Nozzle Science Still Advancing

Sentry 6120 Droplet Size Monitor, TeeJet TechnologiesThough nozzles are small in size their importance in effective ag chemical application is huge – and continues to grow as spray systems get more complex. Spray tip concerns these days for retailers include tip selection, droplet size management, drift control and spray monitoring and management tools, says Tim Stuenkel, global marketing communications manager with TeeJet Technologies. Industrywide trends are entering into dealers’ decision-making mix as well, such as expanding herbicide-resistance, increasing use of a wider range of chemistries and next-generation herbicide-resistant seed, he adds.

In recent years there has been a move to find a balance between drift control and coverage/efficacy, says Will Smart, president of Greenleaf Technologies. “The adoption of air induction nozzles without proper attention to droplet size has led to some unsatisfactory results in the past – drift control might have been great, but the chemical efficacy was compromised.”

In fact, Mark Bartel, Wilger Inc., says chemical companies are now working with tip manufacturers during their product development to find or develop tips and application techniques to maximize the performance of the chemicals with “a big eye on environmental concerns.”

Carolyn Baecker, president of CP Products Inc., points to the unrelenting pressure of lawsuits from “interests which oppose production agriculture.” Sadly, she believes these opponents have done a pretty thorough job of convincing the public that organic products are superior and that all spraying is harmful. “We’ve failed, as an industry, to respond to the criticisms effectively,” Baecker says.

Spray Pressure

With growing interest in superior drift control in new herbicide-tolerant cropping systems, Stuenkel expects his company’s Turbo TeeJet Induction (TTI) nozzle to become increasing popular. Specifically, this tip is ideal for minimizing off-target movement of a wide range of chemicals including glyphosate, 2,4-D and dicamba, Stuenkel says. The TTI’s air induction flat spray tip offers a wide operating pressure range of 15 to 100 psi, while producing Ultra Coarse (UC) and Extremely Coarse (XC) droplets.

DRT Program Buzz

Nozzle manufacturers had a few choice thoughts on EPA’s Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) Program, which recently released its product testing guidelines. Several years in the making, the voluntary program is designed to test a wide variety of application tools – with the goal of finding the most effective at lowering drift. Companies’ product packaging could then tout these environmental benefits.

The guidelines have generated a host of comments and reaction from industry stakeholders.

“Costs to do the testing envisioned in the program are enormous, and there is only one place in the U.S. ‘qualified’ to do the work,” says Carolyn Baecker, president of CP Products Inc. “It would take years for companies to get products tested, considering the thousands of products (tips and nozzles, formulations, boom designs, etc.) involved.”

She believes that if the resources this program will require were directed instead to broader, more effective educational programs for all who spray, including private applicators, the impact on drift would be much greater.

“Good products of many types and from many different companies are available to the industry right now,” says Baecker, adding that professional applicators want to do the best job possible – education is the key “tool” in the mix.

Mark Bartel, Wilger Inc., believes the goals of the DRT rating processes are well intended. However, the previously noted cost of the testing required will potentially limit adaptation and product development of chemicals and DRT technologies. “Think of the cost involved to test every chemical on the market today in every potential tank mixture with every tip at the full range of operating pressures. There has to be some common sense approach that would be more beneficial.” he says.

Will Smart, president of Greenleaf Technologies, agrees. “The challenge for the EPA is to design a program that will achieve the goal of less drift without it being onerous for the small to medium sized companies that are innovators in this field,” he says.

Indeed, the largest nozzle manufacturers and the chemical companies can fund their own wind tunnel research, but smaller companies do not have these types of research budgets. Plus, there are very few places to get this type of work done.

Wilger’s Bartel is also seeing many tank mixes with chemicals that work best with different droplet sizes.  He says the company’s patented COMBO-RATE body systems provide the ability to spray with tips of different droplet sizes to match multiple chemical requirements.  Wilger just introduced the COMBO-RATE II design to give users more mounting options.

Smart has found Greenleaf’s most popular nozzle is the Medium Pressure TurboDrop XL, which has been around for 15 years. It works well between 30 and 120 psi, with the best drift control at below 60 psi.

The TurboDrop uses a modular system that can easily be modified to change droplet size without altering the flow rate. Greenleaf has now designed a “D” version (think dicamba, 2,4-D, Drift Control) that will make a slightly larger droplet spectrum than our standard versions, says Smart.

Greenleaf’s low pressure AirMix nozzle, introduced in 2001, sparked a trend to replace conventional flat fan nozzles with the same size air injection, or Venturi nozzles, says Smart. Since they operate well between 20 and 90 psi, the user can simply exchange the red extended range flat fan or turbo flat fan with a red low pressure AirMix or another low pressure venturi nozzle, put it in the same cap, and get a 50% to 80% reduction in drift.

The company’s Medium and Low Pressure Venturi nozzles, the TDXL and AM, do an effective job of delivering Medium to Coarse droplets that are useful for more types of applications, according to the company.

