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Evaluation of Fan-Pattern Spray Nozzle Wear Using Scanning Electron Microscopy

C. R. Krause, D. L. Reichard,* H. Zhu, R. D. Brazee, H. E. Ozkan,† R. D. Fox

USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Application Technology Research Unit, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Wooster; †The Ohio State University, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Dept. of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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Summary: Worn nozzles on spray equipment severely affect the efficiency of crop management systems while causing unnecessary pesticide contamination of non target areas. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) that has been applied for direct measurement of pesticide deposition, was used to observe worn and unused brass and stainless steel fan-pattern spray nozzles. Wear and other changes were observed in both nozzle materials. Scanning electron microscopy can provide nozzle manufacturers with greater insight and needed information on nozzle mechanics to improve performance. More reliable delivery of pesticide spray should enhance integrated pest and disease management and crop protection for growers.

Key words: pesticide application, environmental concerns, application technology

PACS: 61.72.Qq, 68.37.Hh