Tip •  2023-04-17

Sprayer cleanout reminders

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It’s that time of year again, when the to-do list is longer than the hours in the day and everything depends on weather. Keeping your sprayer in top working condition can help you stay ahead and be ready to go when conditions are right. Here are a few friendly reminders for sprayer tank cleanout to reduce the risk of contamination and to keep nozzles and booms residue-free.

End of day rinse

After a long day, keeping one eye on the weather and the other on the field around you, sometimes the last thing you want to do is clean out the sprayer. But you know you have to.

If you’re short on time, conducting a full rinse at the end of a busy day spraying is still critical. Fill the tank with water to spray out any residue and prevent anything from drying. Be sure to follow with a full tank cleanout the following day.

Full tank cleanout

Proper clean out requires a full triple rinse, tank decontamination and adding a cleaning product. For a full breakdown of clean out steps to follow, here’s a great graphic highlighting recommended best practices for cleaning sprayers from Corteva Agriscience.

Cleaners are important, but do not decontaminate, they loosen residues to make rinsing more effective. So, remember to pay special attention to places where product can accumulate, like dead-end plumbing, booms, end caps and filters.

A triple rinse with water may not always sufficiently remove residue from filters. Even if the residue left behind does not cause damage in the next crop sprayed, it can persist and has the potential to react with products used in future applications.

Be diligent, know what was sprayed last, what is coming next, and the sensitivity of the crops being sprayed, especially if you are working with a new technology system, like the  Enlist™ Weed Control System, or if you haven’t fully converted and are managing soybean weed control with more than one system. If you’re new to using the Enlist system, proper sprayer clean out is essential. Read and follow Enlist™ 1 and Enlist Duo™ herbicide product labels. For growers working with products with dicamba, remember that soybeans are very sensitive to dicamba, making proper tank cleaning essential to reduce crop injury Enlist E3 and Identity Preserved soybeans.