New sprayer Extension factsheets for orchards and vineyards

By Erdal Ozkan

A new factsheet series from Ohio State University Extension is now available online. The series includes seven factsheets each covering a specific topic associated with effective and efficient spraying in orchards and vineyards. The topics include best practices for effective spraying, selecting the right type and size of nozzles, strategies to minimize spray drift, strategies to maximize pesticide deposit and coverage on target, calibration and adjustment of sprayers, new developments in spraying equipment, and overall best practices for effective and efficient spraying in orchards and vineyards. A list of all seven factsheets with links to find them online is provided below.

This series of Fact Sheets is the most complete collection of all the essential aspects of spraying in vineyards and orchards. For example, Sprayers for Effective Pesticide Application in Orchards and Vineyards (FABE-533) provides details, with 41 photographs, about a variety of sprayers that are used to spray fruit crops. It is the first factsheet of its kind in the United States with information in one single publication on different kinds of sprayers: hydraulic, air-assisted, sprayers with adjustable spouts, multi-row adjustable sprayers, tower type airblast sprayers, air-assisted sprayers with multi-head fans, tunnel sprayers, and pneumatic air shear sprayers. 

Although nozzles are some of the least expensive components of a sprayer, they hold a high value in their ability to influence sprayer performance. Nozzles meter the amount of liquid sprayed per acre and how efficiently, effectively, and uniformly the pesticide being sprayed deposits on the target canopy. Nozzles also help determine droplet size, affecting both target coverage and the risk of spray drift. Selecting nozzles, especially determining what size is needed for a given application rate and sprayer travel speed is more complicated with air-assisted orchard/vineyard sprayers than selecting the right size of nozzle for field crop sprayers. The publication FABE-534 explains how to select nozzles and determine the right size. 

If you have not calibrated your airblast sprayer used for fruit spraying, you should take a look at FABE-537 which covers both topics: an easy way to determine the actual gallons per acre application rate, and adjustment of air flow to achieve maximum deposit of pesticides on the target while minimizing spray drift. All the best practices one can follow to achieve best efficiency and effectiveness in spraying vineyards and orchards can be found in FABE-539. 

Another unique factsheet (FABE-538) gives information on new technologies used in spraying orchards and vineyards such as use of drones, and an intelligent sprayer developed in Ohio for variable rate application of pesticides. Field tests demonstrated that this sprayer technology can reduce airborne spray drift up to 87%, reduce spray loss onto the ground by 68–93%, lower spray volume by 47% to 73% (depending on the canopy characteristics at the time of spraying), and effectively control insects and diseases. 

Here is a complete list of these publications and the links you can use to reach them online at OSU Extension publications web site, Ohioline:  

• FABE-533: Sprayers for Effective Pesticide Application in Orchards and Vineyards

• FABE-534: Selecting the Right Type and Size of Nozzles for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards

• FABE-535: Strategies to Minimize Spray Drift for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards

• FABE-536: Strategies to Maximize Pesticide Deposit and Coverage for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards

• FABE-537: Calibration of Orchard and Vineyard Sprayers

• FABE-538: Advancements in Technology for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards

• FABE-539: Best Practices for Effective Spraying in Orchards and Vineyards more information of the factsheet series please contact Dr. Ozkan (

Erdal Ozkan, Professor and Extension Ag Engineer, can be reached at 614-292-3006, or This column is provided by the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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