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Smart Herbicide Application Starts With Broadcast Nozzles

Smart Herbicide Application Starts With Broadcast Nozzles

What’s on your to-do list for managing weeds this spring? Weed identification: check. Herbicide selection: check. If you apply your own pesticides, does your list include selection of broadcast nozzles?

Although broadcast nozzles may be one of the least expensive aspects of pesticide application, the selection of proper broadcast nozzles is nevertheless crucial to help ensure your herbicide applications are effective. The type of product delivery depends on which broadcast nozzle is used. Applicators should choose their nozzle sections based on their rate controllers, or how they plan to apply the herbicide, which can include pressure-based rate controllers and pulse width modulation controllers.

After an applicator has chosen their rate controller, they can determine their nozzle types and droplet size. Droplet size, weather and boom height are all factors that, if not used correctly or taken into consideration, can cause drift and off-target movement, which increases the risk of damage to sensitive neighboring crops.

Travis Legleiter, assistant extension professor of weed science at the University of Kentucky, says in order for applicators to maximize the droplet for herbicide delivery, a balance between mitigating drift while also achieving the desired deposition and coverage is needed to make the herbicide work. Although those three might not always go hand in hand, applicators can also use other factors such as their spray volume, weed density, boom height and environmental conditions to be successful.

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