Nozzles: Renewed Focus

Truthfully, spray drift has been a key issue for U.S.-based nozzle manufacturers since they first started supplying products to the agricultural marketplace. In fact, says Steve Pearson, Spraying Systems business manager for North America and Europe, companies that deal with international markets have long fought the battle to control drift for customers and their governmental agencies.

“Spray drift is a very, very strong issue in Eu­rope and countries over there have some pretty strict drift regulations that we as a company have to adhere to,” says Pearson. “We’ve been working with these kind of issues for decades, so working with U.S. rules doesn’t seem all that difficult. Ultimately, it always comes down to the same thing — droplet size vs. coverage.”

Unfortunately, the industry’s forward-thinking approach to product choices hasn’t always been appreciated behind the walls of state and federal capital buildings. Here, says Mark Bartel, president for Wilger Inc., phrases like “zero drift” and accompanying legislation have popped up way too numerously during the first decade of the 21st century. “In Washington, DC, we haven’t done as good a job communicating our spray drift efforts as we should have,” says Bartel. “There are some lawmakers out there that want to test and certify each drift technology we currently have — even the ones that have been proven effective over the years.”

Many of these technological advances are on display from the various nozzle makers. These include Ultra Lo-Drift spray tips from Hypro Corp., which are designed to produce large air-filled droplets to reduce drift potential; AD Anti-Drift Flat spray tips from Lechler Inc., which features a pre-chamber that increases droplet size without inducting air, lowering the likelihood of drift, according to the company; and CP-65T nozzles from The CP Products Co., which can be adjusted to 18 different combinations to regulate product flow and droplet size.

More Options = More Targets

Of course, changes in product types has also altered the way spray drift critics have viewed the problem. Historically, most spray nozzle manufacturers have focused their drift reduction efforts on herbicide applications. However, say observers, the increasing popularity of fungicide applications to improve plant health and increase crop yields have broadened the areas of concern. “By their nature, fungicides need to have more uniform coverage than herbicides to be effective,” says Spraying Systems’ Pearson. “This can complicate the whole spray drift debate.”

Ag retailers have done their best to address these concerns. According to Dave Coppess, vice president, sales and marketing for Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, IA, custom applicators at the cooperative take several measures to counter drift. These include complying with manufacturer label recommendations on tank-mix partners and wind speed restrictions, using precision ag technology for boom activation and shut-off, and actively monitoring wind direction when spraying next to sensitive crops.

Getting The Word Out

Besides looking strictly at the product end of the spray drift equation, Carolyn Baecker, president of CP Products, says the industry needs to do more to educate everyone about the issue and what’s being done to address it. “Like with many things agricultural, education is the key,” says Baecker. “Once you explain to people what droplet size is, it seems like they are better able to comprehend what’s needed to control drift and still have healthy crops.”

Many manufacturers are already taking these steps. For example, Greenleaf Technologies has recently updated its Web site. According to Will Smart, company president, this includes not only information on Greenleaf products, but the Nozzle Calculator as well. “The Nozzle Cal­culator allows you to determine the correct nozzle type and size for your application by plugging in your desired gallons per acre, speed, and nozzle spacing,” says Smart. “This information produces a summary of the different nozzles along with droplet size and the required operating pressure.”

Another Web site that offers advice on reducing drift is Tip Wizard from Wilger. “Using Tip Wizard, customers can get all the details they need on Wilger tips and use it to better their results, including reducing drift,” says the company’s Bartel.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

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
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 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT, Verdesian Ink Distribution Agreement
December 9, 2014
The agreement grants BRANDT the exclusive right to sell and market Verdesian’s patented Steric chemistry in the Turf and Ornamental and eastern U.S. ag markets under the BRANDT Reaction product line name. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Colors Of Custom Application
December 5, 2014
Although many color spray rigs are in the yards of the nation’s top ag retailers, the majority of them still come in only a few shades. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Invests In Meridian Agriculture Distribution
December 4, 2014
Meridian will provide retailers with supplier-branded products and numerous opportunities to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: Entering A New Seed Era
December 4, 2014
The seed category has been re-vitalized during the past few years, and more good news (and varieties) are headed the industry’s way in 2015. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Depressed State Of Fertilizer
December 3, 2014
Following downright giddy growth earlier this decade, fertilizer sales have fallen back down to earth the past two years. Read More

