Prepare Sprayers for Effective Herbicide Applications

This spring, take steps to properly prepare sprayers to protect crops and ensure consistent herbicide applications.

Before every application, sprayers should be cleaned to remove any leftover residue from the previous application, says Greg Kruger, associate professor and cropping systems specialist, University of Nebraska.

“A lot of times, we don’t have records or can’t remember the last thing we sprayed, so we want to make sure there’s nothing in the sprayer that could be harmful to the crop coming in,” Kruger says.

Here are some tips for preparing sprayers this spring:

  • Thoroughly clean the sprayer: Refer to labels for information on how to correctly clean tanks and parts, including filters, nozzles, tips and joints.
  • Scout fields early: Applicators or growers should scout fields prior to a herbicide application. Early weed growth and the level of emergence help determine which product is needed and how it should be applied.
  • Select the right nozzle: Once fields are scouted, growers need to use the correct nozzle for application. Growers applying a preemergence herbicide such as SureStart® herbicide for residual control of broadleaf weeds and grasses should use a nozzle that provides a large spray droplet to obtain even coverage.

Growers also can use SureStart for an early postemergence application. When applied postemergence, growers should use an air-induction, extended-range nozzle that produces a slightly smaller droplet size, Kruger says. If there is a dense weed canopy, a residual activity nozzle, such as a turbo-induction nozzle, works best.

For more information on applying SureStart this spring, visit and contact your local Dow AgroSciences sales representative.


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