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Preparing your sprayer for spring.

By: Greg Kruger, assistant professor and cropping systems specialist, University of Nebraska

Protect your crops and achieve the most effective herbicide application by taking care of your sprayer. Here are three tips to prepare for application in spring:

Clean the tank.

Make sure there is nothing left over in the sprayer from last season that could harm your crops this season. Read labels carefully to learn how to clean your tank correctly. Pay close attention to areas where contamination occurs first, including filters, nozzles, tips and joints.

Select the appropriate nozzle.

Preemergence and postemergence herbicide applications require different nozzle types.

Preemergence: A nozzle that provides large spray droplets works best for a preemergence herbicide application. A dense weed canopy would require residual activity nozzles, such as a turbo induction nozzle.

Postemergence:Growers applying early postemergence herbicides should use a nozzle that gives a slightly smaller droplet size, such as an air induction extended range nozzle.

Scout your fields.

Scout for weeds prior to spring application. Early weed growth will influence which nozzle is best for different herbicide applications.

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