Spraying Herbicides

Simple spray procedures for spraying Herbicides using Matabi knapsack sprayer

Based on the most common errors that I have been observing with the use of the Spanish Goizper Matabi knapsack sprayer

The procedures listed below apply to all makes of sprayers

Setting up new Agrichemical Knapsack Sprayer
Always first read the instructions that come with the spray equipment in particular regarding the pressures and nozzles to use for Herbicide use.

Attaching straps
Use the slots provided and the method indicated to attach the straps

Setting pressure gauge
Set the pressure gauge so that the red dot shows for spraying of herbicides because it is recommended to use a pressure of 1.5 bar, which is indicated by the red dot on the pressure regulator.

pressure regulator

Selecting correct nozzles for spraying herbicides
Always insert and only operate with the nozzle filter in place. For our application the only nozzle to use is the yellow flat fan nozzle provided together with the sprayer. Supervisors are to make regular checks to see that that the filters are clean and are in place.

Only use the following nozzles supplied with the Matabi knapsack sprayer

Low drift flat fan spray nozzles

Low drift flat fan spray nozzles for spraying herbicides

Low drift flat fan spray nozzles for spraying herbicides

These nozzles are designed to reduce the drift with good coverage at 1.5 bar. These nozzles are especially recommended for systemic post-emergence treatments.


Deflector nozzles
These nozzles are wide angle nozzles for herbicide application, they are mostly used for pre-emergence herbicide spraying when a larger droplet size is required.

Important warning:
The other nozzles supplied with the Matabi knapsack sprayer are designed to operate at 3 bar giving a smaller droplet size for the spraying of pesticides. The smaller droplet size vastly increases the spray drift increasing the use of herbicide and increasing the danger of damage to non-target plants

The operator adjustable nozzles supplied with the Matabi knapsack sprayer are not to be used under any circumstances for the spraying of herbicides because they are not designed for the application of herbicides in the field resulting in overdosing and in most cases wasting tank mix. They are designed to be used for spraying flies in houses.

USING THE INCORRECT NOZZLES WASTES CONSIDERABLE AMOUNTS OF TANK MIX

THIS BAD PRACTICE REQUIRES THE USE OF FAR MORE HERBICIDE CONCENTRATE

THIS BAD PRACTICE REQUIRES THE USE OF FAR MORE WATER

THIS BAD PRACTICE GREATLY REDUCES THE AREA SPRAYED PER DAY COMBINED WITH

THE ADDITIONAL COST OF HERBICE THE EXTRA NEED TO SUPPLY WATER AND THE REDUCED AREA SPRAYED DRAMATICALLY INCREASES THE COST OF SPRAYING

Care of spray equipment
Rule number one is to keep the sprayer clean at all times in particular on the inside to prevent clogging of the filters and nozzle which disturbs the spray pattern and usually ends in the nozzle blocking completely This wastes both the time to clean out the equipment and requires that the herbicide in the tank be discarded.

Never sit on spray equipment Matabi knapsack sprayers are not seats.

Never treat the sprayers roughly such as simply throwing spray equipment onto or off of the back of a truck or van.

Take care to prevent damage to the spray lance and nozzle. At no time allow the nozzle to be stuck into the ground. When finished using the sprayer lock the pump handle with the devise provided and store the spray lance in the place provided

Only use spray equipment that is in good working order, always check spray equipment before use.

Always check nozzles for cleanliness and correct spray pattern before use.
Always check to see that the spray trigger is cutting off the supply of mixed herbicide completely when it is released.

Always check for leaks when under pressure check that the cap is sealing so that the tank mix cannot pour out onto the back of the operator

Never leave sprayers under pressure when transporting from site to site or overnight.

Never leave sprayers with mix in the tank overnight.

Cleanliness when working with spray equipment
Always have a bucket on site with plenty of clean water in it for washing hands when handling Herbicide concentrates and spray equipment.

Always have soap and cloths or towels on site as well

Always keep the chemical and water containers clean in particular blue dye containers, always wash dye concentrate that spills onto the container or onto hands or gloves off immediately.

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ACCEPTABLE EXCUSE FOR CONTAMINATING HERBICIDE CONCENTRATE CONTAINERS; WATER CONTAINERS; SPRAYERS AND VEHICLES WITH BLUE DYE

Always wash out the sprayer at the end of the day with fresh water and pump clean water through the sprayer to purge it of all chemical residues

Always wash out nozzles and filters after use, to prevent clogging of the filter and nozzle this is of particular importance when using blue marker dye.

At the end of the day remove the nozzle and filter and place into a plastic jar filled with soapy water

Always use clean water free of contamination for making the tank mix.

Always keep water containers closed so that contamination cannot enter them.

Do not allow contamination to enter the spray tank.

