Nozzles are one of the most underrated sprayer components, according to Erdal Ozkan, Extension ag engineer with The Ohio State University.
“Nozzles are some of the least expensive components of a sprayer, [but] they hold a high value in their ability to influence sprayer performance,” he says in a recent edition of the university’s C.O.R.N. newsletter. “The best nozzle for a given application will maximize efficacy, minimize spray drift and allow compliance with label requirements such as application rate and spray droplet size.”
So what’s the best nozzle for a given application? That depends – there’s no one-size-fits-all option, Ozkan says.
“For this reason, it is best to have several types and sizes of nozzles on the boom so that you can switch to the ‘best’ nozzle choice for a given spraying job,” he says.
Don’t forget to consult the manufacturers nozzle catalogs, which include tables and charts that can aid in both selection and best-use practices, Ozkan says. Most manufacturers also have mobile apps, he adds – but they aren’t always dependable as a complete resource.’
“Some apps are not user-friendly, and sometimes they do not take into account the droplet size requirements when recommending nozzles,” he says.
For a detailed set of steps to select the proper nozzle size, consult Ohio State’s fact sheet, “Selecting the Best Nozzle for the Job.” Nozzle selection was also a topic covered on Corn College TV, Season 3, Episode 5.