For nozzle makers, the 21st century has represented a seemingly unending race to keep pace. As the market conditions for agriculture have remained relatively stable during this time, keeping up with all the changes in how application is being employed has been in constant flux. For example, the industry’s most widely used herbicide, glyphosate, is best applied using a coarse droplet size. However, as glyphosate-resistant weeds such as Palmer amaranth (more commonly known as pigweed) have grown in number, applicators are starting to work more with contact herbicides such as Liberty (glufosinate), which work better in medium droplet size.
In essence, says Greenleaf Technologies’ Will Smart, the whole situation compares to a gymnastics training session. “Getting maximum efficacy out of the chemistry is a balancing act,” says Smart.
To address these needs, Covington, LA-based Greenleaf Technologies has introduced its TurboDrop Asymmetric DualFan (TADF) nozzle. According to Smart, this can deliver air-filled droplets from two different angles — 10° forward and 50° rearward — in order to improve backside coverage of vertical and angular targets. “Most twinfan or dualfan nozzles spray 30° forward or backward, with the same amount of flow from each orifice,” he says.
New Brighton, MN-based Hypro also has promoted the degree of incline in its new products. In fact, according to John Lang, global sales engineer, the company’s newest product, GuardianAIR Twin, “incorporates both a twin spray design and air inclusion droplets” for this reason.
Tim Stuenkel, global marketing communications manager for TeeJet Technologies, Wheaton, IL, agrees that the use of more contact herbicides is changing some application requirements. In addition, he adds that “the increasing use of fungicides is causing users to seek out spray tips that produce somewhat finer droplet sizes and offer excellent leaf coverage.” For these users, TeeJet offers its TurboTwinJet (TTJ60), which can address the needs for dual spray pattern/mid-range droplet size coupled with leaf coverage and canopy penetration.
Looking For A Quick Change
Although they are increasingly working with a more varied array of crop protection products, says Carolyn Baecker, president at The CP Products Co., Inc., Tempe, AZ, controlling spray drift has been a constant need these past few years. “Applicators are under an amazing amount of pressure — to do a good job as quickly and efficiently as possible while still getting good coverage without drift problems,” says Baecker.
And according to Baecker, this is why CP pre- and post-emerge nozzles are designed with multiple orifices and deflector tips. “The flexibility built into our nozzles makes it possible for an applicator to change quickly from one rate to another or to modify droplet spectrum should field conditions change during a job,” she says. “Since it isn’t necessary to remove and replace tips, these adjustments can be made, even on a large boom with lots of nozzles, in just a couple of minutes.”
Besides crop protection work, some applicators are looking for nozzles that can apply crop nutrients. “More and more small grain producers around the globe are applying liquid nitrogen and are needing a precise and affordable solid stream spray tip,” says TeeJet’s Stuenkel. For this market, the company has its SJ3 and SJ7 StreamJet nozzles, which work with a wide range of sprayers for broadcast application of nitrogen.
“All three of these trends contribute to an even bigger trend, which is that the average user is trying to make more spray applications per crop year,” he says. “This requires the user to pay more attention to proper tip selection and, due to the variability of the weather, operate with ever tighter windows of opportunity for spraying.”