Remember the basics of sprayer tank management

In preparation for spring spraying, growers are reminded not to be complacent about tank mixing and sprayer hygiene before making applications.

Adam Espir, FMC’s Commercial Technical Manager, explains that tank-mixed pesticides save time and reduce compaction by reducing the passes needed over a crop. But rushing to do so can potentially cause more problems than it solves.

Adam Espir, FMC Sales Technical Manager:

“When looking to tank mix, it’s essential to remember the basics. As with any pesticide, be sure to follow the product label, paying particular attention to compatibility advice and the order of mixed.”

To avoid blockages and other problems in the sprayer, Adam Espir stresses the importance of not rushing to put all the products in the induction hopper at once.

Adam Espir:

“Remember to fill the sprayer with half the required volume of water and start agitation. You will then need to ensure that each pesticide added is completely dispersed before introducing another product. Be patient, you will not don’t want the concentrates coming into contact with each other.”

“Once you are sure that each product has been fully dispersed, fill the tank to the required volume and maintain constant agitation. This process is especially important if you are using granular products and EC liquids, which can tend to clog the filters if they are not fully dispersed.”

Adam Espir reminds farmers that using higher water volumes can also help prevent problems, especially for complex mixes. He recommends using a minimum of 200 litres/ha of water if possible.

Top tips for sprayer hygiene

In addition to correct tank-mixing protocols, Adam Espir points out that proper cleaning of a sprayer after use will help maintain effectiveness and prevent cross-contamination. He describes his main tips to keep in mind for good sprayer hygiene:

  • Always wash the sprayer thoroughly, especially between different crop types, such as changing from cereals to broadleaf crops
  • Dried residue is more difficult to remove from a sprayer, so wash off the same day as spraying
  • If you have an in-tank lift, use it, but remember it is not a substitute for a thorough cleaning.
  • Use a specific spray tank cleaner, such as All Clear® Extra, for thorough cleaning Always use high quality pesticides, specially formulated for easy mixing and washing

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