CALIBRATION NATION. A sprayer can only be effective, efficient and safe if properly checked and calibrated well before it is taken to the field and periodically during the spraying season, according to Ohio State pesticide application expert Erdal Ozkan. Noah Newman/No-Till Farmer

Maximize Sprayer Performance with Routine Maintenance

Experts explain how to avoid potential “landmines” & share tips for selecting the right nozzles.

A routine maintenance check-up on your sprayer will help ensure efficient and effective applications this spring.

First things first, make sure to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) like rubber gloves, safety goggles and long sleeves when working with pesticide application equipment, says Ryan Bergman, Iowa State University extension agricultural spray application equipment expert.

“Consult specific chemical labels for proper PPE,” he says. “It’s important to make sure your sprayer is mechanically sound. Consult your owner’s manual for checklists and specifications to evaluate during this process.”

Nozzle Selection & Setup

Nozzle setup should be atop the checklist. Inspect your nozzles to see if they work well with the products you’re applying at the speeds and pressure you plan to operate, Bergman says.

“Some chemicals like dicamba and 2,4-D products have strict nozzle requirements, whereas other products like glyphosate allow more choices,” he says. “For example, there are only 4 types of TeeJet nozzles approved for use with Enlist Duo herbicide.”

When applying multiple products, Bergman recommends referring to the label with the strictest nozzle requirements to select your nozzle for that application.

“If you want to operate at a wide range of speeds and pressures during the season, you may want to evaluate the benefits of a PWM (pulse-width modulated) spray system to provide a broader range of nozzle flow rates while managing droplet size more consistently.”

Ohio State University pesticide application expert Erdal Ozkan lists the following factors to consider when selecting nozzles:

  • Sprayer operation parameters (application rate, spray pressure…
To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

Noah newman web

Noah Newman

Noah Newman started at Lessiter Media in March 2022 as Associate Editor for No-Till FarmerStrip-Till Farmer and Cover Crop Strategies. He previously worked in broadcast journalism as a sports anchor/reporter for television stations in central Illinois and most recently Jackson, Mississippi, where he was named the state’s sportscaster of the year by the National Sports Media Association. The Cleveland, Ohio, native looks forward to engaging with growers, learning extensively about their operations, and sharing impactful stories with the audience.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings