Get your sprayer in gear - a ten-step plan
Derek Casey's 10-step plan to optimising your spraying kit.
1 Safety first
Before you start, make sure you are wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Agrochemicals are extremely corrosive and can cause very bad burns on skin or through eye contact. Check the tractor is switched off and you have the key in your pocket. Is the PTO guard up to scratch for another season?
Long-term exposure to the many pesticides that pass through a sprayer can corrode the sprayer components. In addition, trace amount of pesticides lodged in the sprayer parts from last year can damage crops if carried over to spring. It is essential to clean and decontaminate your sprayer before the new season. Some farmers opt to power wash the inside of the tank - be sure to wear the proper PPE if doing so.
Remove the strainers and wash and rinse them thoroughly by hand with soapy water. Cleaning the sprayer properly involves circulating water through the whole system for an effective rinse. Several rinses using a small volume (about 10pc of the spray tank capacity) are more effective than just filling the spray tank once.
If using a detergent, make sure you drain the spray tank properly away from open water courses. Wash the outside of the tank as well.