factors to consider when spraying

The common mistakes done when spraying crops

The chemical method of preventing and controlling pests and diseases is the most efficient compared to biological or cultural methods. However as more pests mutate and increase resistance, more chemicals are sprayed which if sprayed wrongly can cause more damage than the intended purpose.

Losses have been observed where reckless spraying was done. Spraying may seem an easy task but the cost of ignorance is high.

What’s the purpose of spraying? When should you spray? What should you spray and how should you do it? All these are questions one has to ask himself before settling on what and how to spray.

Key factors to observe before spraying.
Purpose of spraying

Why are you spraying? What is this you intend to achieve? Based on the intended goal one can settle the chemical that suits it.

Herbicides are sprayed to control weeds. They are either broad-spectrum or selective. Broad-spectrum herbicides scorch all the weeds on the farm while selective works only on selective weeds. Round up is an example of broad herbicides.

Pesticides or insecticides are used to control insects and pests while fungicides are used to manage fungal diseases. They are either systematic or contact.

common mistakes done when spraying crops
Total crop loss associated with wrong chemical spraying

If a mistake is done where herbicides are sprayed to control pests or fungal diseases the result is total crop failure. Each must be used for the intended purpose.

Rates of application

The recommended quantity of a chemical that is diluted with water must be observed all through. Always read the instructions before applying. Application of excess high rates can cause scorching, stunted growth and high cost.  

If two or more chemicals have to be sprayed, a small amount must be mixed first to test if they are miscible. Immiscible chemicals form precipitates which blocks the nozzles making them hard to spray.

Other chemicals are made up of heavy metals like copper that can explode injuring the farmer while spraying if mixed wrongly.

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Cleanliness of the spraying equipment

As a golden rule, always ensure you clean your sprayers before and after spraying with a detergent. This prevents risks caused by residue left from previous sprays. Farmers should wear proper protective gear while spraying as the chemicals are harmful to one health when inhaled, swallowed or come into body contact.

When to spray

The effectiveness of the chemical sprayed purely depend on the time of the day sprayed. Some are intended to be sprayed early morning, midday, late evenings and others at night. Wrong timing means more chemicals will be wasted and the intended purposes won’t be achieved.

How chemicals are sprayed also matters. Uniform spraying on the crop surface both on the upper and lower sides of the leaf should be observed for complete protection.

Ignorance of what may seem like small acts has cost farmers dearly as the damage is done cannot be reversed.

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