Large-scale pesticide application takes skill. Farmers, retailers and crop consultants can increase their know-how by attending the Northwest Ohio Precision Ag Sprayer Day at the Fulton County Fairgrounds on Aug. 9.

“They have to make sure their sprayers are calibrated, rates are correct, drift is reduced as much as possible, and application coverage is the best it can be,” said Eric Richer, agriculture and natural resources educator for Ohio State University Extension and organizer of the event.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

“There will be a wide variety of precision spray equipment demonstrated that day, all the way from the most advanced self-propelled sprayers costing hundreds of thousands of dollars down to four-wheeler or ATV small sprayers,” Richer said. “From a budget perspective, we’ll be covering a wide spectrum.

“We’ll also talk about the latest and greatest in nozzle technologies. Costs can range from just a couple of dollars to $10 to $12 for a single nozzle.”

The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds at 8591 State Route 108, Wauseon. Registration is $25 if postmarked by Aug. 1 or $40 at the door (space permitting) and includes lunch. A complete agenda and registration form can be downloaded at fulton.osu.edu.

The morning portion of the program will focus on education, Richer said.

“We’ll show farmers how to calibrate their sprayer, whether they have one of the oldest sprayers in the county or the newest,” Richer said. “Sprayer calibration is important each and every year.”

Erdal Ozkan, an agricultural engineering professor in the college and spray technology expert, and Greg LaBarge, agronomic systems field specialist with OSU Extension, will lead that portion of the program.

“We want to make sure we’re at the right rate, the right coverage and the right droplet size so we minimize drift,” Richer said.

New seed technologies anticipated to be coming on the market soon will make such precision even more vital, he added.

“With dicamba and 2,4-D soybeans on the horizon for 2017, applicators will want to make sure pesticide doesn’t drift off-site and damage non-target plants, including neighboring specialty crops and landscaping,” Richer said. “This program will be an opportunity to educate farmers and retailers on that topic.”

Also in the morning, Mark Gaerte of Gaerte Ag Service will conduct a flyover aerial spray demonstration, and a sponsor panel will discuss improved pesticide technologies.

In the afternoon, live demonstrations will take place thanks to the participation of industry partners, including:

  • Hardi Sprayers (Kahrs Tractor Sales), pull-type sprayer stability
  • KFG/John Deere, direct injection and BoomTrac
  • Archbold Equipment, top air pull-type with ATV
  • Ohio Ag Equipment/RoGator, sprayer cleanout and section control
  • Capstan Ag/Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, pulse-width modulation demo
  • Case IH, turn compensation and nozzle overlap

Participants at the event will qualify for 3.5 hours of pesticide applicator recertification credits from both the Ohio and the Michigan departments of agriculture, Richer said.

For more information, contact Richer at richer.5@osu.edu or call the Fulton County OSU Extension office at 419-337-9210.