You can’t afford to let weeds, bugs or disease steal yield. You can’t afford to waste money applying pesticides at rates too high or too low. So think twice before you decide you can’t make the time to calibrate your spray equipment.
Today’s low-use-rate pesticides save time, packaging and expense. They also require precision. One or two nozzles slightly out of adjustment can significantly impact results across a field or your entire farm. Calibration is the only way to ensure proper application.
Start by reviewing your operators manual. Most include the manufacturer’s recommended calibration procedures. Common calibration methods often are available through the agricultural engineering department at your land-grant university. Colorado State University offers this detailed fact sheet. Clemson University created a free mobile app that guides you through the calculations. Search the iTunes® App Store® or Google Play® store, depending on your operating system, and you’ll find several free and commercial sprayer calibration apps for your mobile device.
Here are some tips for success:
- Calibrate your spray equipment under field conditions, not on a gravel road or in the farmyard.
- Invest in quality measuring devices; you’re calibrating, not guesstimating.
- Check the calibration of wheel or radar speed sensors. A minor change in the angle or position of the radar unit can significantly impact application rates.
Calibration isn’t a one-and-done exercise. Frequent checks throughout the season or anytime you change nozzles will help keep your applications in check. You can simplify calibration with a Spray Nozzle Calibrator from your Case IH dealer. Or consider a Sprayer Performance Kit. The kit includes a Spray Nozzle Calibrator plus everything else you need for optimum 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. The easier and more convenient you make calibration, the more likely you are to check it frequently.
Remember: Proper application starts with calibration. Too much or too little application isn’t cost-efficient, and it isn’t sound product or land stewardship. Review your calibration options today, and you’ll be ready when it’s time to spray.