Exploring Spraying Equipment for Agriculture: Applications & Benefits
Date Posted: 16 October 2023
Spraying plays a vital role in the life cycle of your land. Whether you’re clearing your field of invasive species, adding conditioners to boost soil fertility, or using insecticide to protect your crops, a good sprayer is essential agricultural machinery. If you’re looking for a boom sprayer for sale, you’ve come to the experts. In this blog, we’ll outline everything you need to know about this must-have equipment.
What Is the Purpose of Agricultural Spraying?
Essentially, agricultural spraying exists to support crop management. If you’ve been in the farming industry or in agriculture for a while, you’ve definitely seen spraying before—you might have even used boom sprayers yourself—but you might not know all the different reasons that agricultural spraying is so important:
Pest & Disease Control
One of the primary functions of agricultural spraying is pest and disease control. Insects, weeds and pathogens (like crop viruses) pose a constant threat to crops, potentially causing substantially reduced yields. Spraying pesticides and herbicides helps farmers manage these threats effectively, reducing crop damage and ensuring a healthy, productive harvest.
Fertilisation & Soil Nutrition
Spraying equipment can also be used to apply fertilisers and soil amendments to enhance soil fertility and nutrient levels. Properly sprayed soil amendments can help you increase the water retention, drainage or permeability of your soil, while fertiliser provides much-needed nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This process ensures that crops have access to essential nutrients, promoting healthy growth and better yields.
Crop Growth Regulation
Certain growth regulators and plant hormones can be applied using spraying equipment to control crop growth, flowering and fruiting. This practice allows farmers to optimise crop development (e.g. making sure your crop is ripe at exactly the right time) and improve fruit quality.
Spraying equipment ensures uniform and consistent coverage of crops with agricultural amendments. Hand scattering or applying of fertilisers and herbicides is notoriously inconsistent, and may result in doubling up in some areas, or your products getting into water supplies. The consistency provided by the steady stream minimises over- or under-application, reducing waste and potential environmental impacts.
What Are the Different Types of Farming & Agricultural Sprayers?
If you’re looking at agricultural sprayers for the first time, you might be surprised to see the wide range we offer. From boom to boomless, hand-held to pack, we’re breaking down the different styles available (and their benefits) to make sure you can make the right pick for your project:
Boom sprayers are one of the most common and widely used types of agricultural spraying equipment. They feature a set of long, horizontal arms or ‘booms’ equipped with multiple nozzles that extend over the crop canopy. The boom is usually mounted on a tractor or a specialised sprayer vehicle, but you might also find one on a trailer. Silvan Boom Sprayers are the leaders in this style of sprayer, and we’re pleased to boast a huge range. These sprayers are especially suited for large-scale farming operations, where the goal is to maximise efficiency and coverage. Boom sprayers offer several advantages:
A boom sprayer provides precise and uniform coverage, ensuring that pesticides or fertilisers are evenly distributed over the target area with little overspray.
Their wide coverage allows for systematic spraying, reducing the time and chemicals required to treat large fields.
3. Height Adjustment:
Good boom sprayers will have height-adjustable booms, allowing for flexibility in spraying various crop heights. This is especially handy for big, overgrown fields you’re trying to clear.
Boom sprayers can be equipped with drift control technology to minimise the risk of off-target chemical drift. Make sure you choose the right boom sprayer nozzle and read up on boom sprayer calibration for best results.
Boomless sprayers are an alternative to traditional boom sprayers, offering advantages for specific projects. Instead of extending a horizontal boom over the crop, boomless sprayers rely on a single or multiple nozzles that create a wide spray pattern. Sometimes the nozzle will be fixed to the end of the unit, but smaller sprayers may include a spray gun. You can find both trolley and trailed boomless sprayers in our range. Key features and benefits of this flexible and cost-effective style include:
Boomless sprayers are more agile and versatile than boom sprayers because of the lack of arms, making them suitable for irregularly shaped fields or areas with obstacles like trees or very high grass.
2. Reduced Maintenance:
Thanks to having fewer moving parts, boomless sprayers often require less maintenance and are less prone to damage.
