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Sprayer Nozzle Selection

by Lowell Graybill, CropCare Product Specialist 

When it comes to selecting the best spray nozzles to use on your sprayer, it’s likely that most would agree that it’s no simple task. To start with, the number of spray tip manufacturers is numerous, including TeeJet, Delavan, Hypro (Pentair), Green Leaf, CP, and others. Next is the myriad of styles, including flat fan, hollow cone, extended range, and streaming, just to name a few. Then, it’s necessary to consider characteristics, such as spray angles, air induction, multiple patterns, and pre-orifices. Another consideration to keep in mind is the material itself, whether it’s brass, aluminum, stainless steel, ceramic, or poly. That’s a lot of factors to consider!

What to Consider When Selecting a Sprayer Nozzle

To make heads and tails of the complex decision, it’s essential to start with the basics and to enlist other key people in the mix. When determining the nozzle to use, you’ll need to know what your chemical rep recommends and, in some cases, stipulates. Due to the nature of the product you are spraying, nozzle patterns and drift control may determine where to start. Product labels also help to determine whether a product you are applying is a contact, systemic or soil applied product. This will become important when determining which nozzle will provide the best coverage and droplet size for the intended results. And finally, be sure to establish a clear understanding of the rate to be applied.

Your spray equipment rep should be able to help you understand the specifications and capability of your sprayer, including pump capacity, pressure ratings, boom height and nozzle spacing, volume capabilities, and control system features.

Sprayer charts can be helpful in the selection process. Here are some TeeJet examples showing types of nozzles suitable to different applications, along with links to corresponding sizing charts.

Keeping in mind each of the characteristics and requirements already mentioned, you’ll need the following key pieces of information before even looking at nozzle charts: rate (gpa), speed (mph), pressure (psi) and nozzle spacing (inches). Without any one of these, it will be a shot in the dark to make the best choice. The charts themselves can be somewhat confusing, so it’s in your best interest to work with your sprayer chemical rep, equipment supplier, and county extension office to ultimately make the best choice.

For all your sprayer and equipment needs, contact the helpful team at CropCare.

Get the Most Out of Trade Shows This Year

Farm trade shows can be a fun way to network, expand your knowledge, and learn ways to improve your farm operation.

CropCare offers the following tips to help you get the most out of the 2017-18 lineup of trade shows. Go prepared so you get the most out of it.

mobile app trade show image
Use trade show mobile apps to locate exhibitors and plan your schedule.

Research & Mobile Apps

Look online for the trade show event(s) you plan to attend. See if there is an event map available, especially one that includes a list of participating trade show vendors and their display locations. Plot your course.

Some events have mobile apps specifically designed for trade show events, which can help you view a show map, mark booths to see, view the contacts/sales reps who will be at each booth, and get contact information for vendors. You can also learn about workshops and discounts more easily.

SE Regional 2017, the official mobile app for the 2017 SE Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference, lets attendees explore sessions, develop their own personal schedules, access speaker information, and post and view popular discussion topics and show-related photos.

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How to Stay Safe During Harvest Time

National Farm Safety & Health Week: Sept. 17-23

To keep farm safety a priority, and with National Farm Safety & Health Week in mind, we offer the following harvest safety tips:

  1. Keep equipment in optimal condition, with routine inspections and maintenance. Examine equipment regularly and keep an inspection/maintenance log.
  2. Replace worn parts to avoid safety risks and downtime.
  3. Examine the terrain before operating farming equipment to inspect for unusual or unexpected sinkholes, drop-offs, slopes, etc. Know what your land has in store for you before heading out.
  4. logo National Farm SafetySmall tractors require safety measures just as combines do. Tractors should have roll-over protection, especially on terrain with slopes or stream banks, and should not be used on slopes that are too steep.
  5. Do not fuel your equipment in an enclosed building or when the engine is hot.
  6. Do not attempt to fix a moving part of your equipment. Turn off equipment and wait for all parts to stop moving. Entanglement is a high risk and one of the most common causes of farm injury.
  7. You should wear proper PPE, free of loose strings or dangling ties that pose a risk of entanglement. Once again, turn off all equipment (cutter bars, augers, conveyors etc.) before resolving blockages or checking levels.
  8. Practice bin safety when loading or unloading grain. Avoid entering a bin when possible; use a long pole to break up stuck grain and wear a safety harness while working. Have another person nearby to serve as safety guard, observing at all times.
  9. Your equipment should display SMV signs on the back. If you must use public roads to move equipment to and from the fields, have SMV signage on machinery, reflectors, and flag any items that protrude.
  10. image cropcare farm safety sprayerBe aware of state and local regulations regarding transporting various pieces of farm machinery. Equipment operators should observe weight ratings and height restrictions regarding various roadways, bridge crossings and overpasses.
  11. Because another round of spraying often follows harvest, review the Material Safety Data Sheets that list safety gear, hazards, and precautions for the chemicals and pesticides you are applying. Routinely review the pesticide application information you received for your applicator certification, whether for commercial or noncommercial application. See  Respiratory Overview and Pesticide Worker Safety.

(Learn more: National Education Center for Agricultural Safety)


5 tips to be profitable in 2017

farming, profitable farming, farming tips, agriculture, farm profits, ag profits, farming success, 2017 profitsCropCare offers the following tips to farmers for remaining profitable this year:

  1. Have a farm financial plan in place that projects an estimated crop income and expenses (including labor costs and equipment maintenance). In years with above average crop prices, try to save 20% of your revenue for lean times.
  2. Precision agriculture can help monitor crop yield, track crop variations, levels of fertility, and more. This comprehensive list is a helpful guide to precision ag terminology and advantages. Keep records each year to determine profit flux and the possible reasons for them.
  3. Get the most life out of your equipment investment. Take care of the equipment you already own, with proper and routine maintenance, as well as proper storage. See our December Post
  4. Apply nutrients and pesticides efficiently, and not before conducting a soil test. Knowing what is needed can help you avoid spraying too much (a waste of money and product) or avoid spraying too little (resulting in a lower crop yield).
  5. Lastly, consider diversified operations, whether by growing different crops, offering storage to others, providing agritainment, etc. See diversification suggestions from Penn State Extension.