Six Steps to Calibrate and Optimize Airblast Sprayers
By Gwen Hoheisel, WSU Regional Extension Specialist
The idea behind any pesticide application is to get every drop to the crop. Spray or drift that goes into the air clearly missed the target leading not only to negative environmental and health effects, but also a waste of money. Pesticide applications are the most frequent operation carried out in the orchard or vineyard, and chemical control is the second highest cost of production (i.e., pre-harvest operations) in orchard systems with material costs for a single spray ranging from $40 to > $100/acre depending on the crop and chemical (Freeman et al., 2008). So any waste, or improvement, can have a significant economic impact. .
Proper maintenance and operation of a sprayer is the first step in optimizing spray quality. This article will discuss 6 steps to calibrate and optimize sprayer output. However, there is an assumption that the mechanical parts of a sprayer—like the hoses, pressure gauges, pumps, and agitators—are working properly.
Optimizing spray applications takes time initially, but will pay off with better coverage, improved pest control, and less culls. (more…)
Dr. Ute Chambers explains how the WSU Decision Aid System (http://das.wsu.edu) can be used as a tool for making decisions for managing pests in your orchard. She also spoke about some new features including e-mail alerts/notifications for specific pesticide model events and pest monitoring through a new mobile web application for your smart phone or tablet.
Dr. Desmond R. Layne provides an overview and specific examples of resources that people in the fruit industry can use for self-education. He distinguishes unbiased, research-based, peer-reviewed information with other types such as that provided by the general public or commercial companies.
Dr. Lee Kalcsits provides an educational presentation reviewing root function and physiology in the orchard during the program “Roots: Foundation of Your Orchard’s Success” at the 2014 WSHA Annual Meeting, Kennewick, WA, December 3, 2014.
On January 19, 2015 David Granatstein spoke at the Lake Chelan Hort Day about why weed control is needed in orchards, weed control options, herbicides and other choices, and economics. He also discussed the results of non-chemical weed control research.
This document is meant to provide simple, easy to follow recommendations for water quality sampling under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule for Agricultural Water testing. The methods described here are not meant to be prescriptive, as there are many ways to take a water sample, but represent best practices used by researchers at the Western Center for Food Safety, and FDA Center of Excellence at UC- Davis. Guidance documents from FDA regarding water sampling are expected soon, and this document will be adjusted, should FDA recommendations be different from what has been described
Worker Protection Standards (WPS) across the nation are changing effective Jan. 1, 2017 and some rules take effect in 2018. Rose Kachadoorian (ODA Pesticide Regulatory Leader) and EPA region 10, have summarized the changes below.
Studies show earwigs can suppress woolly apple aphid populations and they also feed on many other pests, including rosy apple aphid, apple aphid, codling moth larvae, and scales. Though they can damage soft fruits such as apricots, earwigs rarely cause real harm in apple orchards, where they may feed on foliage or damaged apples.
Don’t mistake little cherry disease with small cherries. Winter damage, cold damage, inadequate tree nutrition and other factors can cause small cherries. Generally, when abiotic factors cause small cherries the plants will have additional symptoms such as small leaf size or gumming.
Brown Marmorated stink bug is an invasive pest unintentionally brought over from Asia which poses a significant risk to tree fruit producers. With 3.1 billion dollars of tree fruit at risk in Washington it is important to understand this new pest and potential controls in the case that it becomes an agricultural problem in Washington state. The following is a summary of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug information and research updates presented at the 2016 Orchard Pest and Disease Management Conference.