Pulse School: Spray records, down time, and planning for next year

(source: John Deere)

Before the freeze up, sprayer operators might be doing their routine winter maintenance and getting the unit ready for storage — but the more philosophical side of sprayer maintenance is sometimes forgotten about.

Don’t worry, we don’t get too deep about spraying in this Pulse School episode, but Tom Wolf of Sprayers 101 and AgriMetrix joins Kara Oosterhuis for some tips on what to ponder, going into the off-season.

“It’s always a time to reminisce — what went well, what was I frustrated with,” says Wolf.

Some of the things Wolf suggests reflecting on are: filling and cleaning times, wider LSW style tires to help prevent getting stuck, and any missed spray days due to wind, and how spray pattern might help get the the job done.

“The sprayer’s the last piece of equipment you’ll put away, in some cases, doing it before freeze up. And it’ll very likely be the first piece of equipment you pull out of the shop as well,” says Wolf. It’s a good time to act on the improvement list — pumps, booms, weed detection or improved sectional control are all things to consider. (more below)

Also make sure you’re getting all the data possible from the sprayer. What kind of information can you get from the monitor that will help you next year? The monitor will give you performance data — both number of acres per spray hour, and number of acres per engine hour — which can be used to indicate any down-time. The average gallons per acre can also tell you if you’re spending more time desiccating or doing fall herbicide application, based on higher recorded water volumes.

Related: Keeping an eye out for herbicide residue

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