Herbicide Application Timing and Proper Cleanout: Farmers Have Choices, Retailers Don’t
Everyone with an interest in a crop takes pride in watching it grow during the season. No one likes to see a crop damaged by herbicides. Application timing is critical when it comes to success. This was one of the topics discussed in a report published by Purdue Extension titled “Removing Herbicide Residues from Agricultural Application Equipment.”
When farmers are pressed for time, they may decide that some crop damage can’t be avoided — there are thousands of acres to treat, and waiting is not an option. Farmers who are behind schedule know that if they don’t apply the herbicide before it rains, taller weeds will become more difficult to control and reduce crop yield.
Yields also may be affected if sprayer tanks are not thoroughly rinsed or not all of the screens get cleaned. The decision is whether to have a weedy field that will yield less, or have a field in which the farmer has some yield loss from herbicide residue injury.
These are tough choices farmers have to make. Every hour is critical. Farmers can decide to quickly flush their sprayer systems instead of spending the time to break down the system for a complete cleaning. They can do this because they are spraying their own fields.
On the other hand, retailers never have the flexibility or choice of not cleaning the sprayer system — they are spraying someone else’s fields.