Spray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance

Case sprayer nozzle closeup
Solid designs promise better coverage and less drift in this new era of more complex cropping systems.

If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay ahead for nozzle innovation, he honestly would have said, “Not too much.” The industry had developed some effective products. But today sprayers have come under much closer scrutiny. And with the development of new herbicide-resistant cropping systems, nozzles are under EPA’s microscope.

Related: Broadcast Spray Hoods Stop Wind Factor

Nozzle manufacturers have been upping their R&D game to prove and improve their products. They also have been working with Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto and BASF for almost three years now to pinpoint which tips work best with the new 2,4-D and dicamba systems. The list of specific nozzles approved for each label by EPA is growing, with new ones being added as the season launched.

Sampling of Products

Wilger’s Combo-Jet DR Series is on the dicamba label. Bartel explains these tips function well with pulse width modulation (PWM) systems such as AIM Command, Hawkeye or Capstan. “Ours are the only ones that are approved that are not air induction tips. There’s quite a few of those machines out there with the pulsing systems, and with air induction type tips, operators have to go to conventional or rate controller systems — they have to turn off the pulsing system — to use the other types of tips.” Bartel says PWM systems offer the constant pressure which maintains constant droplet size, driftable fines and constant application rate over a larger speed range.

Combo-Jet DR110-04 | Wilger
Wilger’s Combo-Jet DR Series

In fact, the morning after Combo-Jet DR 110-10s were approved in February, customers were calling Wilger to order. “We’ve sold probably 30 to 40 times the number of tips than we have in the past,” says Bartel.

Wilger has also developed the new Combo-Jet UR tip, which features a dual chamber design with a “stacked” pre-orifice. The big advantage is it gives a larger droplet size and fewer fines over a wider pressure range and sizes in a flat fan spray pattern — and from what testing shows, “better uniformity than anything on the market today, including our own tips,” says Bartel. EPA approved a number of UR tips at presstime for Monsanto’s system.

Due to its extremely good drift control the Turbo TeeJet Induction tip (TTI ), was initially the only tip series approved for the dicamba system, and it “continues to be the top choice due to the wide operating pressure and capacity choices approved for applications,” says Tim Stuenkel, Global Marketing Communications Manager with TeeJet Technologies.

“With 2,4-D, the TTI, along with the original AI and AIXR tips provide very good drift control while offering slightly smaller droplet sizes for improved coverage,” he explains.

The D Series of Greenleaf Techno­logies’ popular TurboDrop nozzles were designed with dicamba, 2,4-D and glyphosate applications in mind,” says Will Smart, President. “These nozzles deliver ultra-coarse (UC) and extremely coarse (XC) spray droplets for maximum drift control over a wide operating range.”

Greenleaf Technologies also offers DualFan TurboDrop nozzles which can spray the target four times in one pass. “Spraying with extremely coarse and ultra coarse droplets can really hurt spray coverage,” Smart says. “The Dual­­ Fan nozzles can help improve coverage with these very large droplets by covering the plant or weed from the front and the back.”

Hypro’s Ultra Lo-Drift (ULD) spray tips produce XC and UC droplets across a wide pressure range making them ideal for 2,4-D and dicamba spraying and are approved on the new chemical labels, says Wayne Steward, Global Product Manager. “Their large air-centered droplets provide superior resistance to drift.”

Lechler makes several styles of drift reduction nozzles. The ID nozzle creates the largest droplet size profile in company’s product line, and a number of nozzles in the ID family have been approved for the new cropping systems, says Al Harmon, Spray Products Specialist.

“The IDK is a good all-around choice for sprayers that operate at lower pressures — the optimal spray pattern forms at lower relative pressures. All of our drift reduction nozzles have predictable, repeatable performance curves, and our retailers can prescribe flow and pressure recommendations for growers with confidence.

“For use in canopied crops, the IDKT and our newest IDTA nozzles are twin pattern nozzles that are great options when coverage is key,” adds Harmon. The IDTA is designed to be used by applicators at higher ground speeds, as the patterns will apply more liquid to the front of the boom.

