Application matters

Please ensure you watch the video from start to finish as it is a compulsory part of the course. The video is under five minutes long and takes you through all the necessary steps to ensure you follow best practice for safe mixing and filling.

Every operator’s routine includes planning your work, filling, selecting the correct nozzle for the required droplet size and then washing and rinsing the sprayer. The trouble with routines, however, is it’s sometimes easy to become complacent.

This section looks at these common procedures and provides advice and tips on ways to makes things, quicker, easier and safer for you and the environment.

Plan to do a good job

While it’s good practice to wash out with clean water after every application, an easy way to improve efficiency is to limit the number of times you need to do a thorough rinse and clean. It is important, however, to always check the product label to determine what level of washout and whether a rinse aid, for example, All Clear Extra, is required.

Simply planning the order you carry out the spraying jobs, to ensure that any tank residues do not cause harm to the following crop, will save time from unnecessary wash-outs. This could make the difference between getting on one more load at the optimum time or not.

Different products require different washout procedures. So it’s important to schedule your work to minimise the time spent rinsing and not spraying. Products that require cleaning agents will take much longer to clean than those that just require a water rinse. So, if possible, plan to use these last.

Quick Quiz: It’s a wash out!

Different products require washing out in specific ways. Some use only water whilst others will need a cleaning agent, but do you know which is which?


Top tips for safer mixing and filling

  • Always ensure the sprayer is thoroughly clean before starting – there may be residues of incompatible products from the previous job.
  • The sprayer tank must be at least half full of water before you start adding products.
  • Always add water conditioning products to the tank first.
  • Add more water as products are added.
  • Allow one product to completely clear the induction bowl before adding the next product. This avoids concentrates coming into direct contact with each other with the potential for disastrous results.
  • Recirculate the spray solution and give cans an initial rinse.
  • Once all product is in the sprayer carry out the final can rinsing with clean water during the final top up.
  • Spray solution immediately.

Stick to a routine

Leading sprayer operators say the most effective, safe and fast way to fill a sprayer is to stick to set a routine that suits you and your site. Assemble the mix, in order, on a trolley or specially constructed filling tables. This not only speeds up turn-arounds, but also helps prevent mistakes.

Before filling place a drip tray under the induction hopper to catch any spills or splashes.

Unless stated otherwise on label, start filling with clean water, and shut off when the tank’s half full, to reduce the risk of the agitation causing the risk of foaming when the products are added.

Ensure products are added to the tank in the correct sequence when mixing. Water conditioners are added first, usually followed by wettable powers and granules, then by liquids and trace elements last. Failure to follow the correct sequence when mixing can lead to product incompatibility, foaming and under-mixing.

Quick Quiz: Formulation mixing order


The correct formulation mixing order is as follows:

Formulation Mixing Order
1. Water conditioning product(s)
2. WSB – Water soluble bags
3. WG – Water dispersible granules (more than 100g/ha)
4. WP – Wettable powders
5. SC – Suspension concentrates
6. SE – Suspo-Emulsions
7. EW – Oil in water emulsions
8. EC – Emulsifiable concentrates
9. SL – Soluble concentrate
10. Adjuvants

And you can download a copy of the Tank Mixing Sequence by clicking on the image below:

Operator tip: Keep a reminder of the recommended tank mix order written on the machine close to the filling area or induction bowl.

You have now covered ‘Application Matters’ and should move on to the next topic in this lesson. Please click ‘mark complete’ to take you to the next topic, Nozzles.