Latest News

Seed/BiotechKaren Arthur Joins AgriThority As Seed Treatment Produc…
December 19, 2014
Prior to joining AgriThority, Arthur directed research and development programs, overseeing laboratory and field research, to build the Valent U.S.A. seed treatment portfolio. Read More
EquipmentJohn Deere To Sell Crop Insurance Business
December 19, 2014
Deere & Co. has reached a definitive agreement to sell its crop insurance business, subject to regulatory approval, to Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. of Iowa. Read More
Crop InputsNufarm Fills Regulatory VP Position
December 18, 2014
Nufarm announced today that Rob Schwehr has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Innovation & Regulatory Affairs for Nufarm Americas. Read More
Seed/BiotechReport: China Approves Viptera Corn, U.S. Officials Awa…
December 17, 2014
Chinese authorities have informed some agriculture industry officials the government has approved U.S. imports of a type of genetically modified corn developed by Syngenta. Read More
FertilizerMonty’s Plant Food Brings In New Sales Rep
December 16, 2014
Monty's Plant Food Company has hired Warren Kearns as its newest Sales Representative for the South Carolina area. Read More
EquipmentHagie Wins 2014 CropLife IRON Product Of The Year Award
December 15, 2014
The self-propelled sprayer maker has a hit on its hands with the new STS Series model. Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Sees China Approving Contentious GMO Corn Soon
December 15, 2014
Syngenta will make an announcement when it receives official documentation from China that Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, has been cleared for import. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Life Sciences Names Vice President Of Communi…
December 15, 2014
Amy Bugg will oversee the execution of all promotional strategies for the corporate brand and the complete product portfolio. Read More
StewardshipFarmers, Retailers Attend 4R Certification 4U Workshop
December 15, 2014
More than 160 farmers and ag retailer attended the “4R Certification 4U” workshop December 12 to learn more about the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship, water quality research in the area and cost-sharing opportunities. Read More
Matt Hopkins10 Best New Agriculture Apps For 2015
December 15, 2014
These new agriculture apps are certain to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2015 and beyond. Read More
ManagementARA Learnings, Retail Buying Intentions: Welcome To Cro…
December 12, 2014
This informal video program puts news and events effecting retailers into context, and features Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Herbicide-Tolerant Technology Closer To Commer…
December 12, 2014
The final EIS moves Monsanto one step closer to the introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, paving the way to provide access to dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement On Her…
December 12, 2014
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a final environmental impact statement on varieties of cotton and soybeans that have been genetically engineered for resistance to several herbicides, including the one known as dicamba. Read More
CropLife 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
LegislationARA Applauds CFATS Passage Prior To Holiday Adjournment
December 11, 2014
The streamlined bill provides a four-year authorization of the CFATS program and guidance to DHS on key issues of chemical facility security Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer CropScience’s ILeVO Approved By EPA
December 11, 2014
EPA has approved ILeVO, the only seed treatment that protects the root system against infections caused by the Sudden Death Syndrome fungus and has activity against dangerous nematodes. Read More
Biologicals in Emerging Markets Map.
Crop InputsBiocontrols Could Quadruple By 2025; Will Regulators Pl…
December 11, 2014
The European experience with GMOs offers caution — and a promise — for biologicals. Read More
Crop InputsBASF Donates $75,000 To Feeding America
December 10, 2014
The donation will support Feeding America’s National Produce Program, an initiative that helps with planning, transportation and logistics to ensure fresh produce deliveries to the 200 member food banks around the country. Read More