TeeJet-TTI60-11003VP
TeeJet TTI60 TwinJet

More New Items

The TTI TwinJet (TTI60) Spray Tip, an air induction, twin flat spray tip just went into production at the end of 2016. It has some strong similarities to the TTI tip, in terms of the UC and XC droplets produced and produces even fewer driftable fines. The twin pattern offers the advantage of improved coverage and canopy penetration for post-emerge applications, says TeeJet’s Stuenkel. The nozzle does not currently have approval for use with any of the new generation dicamba products, but TeeJet expects to get the okay for next season.

CP Products has developed a new check valve for nozzles that helps prevent unwanted chemical loss. The Air Stop check valve gives applicators a reliable, fast air shut off, says Michelle Parrent. She notes that while standard pinch valves can take hours to completely shut off with leaky bladders, the CP Air Stop shuts off within seconds, with no leaks and drips.

“Air Stop combos are available with built in nozzle that produces a range of droplet spectra from Medium to Ultra Coarse all in one easy to maintain unit,” she describes. Conversion kits are available for already existing CP check valves and Turbo Floater Combos.

More news from the company: It’s near release of an adapter that will allow use of other manufacturers’ approved tips on its Air Stop and Turbo Floaters. CP is also working on a new tip line for its 74Q carousel nozzle. These tips are designed to work with the new dicamba system. CP is in the early stages of testing for the line — and is already showing some positive results.

Raising Questions

Concerns have been raised that droplets from the latest nozzles are too coarse, jeopardizing coverage and opening the door for herbicide resistance to develop.

Chemical manufacturers have attempted to offset the problem by putting guidelines on application rate and speed. Rates are 10 to 15 gallons per acre, and maximum rig speed is 15 mph.

Greenleaf Technologies’ Smart also wonders how growers are going to deal with problem weeds in the large buffer zones mandated by product labels.

What about the challenges of making decisions about new spray equipment? Specific nozzles at specific pressures are listed on dicamba system labels — making nozzle selection process more complex as operators evaluate rate, speed and droplet size combinations. “At Hypro we’ve tried to make this process more simple by creating a new easy select chart by rate, showing the minimum and maximum speeds the sprayer can go when using the Hypro ULD nozzle at a certain carrier rate,” says Steward.
Indeed, both nozzle and chemical manufacturers are publishing helpful lists and charts to make tip choices easier.

Dr. Erdal Ozkan, Professor and Extension Specialist with The Ohio State University doubts that many rigs are already are equipped with the nozzles needed for 2,4-D or dicamba products. Buy the tips now, he urges, as many operators will want them. “There may be short-term shortages,” he says.

Ozkan also recommends keeping several types and sizes of nozzles on the boom, for spraying a variety of pesticides during the season.

Going forward, companies are working to develop nozzles to meet federal and state requirements for drift reduction but still provide efficacy to the growers.

“We are ensuring good efficacy in the design by modifying features like droplet size, spray angle and spray incline to meet their specific needs while still reducing drift,” says Hypro’s Steward. “I believe we will continue to see more drift reduction restrictions added to more and more chemicals as time goes on so it will be up to us to stay ahead and produce the right nozzles.”

Across the industry, Lechler’s Harmon sees great drift reduction offerings in place from all the manufacturers. “We just need to use them as designed and understand their differences and advantages,” he says. “Our immediate issues will be educating the applicators to pick the optimal tank mix programs and nozzles that best meet their local field conditions.

“As we get feedback and results from this season’s work, we can adjust and add to the tools the retailers have at their disposal in their local markets. The attention and focus on these details is an ongoing effort for us.”

Education is huge, agrees Lucas Olenick, Marketing and Product Coordinator with Wilger. He points out that spraying conditions can vary from field to field, farm to farm, day to day and even hour to hour. As growers continue to learn to tailor their spray applications to their conditions, it will allow them to both get better application in ideal conditions, but more importantly, to manage the application in less than ideal conditions.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Spray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance

