Get to know the best practices in the use of agricultural sprayers
Agricultural sprayers are very important equipment for agricultural production. Used in applying agrochemicals to protect crops, they are available for all types of crops and rural property sizes.
With so many options, a producer can often find it difficult to know exactly which purchase is best for their needs and the best practices for using such equipment.
These choices will depend on what is grown, the crop area size, and, of course, the available budget. In this article, we will discuss agricultural sprayers and how to optimize their use in practice. Check it out!
How to choose agricultural sprayers
The agricultural sprayer is the equipment that will work the most during the productive cycle of a crop. While fertilization and harvesting only happen once in each cycle, spraying is constant. Therefore, you must choose carefully to meet the demands of the rural producer.
In perennial crops, such as coffee, pepper, orange, and other fruits, the recommendation is to use the so-called air blast sprayer, an equipment that consists of a spraying system with air assistance, collaborating with greater penetration inside the culture.
With annual crops such as soybeans, potatoes, and corn, costals are not recommended, except for really very small properties. Agricultural boom sprayers will be used in most cases.
While in perennial crops the equipment differs by the size of the tank, the fans, and the way of transporting the spray — due to the different spacing and architecture of the crops —, in the case of annual crops, the bigger the crop, the bigger the sprayer must be. Larger boom reduce dent losses and make the vehicle rotate relatively less, making the operation proportionately cheaper.
The property area is the factor that most determines the choice of a boom sprayer. Equipment that is too big can be wasteful in some fields, but, in general, a bigger bar makes the vehicle run much less, which helps to save fuel and time.
When choosing agricultural sprayers, it is also worth checking your fuel consumption and maintenance costs. A very sophisticated machine can achieve good results, but if it uses simple automotive components, which are easy to find and cheaper, the total cost to the rural producer will be lowered.
Finally, in addition to the area size, it is also important to check whether the machine is suitable for the type of crop and the agrochemicals that will be used in it. Generally, the equipment available on the market is very versatile, but always check before closing the purchase so you don’t run the risk of acquiring a useless purchase.
How to optimize spraying
Spraying is an activity that happens regularly during the production cycle. Based on previous experiences, the support of agronomists, and climatic and environmental conditions, it is possible to anticipate which are the greatest risks of pests for certain types of crops.
The spraying of agrochemicals can happen at any time of the crop development cycle. What will determine its application is the planning made by the rural producer and possible eventualities, such as the outbreak of some pest.
Theoretically, there are ideal conditions for the application of agrochemicals. But, in practice, it will often be necessary to use agricultural sprayers in adverse conditions, either out of immediate need or for cost optimization.
Regardless, it is always best to follow a regular setup and operation process in order to optimize the use of agricultural sprayers.
The first step is choosing the product that will be applied, which is determined according to the crop and the pests that need to be repelled. After the agrochemical is defined, it is time to check the machine’s conditions.
The spray system’s filters, the tank’s agitation, whether there is any type of leak and if all the regular inspections are up to date are aspects that should be regularly checked.
It is essential to perform such checks before the operation, as the machine will not always be in the same state since its last use. Any failure can cause losses with agrochemical waste and damage to the crop, or, in some cases, even put the operator’s health at risk.
How to adjust agricultural sprayers
Once the check has been performed, it’s time to adjust the sprayer. It is necessary to prepare the correct dosage of the product, which is normally already established by the manufacturer. After that, it is important to calibrate the equipment so that it applies this volume according to speed, working gear, and other factors.
At this stage of the process, other aspects are also defined, such as speed, pressure, and droplet size, which is related to the choice of application nozzle model.
The two main parameters that will guide the drop size are the type of agrochemical and the current stage of the crop. Based on these aspects, it is possible to determine which application tip is most recommended for each spraying operation.
Finally, for effective spraying, it is essential to check the weather conditions. The rule is that, for application with agricultural boom sprayers, the wind should be below 10Km/h, and the relative humidity above 50%.
If ideal conditions cannot be expected, spraying at an adverse time is feasible, but it is important to know that this can decrease your effectiveness and increase drift.
Depending on the situation, it may even be worth changing the application nozzle model for spraying in adverse conditions, in which the absence of agrochemicals will cause greater damage due to pests.
On average, an untreated pest can cause a loss of 40% of a crop’s production. Some cases are even more drastic, such as the Asian soybean rust, which devastates 90% of the crop. Therefore, the use of agricultural sprayers is essential for good productivity in the field.
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