Page 16 - Griffin Gazette Issue 1 - 2018
P. 16

Crop protection for CEA growers –

        understanding sprayer options

                          By Tami Van Gaal, CEA Division Leader  while carts provide greater capacity for less mixing on larger
                                                             jobs. Look for agitators to keep materials in suspension, hose
                          Crop quality drives profitability for growers   lengths that support your operation, cart maneuverability (see
                          of edible and medicinal crops. All aspects   Dramm Hydra line) and combination drench/spray functionality
                          of production impact quality, including   when drenches are used (see Siebring Fox and Mist ‘R Drench,
                          fertility, irrigation strategies, environmental   Dramm Hydra). HV sprayers tend to be relatively affordable.
                          conditions and pests. When it comes   The main drawback of HV tools is efficiency – this equipment
                          to pest management, spray equipment   will keep your staff suited up longer than other options, which
                          plays  a key role in success. No single   means higher labor costs associated with spraying.
                          piece of spray equipment  can  address
                          all needs, and most growers routinely   Low  volume  (LV)  spray  equipment  delivers  the  same  amount
        use at least two types of sprayers. Considering how the various   of active ingredient to a given area as HV sprayers, but with a
        features align with needs will help put the right tools in the tool   reduced water volume and a smaller particle size. This equipment
        box and help protect profits.                        produces a mist or fog, without excessive moisture, so the
                                                             foliage stays dry. Smaller particles provide better coverage and
        Sprayers fall into three categories: high volume, low volume and   better canopy penetration. Lower water volume means far less
        ultra-low volume, distinguished by the actual volume of spray   moisture is added to the production space, an important factor
        solution applied. Within each category, options may include tank   under conditions where managing humidity is critical. Whether
        capacity, application pressure, nozzle type and more. These   low-pressure (electrostatic) or high-pressure (ColdFogger); all
        valuable features help make the perfect fit, though primary   LV equipment is directed by the applicator. Compared to HV
        decision points generally focus on particle size, chemical   sprayers, LV sprayers save on labor costs by reducing spray time
        compatibility, capacity, efficiency and cost.
                                                             by up to 90 percent. Advantages in efficacy and efficiency from
        Particle size is a key differentiator for spray equipment. Hydraulic   LV sprayers provide quick payback on increased equipment
        sprayers deliver the largest particle sizes. These high-volume   costs. Looking for the best of both worlds? Look to the Dramm
        (HV) sprayers are used to apply a wet spray, often just to the   ColdFogger, which can be used for both LV and HV applications.
        point of drip. HV backpack and cart sprayers serve as the   Ultra-low volume (ULV) equipment, including Dramm’s PulsFOG,
        workhorses of any operation. Above all else, HV sprayers bring   BIO PulsFOG, and AutoFog, use even less liquid to deliver the
        flexibility by supporting use of nearly all chemicals and all sizes   chemical than LV sprayers and deliver even smaller particles.
        of target areas. They can be used to treat very small areas to   Of all the equipment options, ULVs add the lowest amount
        very large areas and provide precise, directional spray patterns,   of moisture to the production space. ULV sprayers excel in
        making HV sprayers the best option for spot treating. For this   three areas: coverage, canopy penetration and labor savings.
        reason, all operations should have some form of HV sprayer on   Superior coverage is achieved due to the high number of tiny
        hand. While HV equipment can be boom and robot operated,   particles, more than 1000X the number of particles per unit area
        most HV sprayers are manual tools; a person holds the nozzle   compared to HV sprayers. Canopy penetration is excellent due
        and directs the spray. Backpack sprayers are universal tools,
                                                             to these particles moving easily throughout the crop.

        Siebring Fox Sprayer               Dramm ColdFogger Sprayer               Dramm PulsFOG Sprayer

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