Top 10 tips for effective spraying
Use these top 10 tips for when spraying to improve the efficacy of your spray program this season.
1. Check your equipment
Make sure your equipment is ready to go before the spray season gets underway. This includes a thorough check over of all bearings, tank condition and ensuring all lines and filters have been cleaned and flushed.
2. Spray program review
Review last year’s pest and disease monitoring results and spray program and ascertain if control was adequate. Consider spray timing and coverage as well as chemicals when making any changes to the program.
3. Spray calibration
Your sprayer should be calibrated to suit the canopy prior to each spray. For more information on selecting and changing nozzles (air blast) watch this video here, and for information on measuring liquid flow (output) watch this video here.
4. Adjust air volume
Modify your sprayer air volume during the season to match canopy size. Air should allow the spray onto the canopy rather than passing through the canopy into the adjoining row. Air direction should be adjusted to minimise spray loss above the canopy.
5. Check coverage
Water sensitive papers, fluorescent dye or particle film technology (sunscreen) are simple and easy ways to assess spray coverage. If required, change sprayer output, nozzle size and direction to get the best coverage possible.
6. Follow label directions
Agrochemical labels contain information on how to safely apply the product. Recommendations in the AWRI’s ‘Dogbook’, found online here (PDF) or via the app, will ensure you comply with maximum residue limits for international wine markets.
7. Avoid off-target spray
Be aware of sensitive areas (e.g. public roads, dams, neighbours) and avoid spray drift by reducing fan speed, turning off sprayer on downwind side or waiting for wind direction to blow away from sensitive area.
8. Water quality
Ensure the quality of water you’re mixing agrochemicals with is good enough, especially turbidity and pH.
9. Tank mixes
Before tank mixing multiple agrochemicals, including foliar nutrients, consult the manufacturer or on-seller for guidance.
10. Avoid resistance
Apply agrochemicals as per label instructions to avoid vineyard pest and disease resistance. The AWRI ‘dogbook’ has recommendations to avoid resistance. If you suspect that you may have a resistance issue, contact the AWRI helpdesk on (08) 8313 6600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. email@example.com
For more information, contact Adrian Loschiavo, Wine Australia R&D Program Manager, Adrian.Loschiavo@wineaustralia.com