Nozzle Tip Selection for Drift Control

Randy Price  |  8/23/2018 8:14:22 PM

Drift is always a concern for producers using agricultural sprayers, and the LSU AgCenter has been performing research to determine which spray tips produce the smallest amount of driftable fines, which are defined as droplets less than 150 micrometres (um) in diameter that can become easily airborne and travel great distances from their release point.

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In a test involving all the main nozzle types — air induction (A.I.), 80-degree flat fan, Turbo TeeJet, Turbo TwinJet, Drift Guard (DG), hollow cones and XR flat fans — air induction nozzles consistently scored best at producing the smallest amount of driftable fines in standard operating pressures of 40 pounds per square inch (psi). XR flat fans and hollow cones produced the highest number of driftable fines, while all other nozzles types fell in between these two ranges.

For this reason, operators wanting to control drift should use A.I. nozzles when possible. XR and hollow cones can still be used in cases where drift is not as important, such as in insecticide or fungicide work, but be aware that these nozzles will output a significantly higher amount of driftable fines than the other nozzle types at a set pressure.

Questions related to nozzle tip selection and drift can be sent to Dr. Randy Price, LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Extension and Research Center, Alexandria, Louisiana. Price can be reached by email at rprice@agcenter.lsu.edu.

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