UNL Pest Management Guide — a Key Tool for Pesticide Application

UNL Pest Management Guide — a Key Tool for Pesticide Application

Sample sprayer applicator nozzle tables from EC130
Figure 1. Sample tables from the Nebraska Extension Guide for Weed, Disease, and Insect Management in Nebraska. (Left) Recommended or required spay droplet size and carrier rate listed on pesticide labels. (Right) Recommended sprayer nozzle tips, pressures, and speeds to achieve various droplet sizes. The 300+ page guide is available from Marketplace.unl.edu.

Which sprayer nozzles will provide the rate and droplet size recommended or required by the label for the pesticide you plan to apply? What’s the application rate for a particular nozzle, row spacing and applicator speed? Which herbicides and fertilizers are compatible and how can you test tank-mix compatibility?

With more than 300 pages of research-based, detailed information for Nebraska cropping conditions, the Nebraska Extension Guide for Weed, Disease, and Insect Management is a comprehensive resource for these and many more applicator questions. Written by weed scientists, pesticide educators, entomologists, and plant pathologists, it includes information to help you use the product and equipment best suited to the job.

Applying pesticides so spray drift doesn’t occur or is limited starts with selecting the correct sprayer nozzle and spraying under the right conditions. To aid in managing pesticide applications, the guide includes:

  • Recommendations for nozzle selection
  • Application tips
  • Table of nozzle types and discharge rates at rated pressure
  • Table on nozzle selection for droplet size
  • Table of recommended or required spray droplet size and carrier rate for more than 250 herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides
  • Tables of suggested nozzle tips, pressures, and speeds to achieve various spray droplet sizes
  • Spray boom set-up on applicators
  • Sprayer calibration
  • Preparing spray solutions
  • Tank-mixture compatibility
  • Herbicide and fertilizer compatibility
  • Spray additives
  • How to spray a field to prevent overlap and reduce drift injury
  • Cleaning the sprayer and recommended cleaning agents for various herbicides

The largest section – the weed management section – covers alfalfa, chicory, corn, dry bean, ecofarming, garbanzo beans, melons and cucurbits, onion, potato, small grains, sorghum, soybean, sugar beet, sunflower, and wheat. It also covers weed control in non-crop areas, label guidelines, combination herbicides, restricted use herbicides, rainfast limits, and additives.

Sections include:

  • Classification of herbicides by mode and site of action and chemical family to aid in product rotation to reduce the development of pesticide resistance
  • Using an integrated weed management strategy
  • Managing herbicide-resistant weeds
  • Human and environmental issues when applying herbicides
  • And, for most crops, tables of herbicide efficacy and recommended application rates, product notes, and costs
Similar information is available for the fungicides and insecticides registered for various crops grown in Nebraska.

 Updated annually to include the most recent label changes, the 2016 Guide can be ordered online at Marketplace.unl.edu. It's available in print and in a downloadable PDF format.

Bob KleinExtension Western Nebraska Crops Specialist


Pesticide Application Tips

  • To reduce tip plugging, avoid using any tip that requires a screen smaller than 50 mesh.
  • Buy quality nozzle tips and a few extra. It is usually best to install a new nozzle rather than try to clean the nozzle tip in the field. Stainless steel, stainless steel inserts in nylon tips, polyacetal and ceramic tips are the most economical in the long run. Ceramic tips have a life of 5 to 16.7 times the life of stainless steel tips.
  • Use a special tip-cleaning brush. Don’t use pocket knives, paper clips, and wire to try to clean the tips as they will distort the pattern and change the flow rate. Also, before adding any pesticide, check the sprayer with water to make sure that the tips are not plugged and fittings and hoses do not leak.
  • Use strainers before the pump and before the flow control system. Use tip screens at the nozzle tips.
  • Use a diaphragm check valve or similar item to give instant-on and instant-off control to eliminate drip and delay when the boom is turned on and off.
  • For new sprayers, flush the entire system with water before installing screens and tip.

 — 2016 Guide for Weed, Disease, and Insect Management in Nebraska

Related Articles

Online Master of Science in Agronomy

With a focus on industry applications and research, the online program is designed with maximum flexibility for today's working professionals.

A field of corn.