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Best spray practices

Brandon Sheridan, TFC Agronomist 4/25/2019

The time is here for farming to be in full swing. And with that reality upon us, I would like to share some general spray practices that can be of benefit to you this growing season and help you control weeds, insects, and diseases to give your crop the best opportunity to produce high yields.

First off, sprayer maintenance is on top of the list — checking fluid levels, greasing necessary components, calibrating the sprayer monitor, etc. Making sure mechanisms such as tips and screens are cleaned up and in proper working capacity is of utmost importance. Hoses would be another point of focus to ensure good pressure is maintained during applications and readings stay accurate. Check all hose connections for tightness and inspect hoses for leaks, wear, or deterioration.

When it gets down to the actual application, there are several things to consider.

One, proper mixing order is extremely important. Following a W.A.L.E.S/D.A.L.E.S model can aid you in mixing multiple tank mixes effectively, i.e., water/agitations/dry flowables/liquids/emulsifiable concentrates/surfactant. While the majority of mixtures can follow this simple guide, there are some exceptions to the rule. It is always a good idea to do a jar test if you are not sure to help you avoid tank mixing errors. Always wear personal protective equipment when performing a jar test, and do so in a safe, ventilated area away from sources of ignition.

A second consideration is to select the correct tip/pressure/speed for the product mix you are applying. Remember, one specific type of nozzle will not be best for all applications. There have been many pesticide programs that have failed due to the simple fact of incorrect tip/pressure/speed.

Lastly, choose the correct surfactant for the pesticides you are applying. Most product labels require the use of a particular surfactant, whether it be a NIS/COC/MSO/AMS, etc. Making sure you have the correct adjuvant aligned with the proper pesticide for the target pest will greatly increase your success this growing season. The addition of Interlock from WinField United will greatly aid you in keeping your pesticides in the target field and will also aid in droplet atomization, which will increase your spray mixture effectiveness.

If you have questions regarding best spray practices, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Co-op agronomist or TFC field agronomist. Thank you for your considerations and stay safe this spring.

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