Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Spraying Resource Guides
New, comprehensive air-assist spray guide now available


January 12, 2021
By Jason Deveau, application technology specialist, OMAFRA

Topics
Photos courtesy of Jason Deveau.

Sprayers 101 is pleased to announce that “Airblast 101: Your guide to effective and efficient spraying, 2nd edition” is now freely available as an ePub, or at cost via print-on-demand publishing, via www.sprayers101.com/airblast101 .

Airblast 101 began in 2010 as a classroom-based workshop for Ontario’s airblast sprayer operators. It was intended as a primer and decision-support tool for operators to become safer, more effective and more efficient.

After several iterations, the first textbook edition was made available in 2015. It won the 2016 Canadian Agri-Marketing Association’s “Certificate of Merit” in the Special Publications Category. Well over a thousand copies have been circulated worldwide – but it was never really intended for an international audience.

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In late 2019, working with U.S. sprayer specialist Mark Ledebuhr (Application Insight LLC) and with contributions from New Zealand sprayer specialist David Manktelow (Applied Research and Technologies Ltd.), we began developing more advanced and globally relevant content.

The familiar “Airblast 101” title is, perhaps, no longer accurate. The original emphasis was on the classic, low-profile radial design developed in the 1940s, when it was recognized that pushing spray with air gave better coverage with less water. These sprayers continue to dominate in specialty crops around the world because they are simple, economical and can operate effectively across a wide range of canopy forms and planting geometries.

The second edition is 33 per cent longer, and has all new content and more than 200 colour illustrations and figures.

But, air-assist sprayer design has evolved and diversified. With this new edition, we’ve broadened the scope to include all air-assist sprayers. We hope to introduce you to equipment and practices you may never have personally encountered. We will also give you the tools to assess their relevance to your operation. This required a deeper dive into the physics of spraying, but we’ve kept the tone conversational and relied heavily on illustration to make concepts accessible.

The new edition continues to focus on three central themes:

  • Understanding the forces that influence air and spray droplet behaviour;
  • How to configure a sprayer to optimize coverage and minimize waste; and
  • How to evaluate spray coverage.

So, perhaps you’re new to air-assist spraying and deciding which sprayer is right for your operation. Perhaps you’re an experienced operator re-evaluating your practices. Maybe you’re a farm manager, a government pesticide regulator, an agricultural extension specialist, an equipment manufacturer, a consultant, an agrichemical sales representative or a researcher. No matter your perspective, if you’re interested in air-assisted spraying, the new edition will have something for you.

Jason Deveau is OMAFRA’s application technology specialist and one half of Sprayers 101 (with Tom Wolf). You can find him on Twitter at @Spray_Guy.