According to a study on loss in coffee yields, pests and diseases lead to 26 percent primary yield losses and 38 percent secondary yield losses. While your crops may or may not be coffee, the fact remains that defending against pests, disease, and loss is crucial.
One important way that farmers fight against this level of loss is through the use of agricultural sprayers. But if you've been in the market for your first or are considering an upgrade, you may be wondering what makes one better than another.
We'll take a look at what agricultural sprayer we consider the best and why today!
Assess Your Current Equipment
Before you start shopping for new agricultural sprayer parts, carefully inspect what you already have.
If you already own one, check and make sure that your sprayer seals aren't leaking. Also, check your sprayer tips by running water through them. Sometimes, they can get jammed up with all of the chemicals, so use water and compressed air to open them back up.
Use a catch cup over the nozzle while you spray to measure output and flow rate. Check that the tanks, hoses, and filters are all thoroughly cleaned and well kept.
If you have used the same agricultural sprayer for a long time, it's possible that you may not have remembered to store it properly. Sprayers should be cleaned well, especially after spraying season is over.
If this equipment is left for too long without being cleaned then you can get cross contamination of different herbicides, fungicides, etc. Plus, if not properly stored, certain agricultural sprayer parts can get clogged up beyond repair.
Simply put, some parts you only need to look at to know if they need replacing or not. Other parts you need to at least test a little.
Assess Your Needs
Next, you need to consider your needs for an agricultural sprayer. Everyone's needs are different depending on what they're growing, how much of it they're growing, and where they're growing it.
We'll take a look at all of these considerations a little further.
What agricultural crops will you be spraying? This can determine what kind of sprayer you need.
For example, if you're spraying smaller fruit, such as strawberries or blueberries that are lower to the ground, you may need a sprayer with high pressure. You'll want to use a nozzle with a small spread, creating a more focused area.
Some sprayers are more effective at targeting crops lower and others higher. So you'll want to take some of these factors into consideration when choosing your different parts.
Not only do you want to consider what you're spraying but also how much of it and where. For example, do you need to cover many crops over a large plot of land? You may want to consider hydraulic agricultural sprayers.
These types use an agricultural sprayer pump to deliver pressure up to 1,000 psi. It's an excellent option for high-volume needs.
Low-volume sprayers use fans, compressors, or blowers to spray pesticides in a controlled stream. This is a great option for low-volume needs.
What To Look for in the Best Agricultural Sprayer
So, if you came here wondering "What is the best Agricultural sprayer for fruit trees?" the answer is a little more complex than one option. It really depends on your needs and what you're looking for (outlined above).
The answer may be different for different people in different circumstances.
For example, do you need to save money? Are you okay with putting in a little extra work to save a buck?
If so, some types of handheld pump sprayers may be just fine. It's definitely not for the farmer with a lot of ground to cover, though!
It will require more time and physical effort on your part, but if you're willing to put it in, then so be it.
Then again, if you're looking for the best sprayer for fruit trees especially, then you need to consider some of your specific needs. Mainly, your target areas may be higher up.
If you need to remain in a relatively low price point, something like this Master MFG includes an 84" boom. A boom at that length may be just enough for shorter fruit trees, such as peach trees.
If you have many fruit trees and you need to cover a long distance, you can consider a full three-point sprayer attached to either a tractor or ATV. This may be difficult to maneuver depending on the placement of your fruit trees, but it could help reduce time spraying in the first place.
A sprayer for fruit trees can definitely benefit from a nozzle or gun capable of projecting over a long distance. You'll want to get in high areas as easily as possible.
Best Practices with Your Sprayer
Regardless of what option you choose, you'll still need to adhere to the best practices when using it. A tool is only as good as its user and that includes agricultural sprayers.
For one, you'll need to pay special attention to the conditions around you when spraying. Check the temperature and watch out for high winds.
Weather conditions can greatly affect spray applications and the surrounding areas.
You want to avoid pesticides drifting farther than they need to or in areas where they're unwanted. You don't want to negatively affect water supplies in your area or get chemicals on one type of crop that was intended for another.
It's also important not to rush your spraying. You may be an efficient and hard-working farmer, but if you try to spray too fast then you may miss your target areas.
You want an even and complete spread of your pesticides (or whatever you're spraying), and you'll want to take it slow and steady to make sure you get there.
Finding the Best Sprayer
The "best" sprayer isn't always the same thing for everyone. Your needs may be different than others, so it's always important to:
- Assess your current equipment
- Weigh your needs
- Apply best practices
The best agricultural sprayer for fruit trees should be able to reach long distances easily and cover lots of ground without too much (if any) drifting.
Once you've locked those factors in, you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor! If you're a first-time farmer, check out some of these essential crop care tips to get started on the right foot.