Sprayer nozzle selection and performance might have more impact on your bottom line than any other equipment component. At the very least, their impact is greater than we think. So give your nozzles the attention they deserve before heading to the field this spring.
Choosing the wrong nozzle or using worn nozzle tips hit your profit potential hard and often. Consider some of the ways:
- The wrong nozzle can result in off-label pesticide use.
- Poor pesticide performance can lead to reduced yields.
- Overapplication wastes money and is poor product stewardship.
- Improper application can cause crop injury.
Choosing the right nozzle
According to Iowa State University Extension specialists, the product you’re applying is the most important consideration in sprayer-nozzle selection. Most herbicide labels specify either the nozzle type or droplet size classification — fine, medium or coarse — that should be used.1
Droplet size classification is determined not only by the nozzle type but also by nozzle size and operating pressure. A standardized system of classifying droplet size has been adopted and is provided by nozzle manufacturers. For example, a nozzle operated at 40 PSI might be rated at Medium, whereas at 50 PSI it is rated at Fine. The Iowa State experts recommend that when choosing nozzles, you should consider the full range of operating pressures they will be operated under when using rate controllers that adjust operating pressure based on sprayer speed.
Your Case IH dealer can help you evaluate your options and choose the best nozzle, or nozzles, for your pest control needs.
Replace worn nozzles
Nozzle tips wear over time. Before you load your sprayer this spring, it’s important to check the nozzle flow rates, look for potential problems and confirm the accuracy of the spray. After you have rinsed and cleaned your sprayer, look for mismatched and worn nozzles and damaged nozzle screens. A Sprayer Performance Kit can simplify the job. The kit includes a Spray Nozzle Calibrator plus everything else you need for optimal spraying: a spray boom remote control, water pH tester, spray nozzle air blaster, pressure gauge, cleaner brush, safety gloves and glasses, and a rugged, compact storage case with space for extra nozzles and bodies.
If you decide replacing your entire spray rig is a better way to go this spring, Case IH Patriot® series sprayers deliver application without compromise. Thanks to Case IH Agronomic Design™, Patriot series sprayers combine technology, engineering and expertise to keep plants healthy and maximize yield potential. And if you haven’t heard, Patriot series sprayers now are part of the Case IH Certified Pre-Owned Program.
Compared with the cost of the product you’re applying and the potential losses due to misapplication, nozzle upkeep is a relatively minor expense. Take the time to inspect your sprayer. It’s an important step toward getting your crops off to a great start.
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