How To Improve Sprayer Efficiency

No one likes to waste money, but custom applicator Bill French believed that’s exactly what he was doing when spraying crop protection products with standard valves.

“When I used to shut the boom off, the nozzles didn’t shut off immediately,” says French, who custom sprays about 50,000 acres of rice and soybeans in northeast Arkansas. “There was still product coming out of the tips, and that’s just wasting money.”

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To overcome the frustrating problem of continued spraying after the boom has been switched off, French started using TeeJet Technologies’ Flow Back valves.

“The shut off time when the nozzles actually quit spraying went from 5 to 8 seconds to about 1 second when we started using the Flow Back valves,” he says. “This reduces chemical waste tremendously and saves our customers a lot of cost. There is no doubt it saves chemical.”

Sprayers with standard valves trap pressure in the boom when they are switched off. As a result, the boom continues spraying for several seconds before completely shutting off. The technology behind Flow Back valves includes an extra passage that allows boom pressure to be dissipated immediately – this passage allows spray solution to return to the tank to relieve that pressure, and is the key to fast shut off at the boom. The boom remains full of liquid and spraying resumes immediately when the valves are switched back on.

“Due to the rapid shut off of spray tips when the boom sections are shut off, Flow Back valves eliminate product waste and improve sprayer accuracy by reducing skips, overlaps, and re-sprays,” says Pat Maney, wet products business manager with TeeJet Technologies. “Applicators can spray to the end of the row while minimizing the overlap that can occur in the end rows.” Without Flow Back valves, operators must try to compensate for shut off delays of five to 10 seconds or more, which can lead to over application or costly re-sprays.

Flow Back valves are compatible with all levels of sprayer control systems, from simple to sophisticated, and require no special wiring or plumbing. They also are a companion to automatic boom section control systems. The compact, electrically-actuated Flow Back valves are available in three product platforms – 430 FB, 450 FB and 460 FB each rated for different pressures and flows.

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