Equipment Stories

PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
EquipmentAgTech Summit Aiming High for Modern Farming Solutions
June 12, 2017
THRIVE AgTech, in partnership with SVG Partners and Forbes, is hosting the third annual Forbes AgTech Summit June 28-29 in Read More
Central Valley Ag Randolph, NE
Precision AgLand O’Lakes Invests in EFC Systems
June 12, 2017
Land O’Lakes, Inc. has made a minority equity investment in EFC Systems, Inc., an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and precision Read More
Wilbur-Ellis’ new fertilizer blending facility, located in Mott, ND, was designed by A.J. Sackett & Sons.
BlendersSackett-Waconia Restructures its Sales Force
June 12, 2017
Sackett-Waconia has added three new positions to their sales team: John Lamneck as Regional Account Manager – Eastern U.S.; Craig Read More
Trending Articles
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
Redbanded-stinkbug-on-soybean-Photo-credit-Thomas-County-Ag
Crop InputsExperts: Mild Winter, Early Planting Will Increase Soybean Insect Threat
June 12, 2017
Higher than average temperatures this past winter affected much of the nation, especially the South and Midwest. The National Centers 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
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
Latest News
Young Corn Plants
Eric SfiligojLaunching New Seed Traits: Wait on China . . . Or Else!
June 26, 2017
In life, no one likes the waiting game. In agriculture, however, playing the waiting game is very important – especially Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Speaks on Dicamba Issues in Arkansas
June 26, 2017
Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, Robb Fraley, issued the following statement following the Arkansas State Plant Board’s proposal to ban dicamba, Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechCorn Insect Bt Technologies Offer Cost-effective, Proac…
June 26, 2017
When farm economics are challenging, farmers look for ways to bolster profit margins, including reducing input costs. Some may think Read More
Crop InputsArkansas Plant Board Votes to Ban Dicamba — Now W…
June 23, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has voted to pass a proposed emergency rule to ban the use of in-crop dicamba, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsBASF: ‘Closely Monitoring’ Dicamba Situatio…
June 22, 2017
BASF, whose Engenia herbicide is the target of more than 200 drift complaints in Arkansas, emailed the following statement to Read More
ManagementConsolidation Update
June 22, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss progress on manufacturer consolidation, and another big move for Midwest cooperative Central Valley Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
Crop InputsThreat of Dicamba Ban Looms in Arkansas
June 22, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has rejected a proposed ban on the use of dicamba herbicide, but a procedural error Read More
Potash Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium-PotashCorp to become Nutrien upon Merger Complet…
June 21, 2017
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have announced today that once the anticipated merger transaction closes, the new Read More
Crop InputsMidwestern BioAg Hosts TerraNu Fertilizer Plant Opening…
June 20, 2017
Last Friday, Midwestern BioAg was joined by over 80 local farmers, media and staff to celebrate the grand opening of Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsAligned Ag Distributors Names New President
June 19, 2017
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC announced this morning the appointment of Mary Tolke to the position of President/CEO, effective July 1. Read More
ManagementPlotting Corn, AGCO/Asmark’s Applicator Training Center…
June 15, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent visits to Columbus, OH, and Bloomington, IL, along with an Read More
Seed/BiotechDow AgroSciences Announces Launch of Enlist Corn for 20…
June 14, 2017
Enlist corn will be commercially available in the U.S. for the 2018 growing season. Dow AgroSciences announced the launch today Read More
ASMARK AGCO Applicator Training Center
EmployeesAsmark, AGCO Open Training Center for Beginning Applica…
June 13, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute have opened a new Applicator Training Center, created in a collaboration between the two Read More
Power to Do More Contest Winners
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Three Winners in Power to Do…
June 13, 2017
Thousands of votes have been cast and three farmers have been awarded the power to do more with a $10,000 Read More
Frogeye leaf spot
FungicidesStrobilurin-resistant Frogeye Leaf Spot Threat Looms wi…
June 13, 2017
Heavy spring rainfall throughout the South and Midwest delayed planting and created the perfect environment for diseases like frogeye leaf Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
LegislationICGA Praises President Trump’s Remarks on Waterwa…
June 12, 2017
Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan, a farmer from Utica, issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s comments Read More
Wheat Growers
UncategorizedWheat Growers Names Tracy Linbo as Senior Vice Presiden…
June 12, 2017
Wheat Growers has hired Tracy Linbo as Senior Vice President of Agronomy. Linbo joins Wheat Growers after having served 10 Read More