29 March 2002

SPRAY TIPS: 3

SPRAYTIMING

Timeliness is critical in achieving spraying success. "Get it right and you can optimise limited good weather windows, increase efficacy, minimise damage, perhaps save on cost by enabling a lower dose and speed the work rate by using a lower application volume and maybe a higher speed," comments Jim Orson, director of Morley Research Centre in Norfolk.

"Our policy is KISSS – Keep It Simple, Strategic and Sustainable. Thinking ahead and keeping it simple means you can be more timely – hence you will not be chasing problems."

During the season ensure you have fully completed work sheets showing LERAP and/or environmental hazards. Then speed the job by arranging efficient water filling, at a rate compatible with the quantity of chemical to go in the tank. Avoid incompatible tank mixes and know the correct sequence of adding products.

Always check the weather and whether high or low temperatures could adversely affect product efficacy or increase the risk of crop damage. "Spraying early or late in the day often gives you the best spraying weather. And remember, that even though making separate passes with incompatible chemicals takes more time, it is important to abide by the label," says Mr Orson.

Most products have a rain fastness time given, but many are remarkably resilient to, or even benefit from, dew or light drizzle, he says. But never apply foliar acting materials on very wet foliage or if heavy rain is likely.