Choosing the wrong nozzles can result in ineffective applications
By Diego Flammini
Farmers should understand the droplet size requirements of crop protection products in order to choose the proper nozzles.
That’s one of the messages from Tim Stuenkel, global marketing communications manager with TeeJet Technologies.
“Farmers have so many choices within the droplet size spectrum, so making sure they choose the nozzle that best fits their needs is key,” he told Farms.com today. “Some fungicides and insecticides require finer droplets, where herbicides applications may need larger droplets to ensure good drift control.”
Selecting the wrong nozzle for an application could have a number of negative impacts, Stuenkel added.
“If you use a nozzle with a large droplet size with a product that requires a smaller droplet, you might not get good levels of control,” he said. “Doing the reverse could result in drift issues and crop damage.”
Once a grower purchases and installs the sprayer nozzles, testing them is important to ensure optimal efficacy.
Operating the sprayer during normal field operations can be a good indicator of nozzle performance.
“Run the sprayer to a typical operating pressure and collect samples for 30 or 60 seconds,” Steunkel said. “Do that across different spots on the boom to determine if there are any pressure drops.”
Knowing when to replace nozzles is also important.
“If flow rates are greater than 10 percent of nominal, we would recommend replacing the nozzle,” he said.
If one nozzle on the boom needs to be changed, there’s good chance others need replacing as well.
Growers may want to get into the habit of replacing all the nozzles on the boom at once, he suggested.
“Replacing them as a complete set across the boom helps ensure you have consistent flow rates on the sprayer,” he said. “As tips wear, spray pattern and droplet size can change too, so there’s a few benefits of having an entire new set of nozzles.”