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2022 Midwest Vegetable Guide

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Pesticide Application and Safety 42 Midwest Veg Guide 2022 5. Adjust each setting, and recalibrate until the desired delivery rate is obtained. Sprayers Sprayers use a pump mechanism that runs independently from the tractor wheels, or your legs. They are often powered hydraulically, electrically, or through a hand pump or the tractor PTO. If the pressure remains constant, then halving ground speed will double output, and doubling ground speed will halve output. If ground speed remains constant, then quadrupling pressure will double output, and quartering pressure will halve output. Boom sprayers apply a sheet-like mist along the length of the boom, band sprayers apply a narrow band over a row with one or more nozzles grouped together, wand sprayers have one nozzle used for small or irregular shaped targets, and airblast sprayers generate a high-speed directional fog. Here are suggested steps to calibrating selected sprayers. Once output is found in gallons per acre, calculate acres per tankful of spray solution by dividing gallons per tank by gallons per acre of output, and determine the required amount of product to dilute in the tank by multiplying acres per tankful by the rate per acre of product. Boom Sprayer Calibration For effective applications, make sure to calibrate boom sprayers carefully. To calibrate a boom sprayer: 1. Fill tank with water. 2. Adjust spray pressure and speed of tractor for nozzle size and output using manufacturer's directions. 3. Spray 1/4 acre (10,890 sq. ft.). Distance of travel will vary with boom width. For example, a 22-foot boom must travel 495 feet to cover 1/4 acre: 1/4 acre (10,890 sq. ft.) = distance of travel (495 ft.) boom width (22 ft.) 4. Measure amount of water needed to refill the tank. This amount was applied to the 1/4 acre; thus, four times this amount is the gallonage per acre. Band Sprayer Calibration 1. Fill tank with water. 2. Adjust spray pressure and speed of tractor for nozzle size and output using manufacturer's directions. 3. Spray 1/4 acre (10,890 sq. ft.). Distance traveled will vary with number of nozzles on the sprayer and width of the band sprayed by each nozzle. For example, spraying a 20-inch band over 4 rows using 1 nozzle per row requires 1,630 ft. to cover 1/4 acre: 1/4 acre (10,890 sq. ft.) ÷ number of nozzles (4) = distance of travel (1,630 ft.) band width (1.67 ft.) 4. Measure amount of water needed to refill the tank. This amount was applied to the 1/4 acre; thus, four times this amount is the gallonage per acre. Wand Sprayer Calibration 1. Fill tank with water. 2. Spray 1/128 acre (340 sq ft.) with the pace and nozzle distance you would be using for application. 3. Measure amount of water needed to refill the tank. This amount was applied to the 1/128 acre; thus, the number of fl. oz. required to refill the sprayer is equal to gallonage per acre. 4. Calculate acres per tankful of spray solution by dividing gallons per tank by gallons per acre of output, and determine the required amount of product to the tank by multiplying acres per tankful by the rate per acre of product recommended. Airblast Sprayer Calibration 1. Fill tank with water. 2. Adjust spray pressure and speed of tractor for nozzle size and output using manufacturer's directions. 3. Spray 164 ft., measure the time to complete the course, and measure the effective spray swath. For a unidirectional unit, measure the swath from the sprayer to the end of the deposition cloud. For a bidirectional unit, measure the swath from one end to the other end of the deposition cloud. Do this three times to calculate the average time to travel 164 ft, and spray swath. Record speed and PTO speed or pressure settings for future reference. 4. Measure amount of water needed to refill the tank. This amount was applied to the fraction of an acre; thus, four times this amount is the gallonage per acre. For example, spraying a 10 ft. swath over a164 ft course used 2 gallons. The gallons per acre is calculated this way: volume measured (2 gal.) x 1 acre 43,560 sq. ft. = output (53 gal/ac.) area of swath (10 ft. x 164 ft.

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