Generally, this is the time of the year you complete shopping for nozzles because the spraying season is just around the corner. This task must be on top of your to do list if you are one of those who will be applying the new 2,4-D or Dicamba products for crops that are resistant to these products. If you plan to use Dicamba products for weed control, you better check the labels because you now have to use one of the nozzles they recommend on their labels, and operate those nozzle within a recommended range of pressures.
Most recently, the labels of the new 2,4-D or Dicamba herbicides include very specific requirements on which nozzle or nozzles must be used when spraying these products. Simple interpretation of this requirement is that you would be violating the label if you use any other type or size of nozzle. So, it is your responsibility to comply with the label recommendation.
Don’t assume that you do not have to worry about checking the label this year again because you had applied a Dicamba product made by a different company last year. A nozzle required for the same product last year may not be on the label this year, or the operating pressures may be changed. So, you really need to pay attention to the label for each product even if you are using the same product you had used last year.
Act now if you will be switching to new nozzles.
If you are buying new nozzles of any kind, or especially if you are going to switch to one of the new 2,4-D or Dicamba herbicides this year and you have not purchased yet the specific nozzles required for these products, you better act fast and get the nozzles within the next two weeks. Since there will be a higher demand for nozzles of any kind this time of the year, there may be short-term shortages of these nozzles in stores from which you purchase your nozzles. So, act now and get the nozzles you need before experiencing potential problems with availability of these nozzles later during the spraying season.
Keep several types of nozzles on the boom
It is very likely that you will be using your sprayers to spray a variety of pesticides during the growing season. It is best to have several types and sizes of nozzles on the boom so that you can switch to the “best” nozzle choice for a given spraying job. As shown in the pictures below, there are various types of sprayer components and setups you can buy to configure your boom so the new set up allows you to easily switch from one nozzle to another instantly.
Some final thoughts
Nozzles are typically the least costly items on a sprayer, but they play a key role in the final outcome from a spraying job: achieving maximum efficacy from the pesticide applied while reducing the off-target (drift) movement of pesticides to minimum. Pesticides work well if the rates on labels are achieved during application. This can be achieved only if the right nozzle type and the proper size of the nozzles are on the sprayer, and the sprayer is calibrated and operated properly. A new Ohio State University Extension Publication, entitled “Selecting the Best Nozzle for the Job” gives step-by-step guidelines for selecting the most appropriate spray nozzle for a given application situation. The publication is available online at following web site: http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-528.