How to avoid phytotoxicity caused by bad sprayer clean-out

By Juan Pablo Timpone, in charge of the Adjuvant’s Line of Rizobacter.

In the last campaigns, a cleaning problem in sprayer equipment was observed, due to the formulation of new herbicides which are used to increase efficiency in weed control. These products contain solid or liquid formulations, with suspensions of active ingredient particles which are showing behaviours such as adherence to tank walls and hoses, and formation of gels, pastes and agglomerates.

This situation started to affect the quality of the practice, operating times and is causing serious problems of toxicity on crops sensible to particular active principles of herbicides, which now reach them as impurities coming from bad clean-outs of previous jobs.

Alkaline substances that were used to remove liquid soluble herbicide residues from the equipment are no longer effective before the new molecules. It was necessary to develop a new cleaning technology capable of wetting, disintegrating and dispersing problematic particles to finally remove them from the sprayer.

Nowadays, there are herbicides which have activity in very low rates. For example, a machine having 20 grams residue of Sulphonylureas can generate damage on 10 hectares or much more, depending on the spraying mode. Consequently, it is very important to remove from the tank the highest quantity possible of herbicide traces.

This technology which has a high degree of efficiency, tested in the laboratory and in the field through an experimental web which included specialists from Argentina, Brazil and Germany, also removes oil residues of bad quality which remain adhered to the tank and which, mixed with herbicides or insecticides can cause the farmer painful headaches.

It is a very different product which allows to avoid damage in the field and solve a problem that kept the applicator and the farmer worried since, until now, they did not count on an efficient tool to maintain their equipment in good conditions and guarantee the contracted works.