Spray nozzles that are more precise improve the quality and efficiency of input applications.
The increase in agricultural production can be seen as a result of the expansion of agribusiness areas, and because of a consistent rise in productivity.
However, considering that the expansion of cultivated land is increasingly limited, and knowing that food production on a global scale is projected to at least double by 2050, the employment of technology and the responsible use of resources are key factors that will allow productivity to meet demand.
In short, the plan is to produce more food on the same land using fewer resources. This is challenging, but not impossible. As such, public and private companies seek solutions to make agriculture even more productive, while also being sustainable.
One of these solutions is the development of more-precise spray nozzles. Nozzles are small parts coupled to sprayers that make a considerable difference in phytosanitary control.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, if not managed, pests and diseases can affect agricultural production with losses around 40%.
To avoid this waste, spraying plays an essential role in the daily routines of farmers. They can choose between different methods and processes, such as agrochemical and biological products, and even liquid fertilisers.
The importance of spray nozzles
The correct application of products demands enormous efficiency from sprayers and application techniques, along with technologies and processes that are increasingly more advanced to allow for safer and more efficient applications.
According to Daniel Petreli, agronomist and specialist in application technology at Jacto, the nozzle is responsible for a large part of the results obtained in the correct distribution of phytosanitary products on target.
“This control contributes to healthier crops, as healthy plants express their genetic potential and produce more. Therefore, we can say that nozzles have an important role in terms of avoiding losses and waste,” he explains.
In spraying, everything must be properly adjusted, and the main adjustments are related to the product used, the speed of the sprayer, the application rate, and the size of the droplet.
The size of the droplet is determined by the selection of the spray nozzle, an aspect that causes many application problems due to the great diversity of models available. For example, there are nozzles that produce fine droplets that allow greater coverage and better penetration into the target.
However, if there is an increase in temperature and wind speed, their performance decreases, and they are more susceptible to losses to drift and evaporation.
In other words, the choice of the droplet size produced by the nozzle will depend on the type of crop, the type of pest and where it is located, the mode of action of the phytosanitary products, temperature and humidity conditions, and even wind speed, as the droplets must reach the plants and not disperse into the air.
However, choosing the correct nozzle is only part of the process. Another aspect is inspecting the nozzles as, depending on the state of the spray nozzles, the agrochemicals may be applied in excess.