Always use a clean measuring jug for measuring agrichemicals to avoid contamination from entering the spray tank

Always wash the measuring jug after use.

Always check that the measuring jug is free from contamination before each and every use, failure to do so causes blocked nozzles that affect the spray pattern giving poor coverage and reduces spray speed and above all wastes time and tank mix.

Always keep herbicide containers, sticker containers and blue dye containers clean especially around the filler and cap to prevent contamination of the tank mix and to prevent contamination of the person mixing the agro-chemicals

Mixing and Use of Herbicides
Always read the label before use and apply in strict accordance with the legal provisions of the label.

Warning

Do not ever spray herbicides in or near sensitive natural areas that contain PICLORAM see here for more information


Selecting the correct Herbicide for the Job
Always use the recommended application rate or less for the specie being sprayed.

Always apply the correct amount of herbicide adjusted in regards to the specie being sprayed, the weather and the growth of the target plants. The more favorable the growing conditions the more that the herbicide to be applied can be reduced.

Spray different plants species with the appropriate herbicide and concentration for each specie

Make a chart of commonly sprayed species for quick easy reference


Using more than the optimum amount of  herbicide does not produce better results

The following factors need to be observed for optimum results and the dose rate adjusted accordingly

Time of year
Temperature
Humidity
Soil moisture content
Soil fertility
Stage of growth
Rate of growth
Specie being sprayed
Correct sticker, spreader, penetrant for each herbicide and specie

Make a chart of commonly sprayed species with recommended herbicide and application rate for quick easy reference

Always use a clean well calibrated measuring jug that gives accurate measurements in particular when small amounts of herbicide are being added to the tank mix. A small error that adds more herbicide than required to the tank mix per tank can make a huge amount of wasted herbicide at the end of a month when a large team is at work.

Avoid contamination of skin or clothing with Herbicide concentrate. If contamination accidently occurs, wash immediately with soap and water before continuing.

The larger the amount of herbicide that can be mixed at a time the more accurately it can be mixed reducing wastage of herbicide as well as saving considerable time that goes into mixing individual tank mixes.

Ensure that no herbicide concentrate gets spilled onto the ground.
 
Dish washing liquid in particular Sunlight liquid is an excellent wetter, sticker, penetration promoter.

Never spray up into the air at a height of over one meter in windy conditions due to excessive spray drift.

Do not under any circumstances allow spray drift to contaminate areas not to be sprayed.

NEVER MIX broad leaf herbicides in particular  herbicides containing Picloram under or near to trees because spills will probably result in damage to or the death of the tree in time.

dead tree killed by picloram

Spilling even the very smallest amount of herbicide in particular PILCORAM while mixing under trees can cause this to happen

Always partially fill the tank with water before adding the chemicals then top up to the desired level once the agrichemicals have been added.

Personal protective equipment
Spray operators are to only apply herbicides if they are wearing full PPE required for use by spray operators.
Overalls should be removed and washed after each days spraying.
Eye protection and gloves must be washed before use each day.
Never put on contaminated gloves, eye protection or respirators.
Boots are always to be kept clean and in good condition

Spraying and the use of spray equipment
Use staff that have been correctly trained and that have been clearly instructed
Monitor performance of the spray operators for bad spray habits and correct immediately

Calibration of the equipment is important on the Matabi knapsack sprayer of main concern is that the correct spray pressure and nozzles are being used for the job.

The walking speed and coverage to near runoff must be constant
The height that the spray nozzle is being held above the plants must be correct and constant

If held too high in the air the amount of spray drift increases considerably under windy conditions.
Wind conditions

The operator MUST ALWAYS ONLY spray with the wind on his or her back. NEVER EVER allow a spray operator to spray directly into the wind in particular on a windy day.

Caution
Ensure at all times that the spray operator or bystanders do not get to breath in spray drift in particular herbicides containing Picloram.

Beware Picloram is very toxic if inhaled and is harmful to the eyes so do not allow spray be breather or to enter the eyes and if it does always have plenty of fresh water in a bucket on the spray site with soap clean water and a towel  to was the eyes well

Always have a first aid box with appropriate eye wash

Do not spray if the plants are wet in the early morning or after rain as it greatly lessens the effectiveness of the spray.
Do not spray if it is likely to rain after spraying, check on the herbicide label for details for each and every herbicide combination used.

Used chemical containers
Do not leave lying about remove the same day from site and dispose as per label
Never let the staff or anyone else use used containers for the storing of drinking water or for use at home.

View or Download Herbicide Application Guide Here

Madagascar periwinkle Catharanthus roseus NEMBA Catergory 1b alien invasive weed

Madagascar periwinkle Catharanthus roseus NEMBA Catergory 1b alien invasive weed


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Designed, Developed & Maintained by Michael Hickman
This page was  created on 21.07.2017
This page was last updated on 25.11.2017