Quick Tips and More Guidance For Using Your Sprayer [videos]

George Hamilton

UNH Extension specialist George Hamilton hosts a seven-part series sharing best practices for safely and efficiently operating pesticide sprayers.  Agricultural producers, landscaping professionals and pest control technicians will find these videos informative and easy to follow. This series was made possible with a grant from the EPA Region #1 through the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, and technical support from the Chazzbo Media, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center.  

 

Backpack Distance To Target

Tips on using backpack sprayers, I found working off a table or truck bed is always helpful. And one of the ways is when we're working with a backpack sprayer we want to have the nozzle a certain distance from our target.But how do we know we're at the right distance? How I do it is I put a marking on the table so I know if I wanted to 20 inches or 30 inches. Check your owner's manual to find out how many inches from the target the tip supposed to be. Put a mark on the table, then you know where to start out so we get an efficient application.

 

Checking Distance To Target

When calibrating a boom sprayer one of the the important measurements is to make sure that the boom nozzle is the proper distance from the target. You need to check the owner's manual to find out what that distance is. So make sure you check each nozzle to make sure it's the proper distance from the target to the nozzle to ensure that you're prying the proper amount of pesticides.

 

Checking Nozzle Distance

When we're calibrating a boom sprayer, we need to check to make sure the distance between each nozzle is correct. In most cases, it's going to be 20 inches, but you need to check the owner's manual to make sure that you have the proper distance. If they're too close or too far, you will have the overlap and improper space so you'll get an increase or decrease in the amount of pesticide you're applying. So make sure to check the owner's manual and find out what is that correct distance between each nozzle.

 

Clearing A Clogged Nozzle

When working with a backpack sprayer one of the common problems is a clogged nozzle. People like to take them off and geez it's clogged. First thing they do is blow it with their mouth, but what are you doing to yourself? You're poisoning yourself. Get a can of air and we can and spray that air through the nozzle to get the clog out. Safety first, don't poison yourself. Use a cannon air to get your clog out. Put it back on and you're ready to go.

 

Control Flow Valve

One of the variables in using a backpack sprayer is having uniform pressure. If we're pumping this backpack sprayer, there is no control for the pressure. But if we go and get a control flow valve and put it on, we know that the pressure coming out of this nozzle will always be uniform. The trick is getting a dual compensating pressure control flow valve. So the pressure is low, it doesn't spray. If it goes over the rated pressure, it will limit it to that given pressure. You have different colors here, meaning different pressures. The red is 21. The blue is 40. The green and yellow are less. So you can get the pressure that you want. By using a control flow valve, you know that the spray is going to be constant, regardless how fast or slow that you're pumping.

 

Putting On Your Sprayer

Here's a tip on using a backpack sprayer. The most common injuries of using a backpack sprayer come from picking up the backpack and trying to put it on your back with it filled. If you have a table or back of a pickup truck bed, use it. Get into the holder, the straps, by coming and hooking up so that you're not twisting. Then you can pick it up, strap yourself in and you're ready to spray.

 

Taking Proper Notes

Here's a little tip on using any type of sprayer, backpack boom sprayer. When you're calibrating, write down the information so that you can always refer to it, so you can put on an efficient, proper amount, by checking your records each time you apply the pesticide. Once it's written down, laminate it and put it with the tractor, put it with the sprayer, so that you can refer to it each time you go out to spray. It will save you time and you'll get an efficient proper amount of pesticide put down every time. 

 

FULL VIDEOS

Backpack Sprayer Calibration

Backpack sprayers are used widely in agricultural and non-agricultural settings. In agriculture, these sprayers are ideal for producers who grow a wide range of crops, and have multiple pest complexes, for small scale agriculture, as well as for organic applications.

Despite the wide use, backpack sprayer calibration outreach and education is neglected, and misunderstood by most applicators. Common reasons for not calibrating are: difficulty, length of time required to calibrate, confusing terminology, multiple methods for calibration, and the incorrect belief that calibration has very little impact. There also has been little focus on how application technique—the use of the backpack sprayer—impacts product distribution.

This video was made possible with a grant from the EPA Region #1 through the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, and technical support from the Chazzbo Media, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center. 

Boom Sprayer Calibration

Properly calibrated boom sprayer is essential to achieving efficient and cost effective pesticide applications.  Consequently, a poorly calibrated or equipped unit can prove unsafe, and be very costly. When operators calibrate equipment before use, they can: determine the precise rate of material applied/acre; verify proper placement of material; ensure all nozzle tips operating at manufacturer’s specification/delivering proper output; and compensate for equipment changes, crop staging and environmental conditions. 

This video was made possible with a grant from the EPA Region #1 through the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, and technical support from the Chazzbo Media, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center. 


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