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Author - Bamert Seed

Calibrating A Boomless Sprayer


Speaker 1 (00:14):

Hello, my name is James Locke. I’m a Soles and crops consultant with the Noble Foundation. What I’d like to visit with you about today is how to calibrate a boom list or boom buster type sprayer. These type sprayers are, are very common in, in range and pasture land because they don’t have wide booms that stick out and you’re able to maneuver around trees and brush and and hills. There are a lot of different ways to calibrate a sprayer like this. We have a method on our website. They’re calculator where you can plug in your output data and then it will calibrate it for you. The method we’re gonna be demonstrating today is called the eighth of an acre method, where we, we calculate how much spray we’re putting out over what would be the equivalent of an eighth of an acre. We measure that in pints.

Speaker 1 (00:58):

The number of pints ends up equaling our gallons per acre. We have to know our gallons per acre because that’s the only way that you can know how much material to put in a tank to achieve the desired output rate, the supplies that we’ll need. In order to calibrate a a boom list or brush buster sprayer, we need a, a measuring tape at least 200 to 300 feet. Two catch buckets in order to catch the output from the nozzles. Something that will measure in pints in order to measure the output from the spray nozzles, calculator, stopwatch, something to record the information on and then flags, and to be able to mark the ends of our timing runs and the width of our spray pattern. One of the first things that you do whenever you’re getting ready to calibrate the sprayers, make sure everything’s in good working order.

Speaker 1 (01:47):

Look at the nozzles. Make sure that they’re clean and undamaged. Inspect the hoses. Make sure that they’re all undamaged, no bubbles or, or cracks. Make sure that your filters are in place and no damage there. Inspect the pressure regulator. Make sure there’s no cracks or leaks. Everything’s operational there. Check the pump to make sure that it’s in good condition. No cracks, leaks, anything like that. Make sure it’s correctly hooked up either to the PTO or the hydraulics, depending on what type of a tractor pump system that you’re using. Also, inspect the tractor, check oil and, and make sure that the tractor’s in good operating condition for, for the operation you’re about to undertake. What we’re gonna do next is we’re gonna set the pressure with this particular type of nozzle that we’re using. We’re targeting about 30 pounds of pressure, so if we can go ahead and get her started. Now we’re getting the pump started. Our pressure’s set about where we want it to be, and at this point, we turn the sprayer on this part of the operation. What we’re doing is we’re testing how wide a, a spray width that we’ve got. The way that we do that is we’ll come over here, measure as far as the wetted area,

Speaker 1 (03:19):

Which is about right here. Then I’ll come to the other side of the spray pattern, and we’re measuring how wide the entire pattern is. Now we’ll turn the sprayer off, take our tape measure and measure what the total spray width is. So the, the total width is 34 feet. So what we’ve done is we’ve measured the, the entire spray width of, of what the sprayer will cover, and we now need to calculate the effective spray width, which is 80 to 85% of what the total coverage is. So our total spray width is 34 feet. The effective spray width, we’ll call it 34 times 0.85. That gets us to 29 feet for 85%. We’re 27 feet for 80%. So just call it basically a, a a 28 foot effective spray width. We had our total spray width was 34 feet. Between 80 and 85% would be about 28 feet for our effective spray width. So then we look at this chart on a sticker that’s available from the Noble Foundation, and roughly at 27 and a half feet, which is pretty close to what we’ve got, we need a, a distance of 199 feet.

Speaker 1 (05:45):

The reason we use that is 199 feet times our effective spray width is going to give us our one eighth of an acre, which is our target for what we’re trying to emulate with this calibration procedure. Our next step is to measure out this 199 feet and determine how long it takes us to travel that distance. So what we’ll do is we’ll put a flag in the ground, measure 199 feet, put a flag in the ground on the other end, and then I’ll use a stopwatch to record how much time it takes us to travel. Just like if we were doing the actual application in the field. Now I’m gonna measure out the distance. So what we just did is we measured the time that it took him to travel this 199 feet. What this does with our distance and that time, that tells us how long it takes us to cover one eighth of an acre in this case, 36.4 seconds. Now we’ll go back and we’ll actually catch the output from the nozzles for this amount of time, and here we go. So at this point, what we’re gonna do is measure the output from the right hand side. We’re gonna measure it in pints.

Speaker 1 (08:25):

From that side, we’ve measured 102 ounces. Okay? There’s 16 ounces per pint. We have 102 ounces divided by 16 ounces in a pint equals 6.375 pints in our 36.4 seconds. Now, we’ve measured from the other side, we got 98 a hundred, 102. We got 104 ounces from the other side. So 104 ounces divided by 16 ounces per pint is 6.5 pints. So we have 6.5 pints from the right side, plus 6.375 pints From the left side is 12.875 pints total. I don’t believe that we’re really that accurate. So I’m gonna round this to 13 gallons per acre.

Speaker 1 (09:44):

Okay. What I’m gonna do now is I’ve, I’ve calculated what my total output is. I’m just rounding it to 13 gallons per acre. Now I’m gonna record which tractor I’m using this on, what my gear is, what my RPM is, so that I don’t have to keep doing that. And if I’ve got multiple sprayers, then I’m also gonna record which sprayer this calibration is for. I’ll keep this on record so that I can refer to it in the future. A few additional points to mention, we were calibrating with water. In this case, you always want to use clean water during the calibration to limit your exposure to chemical. We also wanna point out that if, if the calibration gallons per acre that we arrive at using this procedure is not correct, it’s not reasonable for our, our application, make minor adjustments by changing the pressure. Or you can make more significant adjustments either by changing the nozzle size or the speed of travel. That’s where you make major adjustments.