Paint it black

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About Jason Deveau (Spray Guy)

Dr. Jason Deveau has been the OMAFRA Application Technology Specialist since '08. He researches and teaches methods to improve the safe, effective and efficient application of agricultural sprays in specialty crops, field crops and controlled environments. He is the co-administrator of Sprayers101, co-author of the Airblast101 Textbook, a slow cyclist and an even slower runner.

See all posts by Jason Deveau (Spray Guy).

Never fail, as spring turns to summer we get questions about algal growth in water tanks. There are lots of suggested solutions, but questions about pH antagonism and phytotoxicity seem to linger. In 2021/22 we ran trials to explore how well home-grown algicides like copper, bleach, and ammonia work, and whether they cause antagonistic responses when that carrier water is used on crops. You can see the results here.

Anticipating those results, we wrote this parody on a Stone’s classic. Not long after it was brought to life by the brilliant minds behind Michigan’s epic podcast “The Vegetable Beet” (Go subscribe right now!). You can hear it in the link below, where Ben Phillips is accompanied by his daughter’s toy tambourine. Crank it up to 11!

You can even download Ben’s sheet music here.

I see a white tank and I want it painted black
No algae anymore, I want my water back
I see the cart drive up while spraying summer rows
I have to dump it out until the algae goes

I see my neighbours’ tanks and they’re all painted black
With copper sulfate they claim algae won’t come back
I see them turn their heads and quickly look away
They see my algae grow in sunlight every day

I look inside the tank to see if it is black
I could park it in the shed, or in the shade out back
Maybe then it’ll fade away and I can face the facts
It’s not easy filling up when your filters plug with crap

I wish that my green sea would turn a deeper blue
If you try chlorine pucks it will clear up for you

I’ll store my tanks away from that bright summer sun
Then I’ll spray algae-free before the mornin’ comes

I see a clean tank ‘cause I had it painted black
No algae anymore, I got my water back

I see the cart drive up while spraying summer rows
Clear water coming out, and no more clogging woes

Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm
Hmm, hmm, hmm

I want to see your tank painted black!
Black as night!
Black as coal!
I wanna see the bugs, knocked right out of the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted black, yea!