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Sprayer aces accuracy test

Agriculture.com Staff 07/06/2010 @ 4:27pm

A switch to no-till has stepped up sprayer use for Bret Davis and his stepson, Wade McAfee, Delaware, Ohio. That's on top of fungicide applications on wheat, corn, and soybeans.

"We're 80% to 90% no-till across our farm," says Davis. "We used to till all the time, but now we spray all the time."

Thus, accurate application has stepped up in importance for Davis and McAfee. That's why they agreed to have Erdal Ozkan, Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer, calibrate their Case IH Patriot SPX3310 sprayer. Ozkan then compared findings to rates Davis and McAfee entered in the sprayer's rate controller.

Nozzle spacings of 20 inches on the sprayer boom again led the way for a 204-foot ground speed course.

McAfee plugged in a 17-mph pace into the sprayer's rate controller to apply a 10-gallon-per-acre (gpa) rate. This speed and rate simulate a glyphosate application.

After averaging two passes over the 204-foot course, Ozkan calculated the speed at 16.3 mph, within the acceptable 5% margin of error.

Next up was the nozzle collection on an air induction nozzle that Davis and McAfee use. Output was excellent, with uniform distribution occurring within a 5% margin of error throughout all the nozzles on the 90-foot boom.

Ozkan found one plugged nozzle in this process. With this nozzle excluded, Ozkan pegged the average nozzle output at 10.53 gpa, bumping close to the 5% margin of error for the predetermined 10 gpa rate.

"You are very close," he told Davis and McAfee. "What you are doing is very good."

Ozkan reminds applicators to regularly check nozzles, as it tipped off Davis to the plugged nozzle.

All this came as welcome news to Davis. "We spend more time in the sprayer than anywhere else, so it's important to be right on with applying chemical," he says.

A switch to no-till has stepped up sprayer use for Bret Davis and his stepson, Wade McAfee, Delaware, Ohio. That's on top of fungicide applications on wheat, corn, and soybeans.

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