Selecting the appropriate plant sprayer for your cannabis farm is vital to achieving efficient and effective spray applications. With a multitude of options available, it’s crucial to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type. In this blog post, we’ll explore different sprayer types and their suitability for different farm sizes, plant stages, and pest management needs. By considering these factors, cannabis farmers can make informed decisions and optimize their spray programs.
- Backpack Sprayers: A Labor-Intensive Option
Backpack sprayers, available in hand pump sprayer or motorized configurations, are a labor-intensive choice that may not achieve uniform spray coverage. Due to the challenges of spraying large canopies uniformly, hand sprayers often result in uneven application, leading to issues like spray burn. While backpack sprayers can suffice for small-scale operations, their small tank size requires frequent mixings and increases the possibility of error. We do not recommend hand-pump backpack sprayers for medium to large-scale cultivation.
- Boom Sprayers: Efficient Coverage for Open Canopies
Boom sprayers, equipped with varying boom lengths, are effective for quick coverage of open canopies. They work from the top down and cover a significant amount of ground in a short time. However, these sprayers have limitations as they primarily target the upper leaf surface. Pests that reside on the underside of leaves and mold development in the lower canopy may be less affected. Boom sprayers are suitable for autoflower varieties and can be used until the plants become too large to drive over.
- Venturi Air Blast Sprayers: Comprehensive Coverage Solution
Venturi Air Blast sprayers, commonly used in vineyards and orchards, provide coverage from the bottom up, sides, and top down. These sprayers are ideal for larger cannabis plants, ensuring excellent spray coverage with low power requirements. Using a small tractor becomes feasible, even after the canopy has grown and access becomes tighter. With their ability to target multiple angles, Venturi sprayers are expected to gain popularity in the cannabis industry.
Other Options: Considering Farm-Specific Challenges
There are numerous creative sprayer options, such as towable carts with long hoses or custom motorcycle sprayers for navigating narrow row spacing. However, factors like compliance limitations, farm size, and available resources impact the choice of sprayer. It’s essential to evaluate the specific challenges faced on the farm, including climate, seasonal conditions, humidity levels, and prevalent pests. These considerations will help determine which sprayer type and how many units will best suit the farm’s requirements.
Spray Frequency and Timing: Additional Factors to Consider
When choosing a sprayer, it’s important to account for the spray frequency dictated by factors such as crop stage, pest pressure, and environmental conditions. Frequency can vary significantly, ranging from multiple sprays per week during certain stages to only a few sprays per crop cycle. Tailor your spray program accordingly, understanding that auto flower crops may require two to five sprays, while full-term crops could range from five to ten sprays. Start spraying a week or two after transplanting, generally concluding around week six of the flower.
Choosing the right sprayer is a crucial decision for cannabis farmers seeking efficient and effective spray applications. While backpack sprayers are labor-intensive and often lack uniform coverage, boom sprayers offer speed but may not address pests residing on the underside of leaves. Venturi Air Blast sprayers provide comprehensive coverage and are ideal for larger plants. Consider farm-specific challenges, climate, and spray frequency when making a selection. By carefully assessing these factors, cannabis farmers can ensure optimal spray application, effectively managing pests, and promoting healthy, thriving plants.