When was the last time you replaced the nozzles on your sprayers – airblast and/or weed? If you can’t remember, chances are it’s been too long. If your nozzles are worn and allowing more flow per minute than manufacturer specs you could be wasting hundreds of dollars per orchard. For example, if you apply $200/acre/year worth of insecticides, fungicides, and miticides through worn airblast sprayer nozzles that allow 5% more flow per minute than expected, then you are wasting $10/acre/year. For a 100 acre orchard, that’s $1000/year in excess materials. Replacing those worn nozzles will save you hundreds of dollars per year in that 100 acre orchard. Yes, a new set of wear-resistant airblast sprayer nozzles isn’t cheap, but spraying through worn nozzles is more expensive.
While you’re replacing — or at least checking — your airblast sprayer nozzles, take a look at your weed sprayer nozzles, too. Controlling glyphosate-resistant weeds isn’t cheap, and it’s more expensive when you use worn nozzles. Not only is excess material applied with added expense, but worn flat-fan nozzles don’t deliver a high quality (even) spray pattern needed to supply the required herbicide dose to target (weeds and/or soil). When replacing herbicide sprayer nozzles, you get what you pay for. Brass nozzles are soft and wear rapidly. Hardened stainless steel is more wear resistant than brass, plastic, or stainless steel.
With a new season not far off, now is a good time to check and replace, where needed, your sprayer nozzles.