The furious push of resistant weeds into Indiana and surrounding states made it easy to decide what to look for at the 2013 Louisville Farm Machinery Show. We went after people with sprayers, spray nozzles, or other equipment related to spraying technology to get tips on how best to apply chemicals.
The big shift this year is likely to be spraying more soil-applied products. A residual herbicide will help provide an extra mode of action, and catch weeds resistant to glyphosate. The problem is many weeds are also resistant to other herbicides as well.
One main theme that kept surfacing during the day was to consider direct injection of chemicals on sprayers for soil-applied mixes. The technology sat dormant while glyphosate ruled the herbicide world, but has more advantages when you move back to some soil-applied chemicals.
Experts say it allows you to mix several products without getting residue in the tank. You may opt to carry only water in the main tank, or else water and one chemical, and add in the rest. Products that would settle out if mixed in the main tank if you run into a delay won't be a problem with a direct injection system.
Another key is to pick nozzles that provide uniform, consistent spray patterns for soil-applied products. Most sprayers offer nozzle bodies that carry from three to five tips as standard equipment. Some recommend putting different types of nozzles on the bodies. Others suggest going with the same type, but different sizes of tips for different applications. Either way, it's much easier to switch nozzles when all you have to do is rotate from one nozzle to the next.
You'll find more interest in sprayers with booms equipped with technology that allows for quicker shut-off of nozzle dripping on the ends. Typically the booms are equipped with a system that keeps the air on top of the line as the system is shut down, leading to quicker stoppage by the nozzles. Some designs also eliminate extra space at the end of the boom after the last nozzle, which can be a place for herbicides to accumulate.
Here's a look at some features we discovered that could be helpful this season.