By Robert Pollock
Proper calibration is a must to make sure pesticide applications get to the target at the proper rate.
Calibrating air blast sprayers is challenging. You may be applying the correct amount of water per acre, but the distribution may be incorrect. The result may be insect and/or disease damage, reduced thinning, and reduced pack out which ultimately lowers income.
The Penn State Pesticide Education Program has calibration units which enable us to collect the output from each nozzle. With the collected information, we troubleshoot any problems like worn or plugged nozzles, cracked or wrong nozzles or whirl plates, pressure issues, etc. The end result is a calibrated sprayer ready to go for the growing season. If you need third-party documentation for record keeping purposes, we issue a calibration certificate.
Please note that the grower portion of the calibration cost is $50 for the first sprayer and $30 for each additional sprayer. On the webpage is a link to an online request form to be used to sign up to have your sprayer/s calibrated. Also included is a video which provides instructions to prepare your sprayer for calibration and a pre-calibration checklist.