Airblast sprayers are the most used equipment for pesticide application in perennial specialty crops in the San Joaquin Valley and across California. The application involves applying spray from both sides of the sprayer onto tree or vine canopies, as an operator drives the sprayer between tree/vine rows. Airblast sprayers use a fan to produce air intended to carry the spray to the target. The air also helps the spray droplets to penetrate the target canopies to deposit deep inside the canopy.
Good or Bad Air?
A critical consideration for any application is the amount of air needed to carry the spray to the target. How much air is too little? How much is adequate? How much is too much? There is a tendency to assume that more air always means better effectiveness, but one size does not fit all. So, the air can either work for or against effectiveness. Use too little air and the spray will not penetrate sufficiently. Use too much, and the spray will be excessively pushed through the canopy. Using the right amount of air will require making intentional adjustments during sprayer calibration and properly documenting the settings for future reference.
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