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    New Syngenta Spray Nozzle to Minimise Cereal Losses
21/04/08

A novel spray nozzle which offers a much-needed solution to help growers get around this season’s larger cereal areas faster, to protect them against diseases on time, is being made available from Syngenta, to help make the most of better grain prices by minimising yield losses from delayed spraying.

Tom Robinson with new 'Go Faster' Amistar Nozzle (brown) and traditional Amistar Nozzle (blue)

Tom Robinson

Developed specifically for applying the systemic strobilurin-containing fungicides Amistar and Amistar Opti, when used at appropriate doses, the new ‘Go Faster’ Amistar Nozzle builds on the advantages of the existing Amistar Nozzle, says Syngenta application specialist Tom Robinson – including reduced drift, plus suitability for 100 l/ha or 125 l/ha spray volumes for improved work rates versus traditional 200 l/ha spraying.

More importantly, however, it also allows spraying at a faster forward speed of up to 17 kilometres per hour in suitable conditions, compared with the optimum 12 km/h for the existing 025 Amistar Nozzle.

That increase could be enough to treat 40% more hectares of wheat per day than a conventional nozzle spraying at 200 l/ha and 12 km/h, he calculates.

For 100 ha of wheat at £150/t, if it prevents the yield loss associated with a week’s delay in flag leaf spraying, it could mean almost an extra £7,500 profit for the grower, he adds.

“We know T2 is the most important fungicide timing in wheat,” explains Mr Robinson, “because the flag leaf which it’s designed to protect can contribute over 40% to yield. Indeed, just one day’s delay can result in a 70 kg/ha yield loss – equivalent to nearly half a tonne per week.
“Against this, however, growers face around 12% more wheat to protect at T2 this year compared with last season, due to increased plantings. So the ability to get around quickly is even more crucial – especially since spray days at the May T2 timing are often limited.

“These challenges are in addition to the usual ones of multiple disease threats, such as Septoria tritici and rust on susceptible varieties, and the need for persistent protection – all of which make a strobilurin + Bravo + triazole mixture an ideal fungicide combination.

“Amistar and Amistar Opti not only provide extended protection against a range of diseases, but they’re also versatile when it comes to application – with trial plots showing Amistar maintained better control of brown rust when water volume was reduced below 200 l/ha compared with a less mobile strobilurin.

“The existing Amistar Nozzle has already proven itself for 100 l/ha spraying, which is a useful first step for efficient spraying.

“Now, the new ‘Go Faster’ Amistar Nozzle allows the 12 km/h forward speed of the existing version to be increased up to 17 km/h in suitable conditions – to help protect even more hectares on time.

“The combination of Amistar or Amistar Opti plus triazole and the new ‘Go Faster’ Nozzle is an ideal option for protecting larger wheat and barley areas this season. Indeed, in trial plots last season, adding Amistar Opti to triazole at T2 boosted yield by 0.8 t/ha.

“Also, if growers use Amistar Opti they could save time in another way, because it contains the Bravo element against Septoria tritici and the Amistar element already formulated together. So it cuts down on the number of packs for mixing and rinsing while filling the sprayer.

Looking at the mechanics of the new nozzle in more detail, Mr Robinson says central to its ability to operate at faster speeds is a larger spray orifice coupled with a specially-developed, novel spray angle.

Typically when spraying faster, he says growers simply use nozzles with a larger orifice to maintain the same spray output per hectare.

In line with this, the new Go Faster Amistar Nozzle has a larger orifice – classified as an 035 flat fan compared with an 025 for the traditional Amistar Nozzle. However, following testing at Silsoe Research Institute looking at how to maintain even target coverage with faster spraying, the new nozzle also features a novel 13 degree rearward facing spray angle.

This essentially compensates for the faster forward movement of the sprayer over the crop to give more even dosing on both sides of the spray target, says Mr Robinson – versus a vertical spray which has been found to deposit more spray on the leading side which the sprayer reaches first. It compares with a smaller 10 degree rearward angle for the existing Amistar Nozzle for 12 km/h spraying.

“We examined a range of spray angles and 13 degrees was optimum for the faster speed. Like the traditional Amistar Nozzle, the new Go Faster Nozzle also uses air induction principles to reduce drift and for better droplet retention due to less bounce-back off leaves.

“It also combines this with a variable pressure tip which keeps the fan pattern intact even if spray pressure is reduced to one bar – for example if the sprayer slows down going up hill, or the operator wishes to further reduce drift when spraying near field margins.

“All in all, with bigger cereal areas to spray, it should go hand-in-hand with Amistar and Amistar Opti to help growers achieve even more from the better grain prices this year.”

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