Spray Patterns

Another way to balance drift control and chemical efficacy is to either increase carrier rates – which is definitely a trend Smart is seeing from chemical companies – or to increase the number of spray patterns directed at the target. Hence, Smart says he’s also seeing more twin and double fan injection nozzles over the past couple of years. Most of them spray forward and backward, with a 60 degree separation between patterns.

Smart believes these multiple spray trajectories will become even more prevalent with the introduction of previously noted new chemical formulations with 2,4-D and dicamba. These chemicals have a history of causing off-target damage to susceptible crops.

Chemical companies are being proactive, not only with new formulations that are designed to minimize drift, but also with educational programs to bring the marketplace up to speed on these new products. Smart believes they will recommend higher carrier rates (15 gallons per acre minimum), minimum wind speeds and Coarse, Very Coarse and Extremely Coarse droplet sizes. “I believe multiple spray trajectories will become even more prevalent,” he adds.

Greenleaf’s TurboDrop TwinFan, introduced in 2005 for Asian Soybean Rust, sprayed 30 degrees forward and 30 degrees backward, with air-energized droplets primarily in the Coarse-Medium range. The company’s new TurboDrop Asymmetric DualFan sprays 10 degree forward and 50 degree backward, to compensate for faster sprayer speeds. With these types of nozzles, operators are effectively spraying the target twice in one pass, says Smart.

In fact, applicators can maximize the dual spray approach even more. With Greenleaf’s Asymmetric DualFan, operators can also alternate the nozzles on the boom to give a total of four different spray trajectories, 50 degree forward, 10 degree forward, 10 degree backward and 50 degree backward. This configuration has proven to be very effective for contact herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.

Other Innovations

Al Harmon, agricultural division manager of Germany-based Lechler, notes that there few “brand new” developments in nozzle technology these days – and there really won’t be until some product delivery systems change or until chemical companies change the style and rates of tank mixes. “You can’t shove more liquid through today’s nozzles,” he notes.

Lechler is now highly focused on training and assisting retail farm supply stores to educate all levels of applicators on proper drift-reducing techniques. In particular, the company has developed a tips/instruction sheet that can be fine-tuned for assorted crop targets, including corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and specialty items. It can be laminated and hung inside the store – or printed for handing out to ag chem buyers to take with them.

Harmon points out that retailers such as Tractor Supply Co. can have very specialized regional application practices, and their salesman need to be well-versed on the proper use of lots of nozzle part numbers. Here too, Lechler can help.

Last year the company named Green Leaf, Inc. of Fontanet, IN, as its exclusive sales and distribution agent for North America. Lechler’s spray nozzle and parts inventory relocated to Fontanet.

Manufacturers have begun to offer a host of other helpful tools that will aid in drift reduction. New for the 2013 season, TeeJet has developed the Sentry 6120 Droplet Size Monitor (DSM) that utilizes a simple in-cab display and boom-mounted pressure transducer to provide real-time spray droplet size information to the operator.  The information is valuable as spraying can vary with ground speed and system pressure. The system also alerts the operator when high- and low-pressure limits have been exceeded based on user-adjustable presets.

The Sentry 6140 Tip Flow Monitor (TFM) uses individual turbine-style flow meters mounted on the nozzle body to measure and compare flow rates of each tip on the boom. Flow variances caused by plugged, partially plugged, mismatched or damaged spray tips can be quickly and precisely detected, explains Stuenkel. “The operator is alerted to a flow abnormality on the in-cab console as well as a blinking LED mounted on the boom near the spray tip,” he says.

“The TeeJet SpraySelect tip selection mobile app has proven to be a popular and useful tool for a range of end users,” says Stuenkel. Operators enter the target application rate, tip spacing, ground speed and droplet size requirements – then the app recommends tips series, size and operating pressure. (It is available for free download on both OS and Android devices.)

At Greenleaf Technologies’ Website, operators can take advantage of the company’s online Nozzle Calculator to help with tip selection. Here, users enter nozzle spacing, speed and gallons per acre rate and the calculator lists appropriate nozzle choices. It also tells what the droplet size will be at the pressure required for a specific application.

For quick clean-out, the RapidStop nozzle body adapter from TeeJet evacuates the air trapped in spray booms. Getting rid of trapped compressible air in the sprayer plumbing system reduces the accumulator effect common in most sprayers, which can result in noticeably faster tip shutoff. RapidStop can be added onto a variety of TeeJet wet boom nozzle bodies on both new and used sprayers.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Nozzle Science Still Advancing

