Cash, water and pesticide wasted by inefficient sprayers

Inefficient sprayers are wasting money, water and pesticides, ADAS consultant David Talbot warned growers at last month's British Protected Ornamentals Association conference.

Talbot visited six nurseries and found all had sprayers with broken gauges and worn nozzles. He advised them to check nozzles every 50 hours of use and to spray 600 litres of water an hour. He added that there are "potential legal issues" if run-off contains pesticides and said boom-based systems are "the future". The final report will be published on 30 May.

Consultant John Adlam spoke on spray adjuvants, which he said are a "minefield". He urged growers to check labels and use the right product for the site, pest, equipment and pesticide."

On lighting, Ball Horticultural's Will Healy said: "The most effective lighting installation is to replace the one you've got". He pointed out that bad watering kills more plants than anything else and said sensors and weighing are ways to avoid the problem.

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