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
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 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Creates, Fills New Pacific Northwest Sales P…
March 30, 2015
H.J. Baker announced today that Gary Bingham has joined the company’s Crop Performance Division to further deepen its sales portfolio Read More
Algal blooms
StewardshipStudy: Algae From Clogged Waterways Could Be Used As Bi…
March 30, 2015
Water-borne algal blooms from farm fertilizer runoff can destroy aquatic life and clog rivers and lakes, but scientists are reporting Read More
Young corn plants
Stewardship4R Nutrient Stewardship Summit Coming To DC
March 30, 2015
The annual 4R Nutrient Stewardship Summit will be held on May 12 in Washington DC. The summit will include a full Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More