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Take time for sprayer clean out

With all of the wet weather delays around the state, Ohio’s corn and soybean farmer are starting to feel the time crunch. During the spring scramble to get spring burndown applications on to move forward with planting season, taking the time to properly clean out the sprayer may not necessarily be a top priority. Taking the necessary steps, however, could prevent quite a few potential problems later.

“Many people have started spraying their burndown as part of their integrated pest management strategy,” said Thad Moore, with Tri-Ag Products in Madison County. “Applicators are concerned about spraying the right field, but do not always implement proper clean out procedures to ensure they do not contaminate the next crop.”

Proper sprayer clean out procedures can make the difference between a successful crop and a costly mistake. Moore suggests the following steps to avoid contamination between crop protection solutions.

 

  1. Run sprayer completely empty and rinse tank out.
  2. Remove all screens and filters and place in a bucket.
  3. Fill sprayer tank with a half tank of clean water and add the appropriate amount of tank cleaner. (Read label)
  4. Add tank cleaner to the sprayer inductor.
  5. Take nozzles and filters off.  Place in bucket, add cleaner, and let it soak overnight.
  6. Turn on pump to allow cleaning mixture to circulate through the booms for a couple of minutes until booms are full of solution.
  7. Turn booms off and allow pump to agitate tank cleaner mix while spraying down inside of tank.
  8. Allow sprayer to sit overnight with cleaning solution in the spray booms.
  9. Spray out the tank cleaner solution until completely empty.

10. If spray boom has dead ends on boom sections, blow out each section.

11. Hose and wipe off any residue on filters and put back on sprayer.  Wipe off inside of filter bodies before putting filters back in.

12. Refill a quarter of tank capacity with clean water and add defoamer as label recommends.  Spray out remaining solution while under agitation.

13. Refill a quarter of the tank capacity with clean water and flush out again.

“After a visual inspection, sprayer will be ready for use on another crop,” Moore said.

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