Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 18, 2008
Publication Date: December 20, 2008
Citation: Fritz, B.K., Parker, C.T., Lopez, J., Hoffmann, W.C., Schleider, P.G. 2008. Deposition and droplet sizing characterization of a laboratory spray table. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 25:175-180. Interpretive Summary: Selecting the most appropriate and efficacious pesticide application method from the multitude of pesticides, pests, and crop combinations is a complex task. Full scale field testing of these combinations can be costly; therefore, a laboratory screening methodology was developed that characterized the deposition of spray material from a series of spray nozzles. A database of spray volume deposition rates and droplet sizes was developed that allows user to rapidly setup the system for a specified spray rate and targeted droplet size. The developed spray table system can be used to quickly and inexpensively screen a large number of application scenarios to select the application system combinations that show the most promise for field evaluations.
Technical Abstract: Laboratory simulation of application of agricultural sprays for bioassay or sprayer evaluations is not a new concept. Given the ever increasing number of combinations of pesticides, pests, crops, and application methods, full scale field testing of all combinations is not feasible. Small scale laboratory studies to assess the various materials on the various crops and pests at varying rates and spray spectra can identify promising combinations for field evaluation. This work details a laboratory spray table and a series of calibration evaluations used to help user quickly setup to apply material at desired rates and droplet sizes. A series of flat-fan nozzles were evaluated at different speeds and pressure combinations in the spray table. A database of spray volume deposition rates and droplet sizes was developed using water sensitive cards analyzed with the DropletScan® software. The developed spray table system can be used to quickly and inexpensively screen a large number of application scenarios to select the application system combinations that show the most promise for field evaluations.