Published in Practical Winery & Vineyard
By Melissa Hansen & Gwen Hoheisel
Good spray coverage is the foundation of effective vineyard pest management. Improper spraying can lead to significant crop loss from poor disease and insect control and off-target drift. Several vineyard sprayer technologies are available, each with different attributes. Understanding differences in sprayer technology can help you get the best performance from your sprayer and for your conditions.
The first step is to match the right sprayer technology to your canopy, management style and location. If you grow significant acreage of only grapes, consider a sprayer specifically designed for grapes because you will have fewer sprayer adjustments to make. Small growers with multiple crops should consider a sprayer that can adjust to meet the needs of all their crops.
Gwen Hoheisel, Washington State University (WSU) extension specialist, and Margaret McCoy, WSU Ph.D. candidate, led a sprayer assessment study to help winegrape growers better understand sprayers commercially available in Washington state, nozzle technologies and best management practices. Washington research dollars are from WSU, the Auction of Washington Wines, and all Washington state winegrape growers and wineries through the Washington State Wine Commission.
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