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The time is getting near to start fighting those unwanted weeds in pastures.
Do you spray your pastures for weeds? If so, how much liquid do you apply per acre? How much chemical do you put out per acre? Are you following the recommended rate listed on the label? Are you controlling the weeds as cost effectively as possible? Are you getting the results you want?
Studies show that only one in four sprayers actually apply the amount of chemical that the operator had intended. The other three either over or under apply by at least 33%.
Over application can result in unnecessary chemical cost, risk of crop damage, environmental risk, and applicator safety, while under application can result in failure to achieve desired control and the risk of developed tolerance or immunity by target weeds.
To achieve the proper application rate, you must have the right tank mixture of the chemical. This cannot be done without knowing exactly how much water your sprayer applies per acre.
Nozzle flow rate, ground speed and effective spray width all affect the amount of water applied per acre. For example: if your sprayer is calibrated to operate at 4 mph but actually operated at 3 mph, you will over apply chemical and increase costs by 33%.
Many people have difficulty figuring how much herbicide to add to their tank and it becomes a guessing game, which often cost producers money. If you calibrate your sprayer, this decision becomes simple.
To learn more about how to calibrate your sprayer, contact Harold Stephens at the OSU Cooperative Extension Service, 580-889-7337 in Atoka County.