A successful year in farming is dependent on many factors beyond your control — like good ol’ Mother Nature. That’s why, at Case IH, we focus on optimizing the factors you can control. One of the most important is your crop protection application and equipment performance.
Spray nozzles might seem like a small component of your larger operation, but they are vitally important. Choosing the correct sprayer nozzles is critical for application performance and yield potential. Improperly using or choosing the wrong sprayer nozzles can result in underapplication or overapplication — or potential drift to neighboring fields — which could hurt your crop production and profitability.
There’s a reason why there are so many nozzle types available: Each one is designed to yield very specific performance based on the chemical, crop and application. Learning about which proper sprayer nozzles to use in specific scenarios can save a lot of time and contribute to better crop production.
When choosing spray nozzles for your application, you’ll want to consider:
- What and how are you spraying?
- Is there potential for drift?
- What is the weight of your spray solution?
- What’s the pressure range of your sprayer?
- What is boom height and nozzle spacing on the boom?
From there, consider which nozzle option is best to accomplish your application goals and match your operation. The three most common types are:
- Flat fan — Pattern is a narrow, elliptical, inverted “V” that is known as a tapered spray. A uniform distribution pattern across the boom is achieved when the boom height and nozzle spacing are optimized for proper spray pattern overlap.
- Cone spray — Includes two variations: full cone (circular spray pattern) and hollow cone (ring-shaped pattern). These nozzles are typically used for directed spraying and other specialty applications.
- Streaming spray — Used commonly for liquid fertilizer applications, this design helps reduce foliar coverage so there is less leaf burn and liquid hits the soil surface for the roots to absorb.
Droplet size is also a key factor in nozzle selection. For example, when spray drift is a concern, you’ll want to reduce the proportion of small droplets in the spray. This can be achieved by using spray nozzles that produce coarse droplets at the intended operating pressure. When coverage is critical, such as during postemergence contact applications, nozzles with finer droplets should be used.
If long spraying days are doing a number on the wear of your spray nozzles, consider upgrading to a nozzle material with longer wear life, including:
- Plastic — Wear life is typically two to three times longer than brass.
- Stainless steel — Typically lasts four to six times longer than brass.
- Ceramic — Wear life can be up to 20 to 50 times longer than brass.
Be sure to read the labels of the chemicals being applied for more insight on your sprayer application. Plus, doing some research ahead of time and asking questions can help make your crop production yield become even more profitable.
Your local dealer has the application knowledge to answer your sprayer tip questions and find the best fit for your application. Visit your local Case IH dealer, or shop sprayer tips and parts at MyCNHistore.com.