Types of Spray Nozzles and How to Choose the Right One
Sprayer nozzles are responsible for converting the substance(s) in your tank into droplets, regulating flow, and dispersing the spray in a desirable pattern based on the crop you’re spraying and what you’re spraying the crop with at that time.
Here's how to choose the right nozzle based on your specific needs.
Nozzle Spray Pattern and Shape
Nozzle spray patterns typically have two basic characteristics:
The spray angle
The shape of the pattern
Most agricultural nozzles have a spray angle from 65 to 120 degrees. While narrow spray angles produce a more direct and penetrating spray, flat or wide-angle nozzles can be mounted closer to the target (crop or weed), spaced farther apart on the boom, and provide overlapping coverage if needed.
Types of Spray Nozzles
Though there are many spray nozzles types and sizes, there are three basic types of spray nozzles:
1. Flat fan
Flat fan nozzles are recognized by their mountain-shaped spray pattern and even distribution. They are good for:
Spraying water or chemicals
2. Hollow cone
Hollow cone nozzles are recognized by their donut-shaped spraying pattern. They are good for:
Spraying water or chemicals
Cooling and washing gases
Humidifying and chemical reactions
3. Full cone
Full cone nozzles are recognized by their cone-shaped spraying pattern. They are good for:
Spraying water or chemicals
Each one has specific characteristics and applications.¹
[At FBN®, we empower farmers with the information they need to make the right crop protection chemical purchases for their operation. Click here to learn more.]
Finding and selecting the right nozzle is one of the most important activities of a successful spray. It’s the combination of nozzle size along with nozzle pattern and shape that make for the most accurate sprays.
If you need to find the right nozzle size for your application, sometimes a simple chart is the easiest way to figure this out.
Nozzle Size Charts
Click on the links below to download a high-quality PDF of each chart².
Selecting Your Nozzle Size
If you’re not using a chart, you’ll need to determine a few factors to determine the right size. You’ll want to determine the nozzle flow rate at gallons per minute (gpm). To find that, start with your application rate in gallons per acre (gpa).
Next, find an efficient and safe ground speed in miles per hour (mph). Then, determine the spray width per nozzle (W).
Different types of spray methods will require different spray width (W):
Band spraying: W = band width in inches
Broadcast applications: W = nozzle spacing (distance between two nozzles on the boom) in inches
Directed spraying: W = row spacing in inches (or band width) divided by the number of nozzles per row (or band)
Now, you’ll be able to determine the flow rate (gpm), with the following equation³:
Finally, you’ll be able to select a nozzle size that will give the flow rate (gpm) determined above. If a specific nozzle size is not available, try changing the travel speed and determine the new flow rate needed.
Common Nozzle Patterns
Here are some examples of nozzle patterns that work well for common herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide applications¹:
Crop Protection Spray Timing You Can Rely On
At FBN Direct®, one of our core focuses is empowering farmers with the information they need to make the right crop protection chemical purchases for their operation.
With our Delivery and Pick Up Transparency, we give farmers more transparent expectations around when they could receive their chem from us to determine whether we will meet their timing needs. We also provide more visibility to farmers around what is happening with the items they purchased on every order.
In the world of e-commerce, these features are not revolutionary. We think the ag world deserves the same kind of experiences you love and expect from other industries, and we are passionate about bringing them to you.
Click here to learn more about our approach and to see our crop protection offerings.
Hofman, V., & Solseng, E. (2004). Spray Equipment and Calibration, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering North Dakota State University. Retrieved from https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/crops/spray-equipment-and-calibration/ae73.pdf
Wolf, T. (2015). An Easier Way to Clean Your Sprayer. Retrieved from https://sprayers101.com/an-easier-way-to-clean-your-sprayer/
Ozkan, E. (2016). Selecting the Best Nozzle for the Job. Retrieved from https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/fabe-528
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