Thursday, November 23, 2017
Low-drift nozzles protect surface water
Reducing drift is an important measure to keep surface water clear of crop protection products. To achieve this, choosing the right nozzle is essential. Here’s what farmers need to consider.
Nozzle technology has changed a lot in the past decade. Today, farmers can choose from a wide variety.
Water is one of our most precious natural resources – and farmers already take many actions to protect surface water. However, there has been increasing pressure from authorities to do even more. In the Netherlands, for instance, farmers are required to reduce emissions to surface water by 50% by 2018 and 90% by 2023 compared to 2013 levels.
Drift reduction is one important measure to spray more sustainably. Farmers already know that they should not spray when it is too windy, and they can reduce drift even more by choosing the correct nozzle. There used to be only one type of nozzle, though there have been a lot of developments in nozzle technology in recent years. “The field coverage, and thus the performance of the crop protection products used, were very good,” says Albert van Kooten, ForwardFarming Operations Expert at Bayer Netherlands. “Yet, conventional nozzles have the disadvantage that their drift is relatively high.”
Broad variety of nozzles available
Farmers need to find a balance between spraying effectively and reducing drift as much as possible.
Nowadays, farmers can choose from a wide variety of low-drift nozzles. However, farmers must keep in mind that these nozzles work differently. When spraying fungicides onto cereals, for example, a label prescribes 90% drift reduction – which might be achieved with common nozzles if operated at a maximum pressure of 1 bar. For proper results, however, this nozzle type must be operated at a higher pressure – which, in turn, results in more drift. “In this case, farmers should choose larger orifice nozzles,” says Albert van Kooten. “That way they can spray effectively and reduce drift as much as possible.”
In general, it’s rather complex to apply even small-droplet coverage while avoiding drift reduction. Albert van Kooten recommends that farmers spray on so-called infield passes, using water-sensitive paper so that they can analyze the coverage of the spray.
Should you have any questions regarding nozzles and water protection, don’t hesitate to contact your local Bayer expert.
Infield passes provide a good reference point to see if the nozzles achieve proper spraying coverage.
How to choose the right nozzles
- Take your time to make the right selection and seek professional advice.
- Operate with the right pressure. Some farmers think that low pressure equals less drift. That, however, is not always the case.
- Use the appropriate water volume.
- Make sure your pattern is appropriate. An infield pass is a good reference.
Have a look at » this video for more information on nozzle selection.