On Target

06/01/2010 02:00:00 AM
Vicky Boyd, Editor

The need for basic maintenance

The Clovis, Calif.-based Coalition for Urban/Rural Environmental Stewardship, has helped dozens of California growers make sprayer adjustments to reduce drift.

With the help of a $75,000 grant from the State Water Quality Control Board, the non-profit group purchased a Pessl sprayer tester in 2005 and has conducted about 100 sprayer evaluations since then, says Parry Klassen, CURES executive director.

The Austrian-built Pessl Sprayertest 1000 measures individual sprayer nozzle output as well as the overall spray distribution pattern.

After sprayer testing, participants saw an average improvement in nozzle output of 21 percent, Klassen says.

Most of the participants brought their sprayers directly from the field for testing.

A nozzle test stand measured individual nozzle output.

“Often we would find a clogged nozzle or worn out sprayer disc,” he says. “After they changed those, that alone helped improve the efficiency an average of 10 percent. What it revealed was there was a need for basic maintenance.”

A vertical test stand evaluated the spray pattern.

The actual improvement in spray deposition depended on the tree shape and size, Klassen says.

CURES also loaned the test rig in 2009 to Washington State University, where more than a dozen growers had their sprayers evaluated at Integrated Pest Management field days.

Contact Vicky Boyd at vlboyd@at.net or (209) 571-0414.

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