Calibrating a Plot Sprayer

It’s the rite of passage of many agricultural summer students across the world: applying experimental treatments to field plots using a research sprayer. The results of these experiments may be the basis of new product use registrations, or provide clues into future scientific studies. Needless to say, the application method needs to be bullet proof […]

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How to use Airblast Nozzle Tables

The author looking up nozzle rates during a spring calibration. The operator was running at 190 psi, but the catalogue only listed 180 psi and 200 psi. When span is only 20 psi, it’s fairly safe to approximate the output. When the table only lists in 50 psi increments, it is more difficult to determine the rate without testing the output. This issue usually occurs at pressures above 200 psi, and that’s very high for most horticultural operations. Consider using a lower operating pressure, if possible.

Airblast operators should know how to read a nozzle table. They are found on dealer and manufacturer websites as well as in their catalogs. Table layout varies with brand, but they all relate a nozzle’s flow rate to operating pressure. The better tables also provide the spray angle and the median droplet size (i.e. spray […]

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Airblast calibration – clearing up confusion

Here are some nasty disc & cores revealed during a calibration workshop. It certainly explained the poor performance the operator was complaining about. Is it time to replace yours? Photo credit – Dr. H. Zhu, Ohio.

“Sprayer calibration is an important part of any crop protection program.” Everyone says so, so it must be important. But what exactly are they asking you to do, and why? When delivering presentations I often take the opportunity to ask audiences to define airblast sprayer calibration. Their responses cover a wide range of activities that […]

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Airblast travel speed

Here, in no particular order, are the most common airblast-related questions: What nozzles should I use? How do I adjust my air settings? How much volume should I use? How fast should I drive? The first three questions have long answers that are covered throughout the website and in Airblast101. Travel speed, however, is easy: […]

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Validate airblast output – nozzle calibration

The SpotOn SC-4 calibration vessel is much easier, faster and more accurate than the classic pitcher-and-stopwatch approach to timed output tests.

Sprayer math is important. It ensures the operator applies the correct product rate and has enough to complete the job. But, it assumes the airblast sprayer is behaving as expected… and it often doesn’t. After confirming the airblast travel speed, use one of the following methods to assess sprayer output. There are pros and cons […]

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