Effective and efficient sprayer coverage

On 16 April, Tim and Claire headed to Plumpton College for WineGB’s Conference for Growth to give a talk on sprayer usage and calibration, looking in particular at the OCLL NPA sprayer. 

If you’re looking for a reliable sprayer that will provide effective and efficient coverage for the 2024 season, the range of OCLL sprayers from Carrarospray, including the NPA directional sprayer, remains the most economically priced sprayers for growers with smaller-sized orchards or vineyards. 

We have stocked Carrarospray since the mid-1980s and have always noted how these well-built sprayers have consistently proven to give many years of reliable service.

The rear-mounted NPA directional sprayer from OCLL features a modern design that ensures the unit passes through the crop without damaging plants. It is available with 400, 500, or 600-litre tank capacities.

Equipped with an excellent quality 50 litres per min diaphragm pump, the NPA air-assisted nozzle system ensures even distribution and penetration of the spray through your crops. 

By effectively producing micrometric-sized droplets in a mist, which completely and uniformly cover the leaves with a very fine protective film, a more concentrated, even and effective application of protection products can be achieved.

This method also allows the spray to reach the most hidden parts of the plant while avoiding any run off and it allows the action of the active ingredients to take place evenly without staining the leaf or the fruit.

Other features of the NPA directional sprayer include a suction filter with shut-off valve and there is a 3-way valve for the fresh water tank for cleaning chemical residues. There is also jet agitation at high pressure, easily accessible controls, and a chart for calibrating spray rates.

If you’re looking to get the best out of an existing sprayer this year, we always recommend that you check the condition of your nozzles. 

Nozzles distribute the chemicals, and over time, they can become worn or clogged, resulting in uneven application. It’s important to replace these nozzles regularly to ensure that the chemicals are being applied at the correct rate and in the correct pattern.

Albuz are by far the best sprayer nozzles on the market, giving high spray quality and excellent flow rate precision, allowing you to optimise coverage and reduce spray costs.

The ATR80 is a hollow cone nozzle which sprays fine droplets at an angle of 80 degrees and can be used for both fungicides and insecticides. Made of ceramic, these nozzles are exceptionally resistant to wear, abrasion and chemicals, but they do still need replacing. 

We can also advise on correct nozzle sizing by calculating spray application charts and which nozzle is correct for the spray rate you require.

Finally, a gentle reminder that you should also have put your sprayer through its National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS) test as the regulations have been changed to require an annual test for air-assisted sprayers. Weed sprayers are still on a three-year test cycle.

This is a mandatory requirement for anyone operating a sprayer and involves a thorough inspection to ensure that the equipment is operating correctly and within legal guidelines. 

The test includes checking that the sprayer is calibrated correctly, that it has no leaks and is fit for purpose, and that the nozzles are operating at the correct pressure and flow rate. 

We are an approved test centre and can carry out these tests at our workshop in Kent or on your vineyard or farm.

For more information about the orchard and vineyard sprayers we have in stock, or to book your NSTS test please phone the office on 01580 712200.