Nozzles Stories
Nozzles18 Spray Nozzles That Reduce Drift, Optimize Coverage
May 7, 2014
This year’s line-up of tips feature the versatility to handle any spray job. View photos and product descriptions of the latest nozzles on the market in our slideshow. Read More
NozzlesChanging Crop Protection Landscape Demands Drift Advances
May 1, 2014
New weed control systems and growing public pressure mean technologies to minimize drift can’t come fast enough. Read More
Screen captures of Greenleaf Technologies’s mobile application app for agriculture on iPhone showing the home screen and an example result from their Nozzle Calculator called ‘NozzleCalc
NozzlesGreenleaf Launches Free NozzleCalc App
January 16, 2014
Quickly calculate sprayer settings for TurboDrop and AirMix nozzles anywhere with the new Greenleaf Technologies Nozzle Calculator app. Read More
NozzlesTeeJet Technologies Launches New Droplet Size Monitor, Guidance System
July 24, 2013
TeeJet has unveiled two new products: the Sentry 6120 Droplet Size Monitor, which helps operators improve spray applications, and the Matrix Pro GS guidance system with enhanced swath control. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer Warehouse
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
CropLife 100United Suppliers, McGregor Co., Five Others To Form Aligned Ag Distributors
January 20, 2015
These companies will continue to operate as independently owned and operated businesses, however, their crop protection divisions will now be formally aligned under the umbrella of Aligned Ag Distributors. Read More
CropLife 100Bozeman Named SEEDWAY Chief Operating Officer
January 16, 2015
He succeeds Donald Wertman, who will retire at the end of August 2015 after 40 years with the GROWMARK subsidiary. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis’ Craig Bair Honored For Safety Contributions To Ag Aviation
January 14, 2015
The William O. Marsh Safety Award recognizes significant achievements in safety, safety education or an outstanding operational safety program. Read More
Latest News
Seed/BiotechDow Details Enlist Trait Stacking Standards
January 30, 2015
Dow says it will allow the Enlist trait to be stacked with advanced glyphosate traits only, and will not allow stacking with the first generation of the Roundup Ready trait. Read More
ManagementCropLife Retail Week: IFCA’s Jean Payne on Illinois wat…
January 30, 2015
Editor Eric Sfiligoj shares insight from the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association conference including a chat with IFCA President Jean Read More
ManagementOABA Conference Set To Highlight Trends, Technology And…
January 29, 2015
The third annual Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) Industry Conference is set to take place February 4-5. Read More
FertilizerThe Fertilizer Institute President Jahn Testifies Befor…
January 28, 2015
The committee hearing, "Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce," looked at challenges facing our nation's freight rail network created by higher demand, rules and regulations and infrastructure needs. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue University Acquires Technology For Herbicide Mol…
January 28, 2015
Protea's LAESI DP-1000 Instrument System will be used in Purdue's College of Agriculture, the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, for the molecular imaging of herbicide active ingredients and other related compounds to optimize herbicide applications and improve weed management.  Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Hires New Crop Peformance Marketing Manager
January 27, 2015
As Marketing Manager for the Crop Performance division, Usman Khalid will work out of H.J. Baker’s global headquarters in Westport, CT, and will drive new initiatives for the division. Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
Exclusive state-of-the art Stueve Construction designed “Vista View” Elevated Control Room.
Eric Sfiligoj2015 Agricultural Market Read: Mixed
January 26, 2015
The agricultural market could look radically different this year, profit-wise, depending upon which segment you do business in. Read More
Edward Chell Biosafe
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Names Ed Chell California Territory Man…
January 26, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the recent addition of Ed Chell as California Territory Manager for the agrichemical division, supporting the crop protection, water treatment and food safety business segments. Read More
InsecticidesBayer CropScience Introduces Sivanto Insecticide
January 26, 2015
Sivanto precisely targets key damaging pests at multiple insect life stages to prevent damage to plants and help minimize the spread of diseases from insect carriers. Read More
ManagementRetail Collaboration, Communicating Agriculture’s Good …
January 23, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the recent creation of Aligned Ag Distributors, and the US Farmers and Ranchers Read More
FertilizerOSU Expert: Toledo Water Crisis A Turning Point For Ohi…
January 23, 2015
The August 2014 water crisis in Toledo, OH, impacted Ohioans’ views of Lake Erie algae problems by increasing the attribution of blame of algae growth on agriculture. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Launching TIGER XP
January 22, 2015
Tiger-Sul introduces this next generation sulphur-bentonite product with a proprietary activator – ensuring farmers have a well-balanced nutrient replacement program. Read More
Crop InputsH.J. Baker Expands China Sales Force
January 21, 2015
Global Agricultural firm H.J. Baker announced that sales veteran Shi Dongshen has joined their Shanghai office in China. This newest hire follows the recent opening of their Lianyungang Sulphur Bentonite Plant. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer …
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
Matt Hopkins5 Bold Predictions For Ag Retail In 2015
January 21, 2015
This past year was filled with ups and downs for the nation’s top ag retailers, but what will 2015 have in store? Read More
SoftwareDeere Launches App Center
January 20, 2015
The John Deere App Center provides users the ability to search and find apps most useful to their business or operations. Read More
Crop InputsNew Syngenta Herbicide Approved In Soybeans, Sunflowers
January 20, 2015
Syngenta will sell BroadAxe XC herbicide in 2015 for use on soybeans, sunflowers and dry peas Read More