Agricultural Sprayers are the equipment used for applying liquid substances to plants. These substances could be fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Based on the specification, size, and crop requirements sprayers are of different types like
- Hand operated sprayers
- Low-pressure sprayers
- High-pressure sprayer
- Air carrier sprayers
Besides, these sprayers can be used to supply water for irrigation. Sprayers are one of the essential tools required for crop production. Pest infestation affects plants and you need to protect them. You can do this by applying pesticides with the aid of a sprayer. Sprayers are convenient to use than conventional watering can. Moreover, you can cover a large area of land within a short duration.
Types of Agricultural Sprayers
HAND OPERATED SPRAYERS
Hand operated sprayers are for small plant treatments. It involves applying water or liquid chemicals in a small land area. Hand operated sprayer works through an air pump. The pump compresses air into the tanks and pressurizes the liquid content. The spray pattern from the nozzle increases with a higher pressure. Once the pressure in sprayer decreases, the spray pattern is slow.
The applicator must pump the air before continuing to spray. The tank size of these types of sprayers can be up to ten liters and operate at low pressures of 350 kilopascals or less.
A back-pack sprayer is a hand-operated sprayer carried on the applicators back. Backpack sprayer has a tank capacity as large as 20 liters, a hand lever, and a spray nozzle. The user operates the hand lever to exert pressure into the tank.
Advantages of hand-operated sprayers
It is cheap, portable and convenient to use. It is good for spraying for crops like paddy, cotton, rhubarb when they are smaller in height. It can also be used for spraying pesticides for a garden or indoor cultivation of tomatoes and other varieties.
Disadvantages of hand-operated sprayers
Hand operated and backpack sprayers work with low pressures. This low pressure makes them slow and inefficient enough to use on large farms.
Low-pressure sprayers are of different types based on the capacity and size of the tanks. These include tractor-mounted, trailer-mounted, and truck-mounted models. They work on the principle of hydraulics. These sprayers consist of an air compartment, pressure gauges, and regulators. The air compartment provides a constant nozzle pressure.
Tractors mounted sprayers
A Tractor-mounted sprayer is one which is fixed on to a tractor. The capacity of the tank ranges from 150 to 500 gallons. A hydraulic motor attached to the power take-off shaft drives the pump of the sprayer.
Trailer-mounted sprayers: These are similar to above but are placed on a trailer coupled to the tractor. These sprayers have a tank capacity of up about 1000 gallons. The pump of the sprayer is driven by a hydraulic motor coupled to the power take-off shaft. The boom spray can reach between 3.7 – 15 meters in length.
Truck-mounted Sprayers: These are powered by an auxiliary engine which is placed in a truck. These are large sprayers with a tank capacity of up to 2,500 gallons, and the boom spray can reach up to 18 meters long.
Advantages of Low-pressure sprayers
They are more efficient than hand-operated sprayers and compatible with large farms.
Disadvantages of Low-pressure sprayers
They are expensive to get and the cost of maintenance is high.
High-pressure sprayers are used to spray thick bushes and tall trees by foresters. The working principle of high-pressure sprayers is like that of low-pressure sprayers. They are also operated on hydraulics but can operate at pressures up to 6800 kilopascals.
These sprayers are suitable for fruit tree farming and other types where the spray has to reach heights and dense foliage.
They are quite cumbersome and expensive than low-pressure sprayers.
Air sprayers are useful for the application of concentrated chemicals through the air. The air which transports the chemicals dissipates and dilutes them. One common type of air carrier sprayer is the orchard sprayer used for fruit trees. They are also expensive to get, and the cost of maintenance is high.
You can use foggers to spray liquid pesticides in the form of air vapor. They function in greenhouses or an area infested with a crop pest that needs treatment. The electric motor of about 110-120 volt current serves as the power source of foggers. Some larger foggers use a 12-volt horsepower electric motor. Their pumps operate at pressures up to 12,400 kilopascals with a durable spray power. Foggers are prone to drifting as a result of windy conditions. Meanwhile, the pesticides released in the form of vapor causes environmental toxicity.