Evaluating and choosing the right spray nozzles and adjuvant for crop protection applications can be a challenge. Many factors, like nozzles and adjuvants, affect the spray pattern and droplet distribution and subsequently potential for drift and product efficacy. Personal observations and field experience are quite useful in evaluating results. Visual evaluation of nozzles of spray pattern and droplet distribution in real time can be useful but provides limited information. You can observe large changes in pattern distribution and if there is significant drift or movement of spray droplets.
Some “high tech” equipment has allowed us to evaluate in much greater detail the affects of nozzles, adjuvants, and other factors on spray droplet size, distribution pattern and movement. A laser analyzer provides a concise measurement of spray droplet size and quantity within a given range. This is especially useful for showing how much of the spray is small droplets, such as those under 105 microns. Droplets this size have a higher potential to move off-target. Laser droplet analysis is useful for showing how various factors affect droplet size. However, presentation is usually limited to tables or graphs.