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Sprayer pressure impact on microbes?

Posted by Jake Riley 
Sprayer pressure impact on microbes?
March 15, 2020 12:07PM
We just bought a new sprayer that can build enormous amounts of pressure and it got me thinking. Last season we sprayed beneficial nematodes throughout the orchard. The instructions cautioned against spraying with pressures exceeding 100 psi, if I remember correctly, which wasn’t much of an issue with the back pack sprayer. Does anyone have any insight on how spray pressures may impact beneficial microbes ?

Lesley Run Orchard, Zone 5b/6a, West Alexandria, Ohio

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2020 11:10AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Sprayer pressure impact on microbes?
March 17, 2020 11:20AM
You bring up a very important point, Jake. I use a PakTank sprayer with a hydraulic (handheld) gun. I have the pressure set at 100 psi which oscillates down to more like 90 psi when the gun is engaged. Similarly, last year when I applied parasitic nematodes as a ground application, I dropped the pressure down to 60 psi. Nor do microbes like to be squeezed. The adjustment on a handheld gun has limited range in this regard as even spraying a finer stream still consists of distinguishable water droplets. Air blast applicators must pay far more attention here as misting at high pressure is designed to achieve chemical coverage with minimal water rather than keeping biology viable.

I'd love to see someone to post specific references about this. And for air blast applicators to explain what they do to ensure better microbe survival.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
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