Calibrating a High Pressure Sprayer

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Calibration of your spraying equipment is an important step to ensure that you are applying the correct labeled rate of pesticide to your crop to avoid under-application or over-application. Dr. Jill Sidebottom, Mountain Conifer IPM Specialist says that “the idea behind calibration is to determine how many ounces per second your high pressure sprayer is putting out. There’s two reasons for that: to estimate how many gallons per acre you’re likely to spray and therefore to be able to calculate how to mix insecticides that are labeled per acre instead of per 100 gallons. Then after you spray, you can see how close you came. If there’s a big difference, you might want to track down the reason. It’s just a way of maintaining quality control.”

Sometimes, nozzles may be clogged, there may be leakage in equipment, or there may be a difference in actual pressure vs what’s showing on the pressure gauge. Calibration can help you identify any variables or anomalies and, as Jill said, maintain quality control and efficiency of your spraying regimen. While this video applies to high pressure spraying of Fraser fir Christmas trees in the mountains, the principle applies to any landscape or field crop being treated with a high-pressure sprayer.