tips for autumn sprayer maintenance from Sprayer Depot to keep you going through the end of the season. 

1. Flush your sprayer.

To get rid of all excess chemical and chemical residues, flush your sprayer at least twice with clean water. It would be awful to not flush your pump with a month left in the spray season and then rupture some diaphragms. That would result in late season repairs you might not have accounted for, let alone the hassle. When you’re finished, make sure there’s no debris left in the tank.

2. Clean strainers.

This is one of those tasks no one enjoys, but is so necessary. Partially clogged strainers can result in drops in pressure and even reduce the flow rate of your nozzle. Not to mention that a clogged or dirty strainer can be a source of contamination where you may least expect it. Since most sprayers have more than one strainer, take care to clean each.

3.  Check fuel levels.

Make sure the oil levels in your spray pump, gearbox and engine are at appropriate levels. If you do need to refill oil, check with the part manufacturer to ensure you’re using the recommended oil.

4.  Inspect machine.

What you’re looking for are a number of things, including: worn nozzles; damaged nozzle screens and strainers; cracks, leaks and overall performance in the pump; hose condition, especially cracks or brittleness; any possible leaky valves or areas where valve seals may have loosened; and finally your booms (if applicable) to make sure there aren’t any cracks that need to be fixed. While you’re at it, keep the equipment clean by wiping down motors, pumps and lines.

5. Get a winterization game plan.

As the weather changes, winter is fast approaching and it’s time to dig out your winter coat. This is also the time to think about scheduling your annual winterization maintenance and end of year sprayer tune-up. Remember that caring for your machine properly now will pay off next year when it’s time to break it back out and use it. Put it in your calendar today and check back for more tips on winterizing your sprayer as the date approaches.

 

With sprayer season coming to a close in most parts of the country, our friends in the lawn maintenance and pesticide industries are busy making one more pass at killing weeds before the season ends. With so many holidays approaching it can be easy to get swept away, but don’t let regular sprayer maintenance slip.

Consider implementing these five tips for seasonal sprayer maintenance and let us know if you have additional tips to share by making a comment below, on Facebook or Twitter

Topics: Spray Equipment Maintenance, Winterizing Spray Equipment, lawn sprayer, diaphragm pump, spray equipment checklist, sprayer performance, sprayer strainer, Pesticide Application, spray nozzle, valves, parts, sprayer tips and tricks

4 Features of the New Sprayer Calibration Calculator App

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Wed, Sep 17, 2014

Sprayer Calibration CalculatorRecently 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:

1.) Calibration:

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.

Topics: Sprayer Depot, sprayers, pest control, Apps on the Sprayer Depot blog, Pesticide Applicators, calibrating a sprayer, pesticides, Pesticide Application Technology, Pesticide Application, Pesticide spraying, Pesticide applicator, Spray apps, apps for spraying agriculture, pest control app, Sprayer Calibration, sprayer checklist, Sprayer Set Up, Calibrating a Boom Sprayer, Boom Sprayer Calibration, sprayer tips and tricks, University of Illinois, Scott Bretthauer

Think Accuracy, Efficacy, Environment and Cost When Applying Pesticides

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Thu, Aug 14, 2014

Contributed by Guest Blogger: Erdal Ozkan, Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer, Pesticide Application Technology at The Ohio State University

Professor Erdal Ozkan, Ohio State University

This is the time of the year you will get busy with spraying. Just take a moment to review some common sense ideas to get the most out of those expensive pesticides you will be spraying. Pesticides have played a key role in the abundant and high quality food we enjoy in the United States. However, this comes with a cost, and the potential health and environmental risks associated with pesticides. If you follow good application practices, you not only save money, but you also take the potential risks out of pesticides.  Efficient use of pesticides must be the primary goal of an applicator to save money, and to protect the environment.

Achieving satisfactory results from pesticides depends on five major factors: a) positive identification of the pest, b) choosing the least persistent and lowest toxicity pesticide that will work, c) selecting the right equipment, particularly the right type and size of nozzle for the job, d) applying pesticides accurately at the right time, and e) calibrating and maintaining equipment.

