Nozzles get a lot of attention for their drift reduction contributions, but other technologies are developing that offer results as well.
The Redball Broadcast Hood from Willmar Fabrication — placed over sprayer booms — can help block the wind from interrupting the spray pattern, therefore reducing drift and improving overall coverage. A key component of the hood is the curtain that reaches down into the crop canopy, essentially sealing off the spray zone. In laboratory testing wind speeds outside of the hood reached the teens, while inside the hood air movement was virtually zero.
In 2015 and 2016 Mississippi State and the University of Nebraska conducted studies comparing off-target movement of drift particles when using Redball Broadcast Hoods versus an open boom. The drift study concluded that the hoods reduced more particle drift than an open boom with all droplet sizes tested (fine, medium, coarse and ultra coarse), says Steve Claussen, President. They are particularly helpful while spraying along field borders and buffer zones in helping to minimize the potential danger of sub-lethal chemical doses.
No matter the application equipment used, though, Claussen does emphasize that growers should always follow chemical label instructions and state and local regulations.
Willmar offers the SPK645 Self-Propelled Broadcast Hooded Retrofit Kits for most self-propelled sprayer models that mount with ease, says Claussen. Initial installation takes about 10 hours, but after that, hood assemblies can be put on or removed in 10 minutes.
The company also offers spray rigs which can be attached to tractors, and the new optional trailer hitch attachment makes the 642E Three-Point Broadcast Hooded Sprayer ideal for ag retailers as a rental unit, Claussen adds. “The hitch attachment allows for easy transportation with a truck for delivery to farmers and field locations and a quick hook-up to a tractor,” he says.
If you want more information on the complete drift study, visit willmarfab.com.