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 herbicideresistance, 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.

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

Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
Greenleaf Technologies TADF03-D Dual Fan Nozzle
NozzlesSix Greenleaf Nozzles Approved For XtendiMax With VaporGrip Technology
February 22, 2017
Greenleaf Technologies has announced that six of its TurboDrop D Series nozzles have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax Read More
ID3 Air Induction Flat Spray Nozzle | Lechler
Nozzles2016 Nozzles And Tips Report: Waste Watchers
May 5, 2016
Every year in the spring, ag retailers and their grower-customers prepare for the coming crop season. This involves prepping crop Read More
Greenleaf Technologies TurboDrop MKII Variable Rate Nozzle
NozzlesGreenleaf Technologies Launches New TurboDrop MKII Variable Rate Nozzles
March 23, 2016
Greenleaf Technologies has announced the introduction of its new TurboDrop MKII Variable Rate Nozzles for agricultural spraying and fertilizer applications Read More
Trending Articles
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
ManagementWashington Update, Dow-DuPont Earnings, and the Passing of an AGCO Legend
April 27, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the latest Beltway news, crop protection company 1st quarter numbers, and the Read More
Crop InputsFlying Under the Radar No More, FMC Goes Big
April 13, 2017
Describing FMC as “under the radar,” admittedly, is probably a stretch. But in a snap of the fingers, FMC upped Read More
Young Corn Plants
Crop NutritionStill Hunting Yields
April 1, 2017
There’s no denying it — the agricultural marketplace today is undergoing a fundamental shift in fortunes. Not too many years Read More
Latest News
ManagementTrip Report, PSM R.I.P, and Ag’s Reaction to Federal Bu…
May 25, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent travels, the end for Process Safety Management (PSM), and how Read More
Corn soil
LegislationARA Member Testifies Before Senate Ag Committee
May 25, 2017
Agricultural retailers stand on the front-lines of the American economy. As trusted advisors to America’s farmers, ag retailers are uniquely Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsFortenza Insecticide Seed Treatment Receives EPA Regist…
May 25, 2017
Fortenza seed treatment insecticide from Syngenta has received registration approval from the U.S. EPA for use on corn and cotton Read More
ManagementFarm Market iD’s Agriculture Database Now Covers More T…
May 25, 2017
Farm Market iD, farmmarketid.com, has announced the release of its 2017 Annual Update of its farm and land database. The Read More
Food IT Fork-to-Farm
Precision AgThe Mixing Bowl Event Connects Technology, Food, and Ag…
May 24, 2017
For the fourth consecutive year, The Mixing Bowl presents FOOD IT, under the theme “Fork to Farm.” Action-oriented entrepreneurs, industry Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Seed/BiotechKansas State University Researchers Find New Pathogens …
May 24, 2017
A single seed seems so simple. Put it in the ground, give it some care, and you’ve soon grown food. Read More
Soybean Field
HerbicidesNew Dicamba Herbicide Premix Coming Soon from Syngenta
May 24, 2017
Syngenta has announced the name of its new herbicide featuring the active ingredients of S-metolachlor and dicamba. Upon registration by Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Launches New Seed Treatment Fungicide
May 22, 2017
Syngenta has announced the launch of PLENARIS seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower. PLENARIS contains Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsMonsanto’s First HPPD Herbicide Garners EPA Appro…
May 19, 2017
Monsanto announced today that EPA has federally approved Harness MAX Herbicide, the first herbicide in the Monsanto portfolio to provide Read More
ManagementPrecision Planting Deal, China Developments, and Enviro…
May 18, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the latest news on John Deere’s now dead deal for Precision Planting, China’s Read More
Soybean aphid leaf
InsecticidesMulti-state Research Reveals IPM Best Option for Treatm…
May 17, 2017
About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the U.S. in 2017 — a record high, according to Read More
GROWMARK-2017-Interns
CropLife 100GROWMARK Names 2017 Summer Interns
May 16, 2017
Forty-two college students are exploring agricultural career opportunities this summer as GROWMARK interns. They are working at FS member cooperatives Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Ag…
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
FertilizerBoth Wet and Dry Conditions Threaten Nitrogen Loss
May 15, 2017
The weather is notoriously unpredictable, leading to challenges for planting, harvesting and applying the nitrogen (N) your corn crop needs. Read More
farmer Kip Tom
Precision AgAg Tech: On the Cusp of Something Big?
May 15, 2017
The investment and ag-tech sectors’ continuing courtship of agriculture, smoldering for three or four years now, was well in evidence at Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
ManagementOpinion: Shaking Your Perspective in Ag Retail
May 12, 2017
Some of you I’m sure have encountered our recently retired salesman extraordinaire, Dan Bellanger. He worked in the industry for Read More