Get Maximum Results from Blueberry Sprayers

Kelsey Fry Berries, Research, Top Posts

Renee Allen, area blueberry agent with the University of Georgia (UGA) Extension, discussed her recent presentation at the 2016 Fall Blueberry Short Course held in Plant City, Florida.

She said her main focus was to speak on the studies she’s conducted on initial identification of issues with spray coverage in south Georgia blueberries.

Allen spoke on two main topics during the presentation: a field day in which coverage by different types of sprayers was compared, and results of a study that looked at the coverage when a  sprayer went down every other row middle with an airblast sprayer.

The field day compared an airblast sprayer, cannon sprayer and over-the-row boom sprayer. Conclusions were that “there was a wide variation on droplet size and coverage among the sprayers” and wind speed can have a significant effect, especially further away from the sprayer. Allen added that high pressure produces small droplets that could produce drift. “All of the sprayers had good coverage. You just need to focus on nozzle placement and adjustments on the sprayer for your different sizes of blueberry plant,” she said.

Allen reported that a conclusion made from the alternate row middle spraying study was that this method“tremendously limits spray coverage on rows that the sprayer does not travel down, even when there is no foliage on the plant.”

She said some of the take-home messages are“to keep in mind how much space you have between your sprayer nozzles and the blueberry plant. Allow enough space for those droplets to atomize before they hit the plant. A lot of the sprayers can provide good coverage. You just have to keep in mind the wear and tear of the nozzle and disc-cores. If you have a lot of acreage that you cover, you need to change those every year.”

Allen also noted that speed is an important factor to consider when spraying. She said going too fast might lead to inadequate coverage.

According to Allen, increasing maintenance of equipment used and learning about sprayers allows growers to have successful pest management options.

Allen worked on these projects in close collaboration with growers, county agricultural agents, UGA agricultural engineer Dr. Glen Rains, and UGA fruit pathologist Dr. Phil Brannen.


About the Author

Kelsey Fry

Reporter / Writer / Digital Services Assistant for AgNet Media

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