No matter your weed control program — preplant burndown, pre-emergence foundation herbicide, postemergence application or all the above — spray windows play an important role in getting your crops off to a good start. Will your sprayer be ready?
We’ve all seen winter turn to spring seemingly in a day or two. That’s why it’s especially important to ensure your spray equipment is ready for the season. If you completed a thorough prestorage inspection at the end of last season, you’re likely in good shape. Regardless, follow these steps for removing your equipment from storage:
- Review the operators manual and storage removal procedures.
- Check fluid levels and look for leaks before starting the engine.
- Connect freshly charged batteries.
- Properly inflate the tires.
Once you’ve moved your sprayer to an open work area, it’s time to check the guts of the system.
- Inspect hoses; look for wear or cracking.
- Flush the system with clean water. If you stored it with an antifreeze mix, be sure to cycle through plenty of water.
- Clean nozzles and check flow rates to ensure uniform output; replace any worn nozzles.
- Thoroughly inspect structural components; look for metal cracks or breaks. Clean and touch up any rusted areas with fresh paint.
- Examine wiring and the electrical system; make sure all components, switches and lights work.
Proper application starts with calibration. But it’s important to calibrate your spray equipment under field conditions, not on a gravel road or in the farmyard. If field conditions allow, you can check calibration off your to-do list even before that first application window opens. And don’t forget to check the calibration of wheel or radar speed sensors.
Even if your sprayer won’t be the first equipment to the field this spring, you need to take steps to ensure you are ready to begin gathering data. You’ll find online support at the Case IH Owners Community and AFS Academy. Or work with your Case IH AFS Pinnacle Certified Dealer. Each of these dealers has a trained precision farming specialist on staff.
Our latest offering — AIM Command FLEX™ advanced spray technology — gives you the ultimate in spray control by delivering consistent, flexible and accurate application, regardless of speed and terrain. Using pulse width modulation (PWM) technology, the system enhances the productivity of your Patriot® series sprayer by controlling product flow and pressure more precisely than conventional rate controllers.
Talk to your Case IH dealer about what upgrading to a Patriot sprayer can do for your operation. And be sure to spend some time now preparing your spray equipment so weeds and other pests don’t get a jump on your crops.
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