For growers that currently use an airblast sprayer, or those that are considering it, there’s a new resource available to help you get the most out of this equipment. Our own George Hamilton (UNH Extension Field Specialist, Hillsborough County) was a contributor to this website, and you can find his calibration videos among the resources posted on the site.
Airblast 101 is a four hour classroom-based course designed to provide participants with practical tools to allow them to apply pesticides, plant growth modifiers and foliar nutrients in an effective, economic and environmentally-responsible manner. Developed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Rural Affairs (OMAF/MRA) and funded by Croplife Canada, this course was created to introduce a new operator to spraying, or to refresh a seasoned veteran.
Since its introduction in 2011, hundreds of operators have received a solid grounding in the basics of airblast sprayer operation, as well advanced techniques. Those that have made changes to their spray programs report significant improvement in the effectiveness of the application (i.e. improved crop quality and/or yield) and greater application efficiency (e.g. pesticide inputs reduced by ~10% or more per year and reduced environmental impact such as drift and runoff).
The Airblast 101 website hosts all the content in the participant’s handbook, but also includes a library of additional resources such as:
- a series of sprayer-related PowerPoint presentations
- instructional videos
- articles submitted by extension and university staff across North America.
The website is a one-stop shop for airblast sprayer information, and it is free to anyone interested in improving their spray programs. For more information contact the site developer, Jason Deveau (firstname.lastname@example.org).