New Calibration Tool to be Demonstrated at Penn State's Ag Progress Days
Posted: July 30, 2012
A demonstration of an air blast sprayer calibration will be held at this year's Penn State Ag Progress Days on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 14 and 15 at 3:00 pm at the tractor rollover site.
The demonstration will focus on accurately calculating the ground speed during the application, the operating pressure of the sprayer, and the individual nozzle output. George Hamilton, University of New Hampshire, and members of the Penn State Pesticide Education Program calibration project will demonstrate these concepts with a hands-on calibration of an air blast sprayer. Pesticide applicator recertification core credits will be assigned to the presentation and growers who attend the session will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a free calibration of their sprayer.
For many reasons, including the potential to save significant amounts of money by reducing your pesticide bill, calibrating your air blast sprayer is a smart decision. Applying a chemical at the wrong rate may mean spending more money on your pesticide bill if you are over applying, which in some cases this over application may cause crop damage and potentially be in violation of the pesticide label rates. If equipment is not properly calibrated and not enough spray material is reaching the target site where it is needed, effective pest control may not be achieved. In that case, additional applications may be required, which means additional cost and time.
The challenge with air blast sprayer calibration is accurately and efficiently collecting and comparing the output from individual nozzles. Often growers “calibrate” their sprayers by filling their spray tanks, making an application, determining how much material remains in the tank, subtracting that amount from the initial amount in the tank, and dividing that by the number of acres covered. For example, if a grower has 100 gallons of application material, makes an application over one acre and then determines that 50 gallons of material remains in the tank, the conclusion is that the 50 gallons per acre is the rate of application. Although this method provides growers with an approximate gallons per acre rate for the application, it does not give an accurate picture of where on the target crop the material was applied and if coverage was uniform. If there was a leak in a hose or nozzles were clogged or worn, then the 50 gallons per acre may not be accurately applied and pest control may be uneven, which could result in damage to part of the crop.
We look forward to talking to you at Ag Progress Days .
- Director, Pesticide Education Program