A sprayer nozzle, initially designed to improve coverage of cereals with T3 late season fungicides, is just as useful at the T1 and T2 timings, its originator points out.

Referring to Syngenta’s Amistar air-including angled nozzle, the firm’s Tom Robinson says:

“We now recommend it right through the whole of the spraying season for the full range of our cereal fungicides and growth regulators such as Moddus.”

The firm’s trials on wheat in 2004 highlighted its advantages over standard flat fan nozzles at both the earlier treatments, says Mr Robinson.

Using an Amistar (azoxystrobin)/Opus (epoxiconazole) mix at T1 and T2 the single sprays boosted yield of Napier wheat by about 0.5t/ha (4cwt/acre) and 0.25t/ha (2cwt/acre) more respectively.

With an estimated 250,000 at work on UK farms many operators already appreciate the benefits of the Amistar nozzle, now in its fifth season. But there is scope for wider uptake, Mr Robinson believes.

“There is still quite a mind set that it is for T3 treatments only.”

It produces more drops per litre than any similar air-inclusion nozzle, holds its fan pattern down to as low as 1bar pressure, and has three-star LERAP approval at up to 12kph, he says.

And by permitting operation in slightly stronger winds, the nozzle can give users up to eight more days to spray during May and June.

“An extra spray day could be worth £1000,” he calculates.

That is based on the cost of having to use a contractor to catch up on missed opportunities.

“He will charge £10/ha and will spray 100ha/day conservatively.

“Actually it’s worth more, because a missed T2 spray, according to ADAS, costs 0.07t/ha a day, which equals 0.5t a week.”

Although hard to block, the nozzle can be easily dismantled.

“It has tags, so it can be pulled apart with pliers.

That’s unique.”

andrew.blake@rbi.co.uk