Air-blast Sprayer Calibration: Educator Perspective

In this video, learn about the importance of air-blast sprayer calibration to help reduce pesticide use and increase cost savings to the grower.
Air-blast Sprayer Calibration: Educator Perspective - Videos

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One place is very good grower and he was trying to spray three different blocks trees in the same sprayer by changing the number of nozzles that he had on the sprayer and well what we did by running calibrations was discovered that he could get his sprayer calibration a lot closer if you just simply change the location of where he put the nozzles yet the big nozzles up top in a lot of times he was turning off the volume that he wanted and if he moved into a different position on the boom he would get a more even calibration across his blocks I went to another smaller orchard operation where the owner had purchased a brand new sprayer from the dealership who gave an absolutely no instruction on how it worked and he didn't know that he could turn off nozzles and they adjusted to put the largest nozzles at the very top on the spray manifold where they sprayed straight up in the air and even hit the tree so by again by simply rearranging his nozzles we are able to get the spray coverage where needed to be it's always interesting the other items that come up through doing calibration you know in this one orchard situation they were pumping a sump and they didn't realize they were picking up foreign debris as in gravel and some wood product that was had accumulated in the sump pump area they pumped that into there sprayer to get rid of it and they didn't realize what they were doing so you know in that case, hey, maybe you should be checking your strainer more often when you did that right after so that that those foreign particles don't get into the system itself the level of maintenance on orchard sprayer is critical that you maintain your rubber gaskets, your goof valves, your diaphragms, the nozzles, making sure that they're all current and not five years in a dry rot in break and people know what they're doing they know what they're putting out they they have a a good idea but little errors creep in you know the tractor tires we have worn down since you calibrated the sprayers and now your tractor is going a little slower than you think it is or your pump gets a little old and tired and your pressure isn't exactly what you think it is i mean sometimes we go to places and we find it there pressure guage just stopped working and they just haven't bothered to fix it is no I worked fine you know we're doing fine we don't need to fix it or one of the biggest things I find is that that the nozzles that they think are in the sprayer are not the nozzles that are in the sprayer they we'll have drop them in the middle of the night when they're spraying and they'll just take one quick and stick it in so they can get the job done and they forget to go back and fix it put the right nozzle in. the other thing that's really critical that a lot the growers during this week is they don't have the information written down and to me the most important thing during this week of working with the growers is having them write down that information so they have it from year to year or if somebody's sick, somebody in the operation knows how to operate it a lot of times people tell me that I don't need to change by calibration I don't need to check my spare is putting out exactly what it put out when I got it from the dealer. the dealer set it all up for me and it was fine and it's still spraying exactly the same so it's obviously just right and I would have to say that the dealer doesn't necessarily calibrate the sprayer with the precision that you want to have the sprayer will ask you the speed of your tractor he'll ask you your row width, he'll ask you how much pressure the tractors putting out, the sprayer is putting out he then uses a little slide rule to calculate how many gallons per minute you want and then he goes to his book and he figures out the nearest gallons per minute that the nozzles we be putting out to reach the the rate that you want I received a sprayer from that had been recalibrated by the dealer had all new nozzles on it and it used to take me four thousand gallons to spray the orchard and when I recalibrated it I could then cover the orchard using only 3,250 gallons which is like a 15 percent savings when it was a forty thousand dollar sprayer bill so 15 percent savings is a significant amount okay you feel that you're getting, lets show me but see what it's doing it and using them you know the technology we have today and see what you're actually putting on and it's a win-win situation well I'll say to growers they'll say well I'm getting fine coverage now and I'll look at them and say if I could come up to your car and give you 4 more miles to the gallon by simply making a few adjustments to your car would you do that and they go yeah, but so you say I can get you more bang for your buck with your sprayer if you'll just follow this program and make a few adjustments to it and then they say no so I I don't understand that we have newer materials coming out that are more specific but these materials were applying in ounces or parts of ounces per acre and a 10 percent error with the material like that of applying too much is drops verses a material that you know the common one you know captain we're putting to three pounds maybe four pounds per acre and we made a ten-percent error we're talking about a quarter pound to a half a pound so it you know critical today that we're more precise in our applications because we're going to smaller finite amounts of materials and it's easier here to make more mistakes when were dealing with smaller amounts with the average farm up our way being around fifty acres of fruit trees and you start looking at how much each individual nozzle cost no I a whirl plate with that little ceramic tippit at the end roughly fifteen maybe twenty dollars and you know you relate that to the orchard is you know that's one bushel of apples you know on one bushel of apples and if they're pulling 300, 400 hundred bushels is that of cheap investment to make to make sure you're applying the proper amount of material on a tree and you know before we looked at materials costing five dollars an acre now we're looking at materials costing $50 dollars an acre you know a ten-percent error all of the sudden is major dollars input. some the growers are looking up words of you know two thousand dollars an acre in a season of spraying and 10 percent error mistake is two hundred dollars an acre and that can add up so you know if you're looking at your total spray bill makes a difference so you know as boom that has 10 nozzles on it equals 10 bushels you're picking 5,000 bushels pretty cheap investment to make sure you're applying with you need to be applying you know that's where we're looking at trying to keep the farmers in business and trying to get that competitive advantage


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