HERBICIDE APPLICATION METHODOLOGIES: INFLUENCE OF NOZZLE SELECTION, DROPLET SIZE AND SPRAY DRIFT ON EFFECTIVE SPRAYING – A REVIEW
Chemical weed control in agriculture has become a more popular method, because of its ease, efficiency and effectiveness in controlling weeds. In cropping situations, herbicides are applied by low pressure agricultural sprayers. Nozzle is a sprayer component, used to obtain the spray atomization. The nozzle, spray tip, multiple nozzle boom, pressure regulation and sprayer calibration are the essential components of any spray-application technology. Decision making and selection of nozzle is most important, as it should develop a desired spray pattern. Droplet size smaller than 150 microns poses a most serious drift hazard problem. The right nozzle for spraying produces desired spray pattern as well as reduces spray drift. Simultaneously, spray uniformity will be achieved at 50 to 100% overlapping of the nozzle spacing. The standard flat fan nozzles are recommended for broadcast application, likewise even flat fan nozzles are recommended for band-application. But, the floodjet and other nozzles are selected based on the product being used and spray pattern desired. The shape and accuracy of a spray pattern can become faulty over a time and nozzle should be replaced if the flow exceeds its factory rating by 10%. Nozzles wear rate is influenced by pesticide formulation, nozzle type, orifice material and capacity, and sprayer operating pressure. Ceramic, hardened-stainless steel, stainless steel or plastic-based nozzle tips are recommended over brass tips for prolonged usages. Hence, all the parameters including nozzle selection, droplet size, spray drift and nozzle set-up should be taken care-of to achieve effective herbicide application.
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