Free advice available on sprayer hygiene and winter maintenance

A video highlighting the benefits of good sprayer hygiene has recently been published to help farmers and contractors who have been carrying out winter machinery maintenance works.

Tom Robinson and Andrew Myatt
Tom Robinson and Andrew Myatt.

The video produced by Corteva Agriscience is presented by independent spray application specialist Tom Robinson, who returns to the Stowell Park Estate in Gloucestershire to visit farm foreman Andrew Myatt and see how his robust winter servicing programme optimised sprayer performance in 2023.

Mr Myatt, a former sprayer operator of the year, said that his time spent in the workshop last winter was “well worth it” as it meant a busy spring of spraying was uninterrupted by repairs or servicing.

Practical steps

Alongside scheduled maintenance, he followed Corteva’s best practice application advice relating to sprayer hygiene and spray concentration rates when applying Univoq, Corteva’s novel fungicide containing Inatreq active. 

Mr Robinson said: “Andrew is a very knowledgeable and experienced operator, and in this new video, he is able to show the practical steps he took to look after his machine as well as the positive impact it had on operational performance. 
“In 2022 Andrew had minor issues with his sprayer’s check valves when applying Inatreq active, but servicing and following Corteva’s best practice application advice led to him eradicating the problem this spring. The video has been made with operators in mind, showing in detail how to dismantle, replace and reassemble wearing parts on the sprayer, which need attention during winter maintenance.”  

Andrew Myatt and Tom Robinson.

Servicing of a Ramsay box

December and January are the most popular months for machinery maintenance. In the video, Mr Myatt demonstrates how he uses the time to focus on servicing components that most frequently come into contact with chemicals. A new addition to the video this year is the servicing of a Ramsay pressure set, more commonly known as a Ramsay box, and Mr Myatt’s approach to replacing the pistons in the nozzles of his sprayer.

He also shares how to service his machine’s pump by replacing its diaphragms, as well as explaining how chemical residues can cause them to wear, distort and split if not replaced annually. Out in the field, there is a demonstration of Mr Myatt’s post-application washout procedure, rinsing, and a general inspection of the key parts of the machine.

For 2024 applications of any product containing Inatreq active, Corteva has issued the following best practice guidance:

  • The maximum concentration should not exceed 2 litres of product in 285 litres of water per hectare – a 0.7% concentration
  • Inatreq spray solutions should not be left in the spray tank overnight – follow the recommendations on the label – and operators should rinse the sprayer tank, pump and lines through at the end of each day’s spraying
  • Inatreq should not be used in sprayers equipped with pulse width modulation technology
  • Corteva recommends replacing pump diaphragms annually, ideally with NBR or Blue flex parts. Abide by the pump manufacturer’s service recommendations
  • For anti-drip diaphragms, EPDM parts are recommended, or operators can modify air shut-off anti-drip valves to use Teflon replacements. If neither of these options are possible, Corteva recommends replacing all existing pneumatic/automated anti-drip diaphragms/pistons with new before spraying products containing Inatreq. It’s important to check these after use too
  • If your sprayer has a Ramsay box, you should replace the diaphragm seal during winter maintenance.

The full video for users in the UK is available here. Click here to see the video for sprayer operators in Ireland.

Read more machinery news here.

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