Boomless sprayers have simpler designs and thus are often cheaper than sprayers with booms. They’re also more likely to come in compact sizes or in styles that you can attach to your own tractor, and this a cost-effective solution for small- to medium-sized farms.
4. Wide Coverage:
Where boom sprayers offer very targeted streams, boomless sprayers are ideal for covering large areas quickly, especially in applications like pasture and range management.
Backpack (Pack) Sprayers
Backpack sprayers, also known as pack sprayers, are handheld devices designed for smaller-scale applications, spot treatments or precise targeting. These portable sprayers consist of a wearable tank, a pump mechanism, a hose, and a wand with a nozzle. Often, the pump will be manual rather than electric to reduce costs. Some of the noteworthy characteristics and benefits of backpack sprayers include:
Their compact design and lightweight construction make them easy to carry and manoeuvre in tight spaces or areas with limited access. Being lightweight, you can fill the tank to the top with your soil amendments without it being too heavy.
Backpack sprayers allow operators to target specific plants or areas with precision, reducing chemical waste.This is particularly handy for combating weeds in already established crops.
They are suitable for various tasks, such as weed control, insecticide application, soil conditioning and fertilisation in gardens, orchards, and small plots.
Backpack sprayers are cost-effective, making them accessible to small-scale farmers and homeowners.
For even more information about boom sprayers vs boomless sprayers, check out our detailed blog.
How to Use a Sprayer Safely
Keep in mind that sprayers work by aerosolising chemicals, which can be dangerous. Before using any kind of agricultural machinery or farm machinery, your first step should always be to look into safety recommendations and precautions. Here are some tips to make sure you and your crop stay healthy while spraying:
- When using chemicals, always keep the label attached to the container so everyone can see what it contains and follow the necessary safety precautions.
- Always read the label on the product you are using as it will contain information regarding the PPE you need to wear when handling the product, as well as the hazards of using that product.
- Always follow the specified application rate and chemical ratio as directed on the product label to ensure you get the desired results.
- Check the weather before spraying. While boom sprayers are good at resisting wind and keeping your spray on track, it’s best to pick a calm day to reduce drift.
- Thorough cleaning and disposal are essential when dealing with spraying equipment. Triple-rinse empty pesticide containers and correctly dispose of them afterwards.
- If you are exposed to chemicals and pesticides, immediately wash with clean water and change your clothes. Always wash your work clothes separately from other clothing after mixing and using pesticides to prevent cross-contamination of yourself and your family.
- Once you have finished spraying, thoroughly wash your hands before eating, drinking and touching your face, especially around your nose or mouth.
For a more detailed explanation of all our sprayer safety tips, read our blog What Safety Precautions Must You Follow When Using a Boom Sprayer?.
How Do You Maintain a Sprayer?
Now that you’ve chosen your perfect sprayer—and made sure you have the right protective clothing and equipment to use it safely—it’s time to ensure you look after it the right way. Quality sprayers from Bunyip Equipment will last for years to come if you follow these care tips:
Flush Out Pumps, Hoses & Nozzles
Use 100L of fresh, clean water to flush the old chemical residue from the tank through your pump and spray lines. This will help avoid mixing old and new chemicals when you spray next. Make sure your filters and tanks are scrubbed clean during this step.
Your boom sprayer nozzle and pump will last longer if you make sure it’s calibrated correctly. Boom sprayer calibration requires a stopwatch, a measuring tape, and a jug with mL indicators to measure the appropriate travel distance in the field based on the nozzle spacing. Check out our calibration guide for more.
Regularly Check Hoses, Fittings & Filters
In some cases, fittings can come loose because of the vibration from the machine while spraying. This is why it is very important to take a quick look at your hoses to make sure there are no leaks.
With years of experience in agriculture equipment, we’re here to provide all the advice you need to feel confident buying your new sprayer. Check out our huge range of boom sprayers for sale from trusted brands to begin whipping your crops into shape. As an Australian family-owned business, we understand the needs of our customers and have friendly, experienced staff ready to help. Still have questions? Contact our friendly team here.