Worn sprayer nozzles, poorly maintained check valves, too low a boom height and excessive pressure were problems cited in a 2000 Oregon State University study on sprayer use.

Stephen Pearson of Spraying Systems discussed the study as part of a presentation on spray nozzles at the NCGA and ASA Commodity Classic Convention Feb. 25-27.

The survey of 44 farms revealed the following:

64% - sprayers with excessively worn nozzles;

27% - poorly maintained check valves; and,

20% - booms at too low a height.

At least 20% of the sprayers used excessive pressure, 18% had unequal nozzle spacing or mismatched nozzles and 11% had faulty speedometers.

Sprayer problems, Pearson said, can cost big money. "One grower over-applied by 12% on 1,000 acres. It cost him an extra $2,938 in pesticides," he said.