Canola School: Clean, clean, clean… the importance of a proper sprayer tank clean out

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

The growing season is busy. From before the crop goes into the ground, to after it’s harvested, there are a million different things on the go.

Although skipping any steps is frowned upon, one step that should never be skipped is a proper sprayer tank clean out, says Shawn Senko of the Canola Council of Canada.

Canola can be sensitive to several chemistries, and is especially impacted by pre-seed tank mixes, which is likely what was used in the sprayer last. When the tank isn’t properly cleaned out, it can cause a lot of issues, from minor set backs all the way up to requiring a crop be reseeded.

“We’re bouncing from the seeder to the sprayer, and some of the worst times for sprayer tank hang up is when you leave something sit in the tank overnight,” says Senko.

The method for cleaning of course depends on the product you are using, understanding the label, and what products are required. But the key, says Senko, is water — and lots of it.

“Multiple tank flushes with water, and with the particular product that the chemistry asks for,” he explains, adding to not forget about the booms.

“A lot of the time you see those V patterns in the field, and that can be either from strainers getting plugged up, or also the boom end cap. It’s kind of a dead space in there, you can have herbicide build up in those areas. And every time the boom cuts on, it gives a kind of vortex flush in there.”

Check out the full conversation between Senko and RealAgriculture’s Kara Oosterhuis, below:

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