Canola School: The two parts to a proper spray tank cleanout

Most problems around the farm are better prevented than solved, especially when it takes two weeks for the problem to show up.

In this Canola School episode, we talk to Tom Wolf with Agrimetrix and about the importance of properly cleaning out your sprayer.

“There are usually two parts to a cleanout. The first one is to effectively dilute the remaining volume in your tank. The second part is to decontaminate all the other parts of the sprayer,” says Wolf at CanolaPALOOZA 2017 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

Wolf says minimizing the remaining volume in your tank is an important prerequisite to a proper cleanout.

“It just makes cleaning it that much easier. That means on your last tank, actually measure. Take extra diligence to make sure you run out when you are done your field.”

He says that once your pump is at zero, you think you have almost nothing left in your tank, which is where the problems often arise.

“Once your pump is sucking air, you’ve got almost nothing left. But you do have a bit of what we call a remaining volume. There is possibly something in the sump, certainly the suction line to the pump, then the return lines that feed the agitation in the bypass. So that can be five gallons, ten gallons, depending on the sprayer. Usually it’s two inch plumbing, and it’s quite surprising how much it can actually be,” he adds. “That stuff cannot be pushed out of the boom, it has to be diluted.”

Wolf recommends cleaning that sprayer tank and boom out as soon as possible, as even leaving it overnight can cause many issues.

Tom discussed some of the common problems, as well as steps to follow to properly clean out your sprayer during the CanolaPalooza events in Saskatoon, Portage and Lacombe:

Related: Spray Tips with Tom Wolf — Ep. 6: 7 Steps to Total Sprayer Cleanout

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