Be well informed about the specific recommendations for a given pesticide, and follow the laws and regulations on pesticide application. Carefully read the product label to find out the specific recommendations.

Tips to Better Spraying

Here are some general recommendations that will help you achieve maximum efficacy from the pesticides.

  • Always calibrate the equipment before starting to spray. It is the only way to determine whether a sprayer is actually applying a chemical at the recommended rate. For safety, calibrate with only water as the spray solution. Detailed, step–by-step information on calibration can be obtained from Ohio State University Publication AEX-520, available at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/aex-fact/0520.html
  • Some chemicals and/or spray additives are highly dense and may create mixing problems if added to the sprayer tank without further diluting it. In such cases, you should mix the chemical in a small container first, and then pour into the sprayer tank to achieve a uniform mixing of active ingredients in the tank.
  • Find out if the pesticide requires the use of specific adjuvants to provide good product efficacy, influence droplet size or solution evaporation rate, to reduce drift, and to improve deposit and retention on the target.
  • Some pesticides are highly volatile and may require incorporation into the soil after application. Follow label recommendations to avoid drift from highly volatile pesticides.
  • Carefully examine the components of the sprayer (tank, nozzles, hoses, pressure gauge, pump, etc.) to make sure they are the right type, size, and can function effectively under various operating conditions. Make sure no leakage is occurring anywhere in the spraying system. Check the tank agitation system to make sure the flow to the tank for agitation is sufficient and effective.
  • Application equipment generally arrive already set up with a particular nozzle spacing that is typical for the type of spraying to be performed (i.e. row crop sprayer, floater, etc.). Choose the appropriate equipment setup best suited for a given situation (banding, broadcast, directed spraying, etc.).
  • Spray pressure affects the performance of a sprayer in several ways. It changes the application rate as well as the size of droplets. Make sure you have an accurate and functioning pressure gauge on the sprayer, and operate the sprayer within the pressure range recommended by the nozzle manufacturer.
  • Boom height affects the spray pattern overlap, deposition uniformity on the target, and the time during which the droplets are exposed to wind and evaporation, both of which directly influence drift. Keep the boom height to a minimum to reduce drift.
  • Maintain uniform deposition of spray material on the target across the boom. Uniformity of deposition is as important as the amount deposited.  Non-uniform coverage can result from simple reasons such as using misaligned or clogged nozzles, nozzles with different fan angles, or from uneven nozzle height across the boom.  These common problems result in streaks, untreated areas, or over-application of chemicals.
  • Observe the output pattern of nozzles periodically.  Streaks in the pattern indicate that foreign materials are inside the nozzles.  Remove such particles from the nozzle tip using a wooden tooth pick or soft object; clean the nozzle filter using a soft brush. Maintain the sprayer in peak condition by periodic inspections and repairs.  Carry extra nozzles, washers, other spare parts, and tools for quick repairs in the field.
  • Spray drift is one of the most serious problems the pesticide applicators have to deal with. It wastes expensive pesticides, may damage non-target crops nearby, and may pose a health risk to people living in areas where drift is occurring. Spray drift accounts for about half of all non-compliance cases investigated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. So, take spray drift seriously. Various drift reduction strategies are outlined in OSUE Bulletin 816.

Chemical manufacturers recommend the proper label. However, how close you can get to their recommendation is your responsibility. You will be hurt economically whether you apply more than the recommended rate or less.  Too little pesticide results in poor pest control and reduced yields, while too much injures the crop, wastes your chemical dollars, and increases the risk of polluting the environment. Hopefully some of the points I raised in this article will help you achieve maximum efficacy from pesticides you apply. 

Erdal Ozkan, Professor and Extension ag engineer, can be reached at 614-292-3006, or ozkan.2@osu.edu. This column is provided by the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Topics: Sprayer Depot, sprayer, pest control, spray tips, Pesticide Applicators, pesticides, Ohio State University, Pesticide Application Technology, Pesticide Application, Pesticide spraying, Pesticide applicator, Professor Erdal Ozkan

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