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Mixing and Equipment Cleanout Overview


reprinted with permission from DuPont

Discussion guide for ground application of DuPont Crop Protection products on row crops

This is an overview. Refer to specific product labels for complete instructions.

Why clean equipment?

Sprayer cleanout is an important step in the application process. This information sheet provides an overview on how to clean out application equipment and avoid the risk of injuring sensitive crops in subsequent sprayings. Always follow individual label directions for each product used as specified by the manufacturer and wear all recommended and required personal protective equipment during cleanout operations.

Proper mixing and loading procedures

Recommended mixing order
  1. Solid formulations (such as DuPont TotalSol® soluble granules, wettable powders, dry flowables, water dispersible granules, etc.)
  2. Liquid suspension concentrates
  3. Liquid soluble concentrates
  4. Emulsifiable concentrates
  5. Surfactants
  6. Liquid fertilizers
  7. Anti-drift additives

Dry formulations which are sprayed in a liquid fertilizer may need to be preslurried or dissolved in water before adding to the liquid fertilizer.

Mixtures of agricultural chemicals and spray additives can be used without testing when the combination is described on the label(s). Otherwise, a jar compatibility test should be done. This will avoid compatibility problems which can leave insoluble deposits in spray equipment.

Always add products to the tank in the mixing order specified by the label. If no sequence is indicated, use the order shown below. Each product should be thoroughly dispersed or dissolved before subsequent products are added.

It is best to provide continuous tank agitation until the spray solution is applied to prevent settling. Avoid excessive agitation (common with some mechanical, paddle-type agitators) that causes undesirable foaming. Thorough mixing is even more important if the water source is acidic or the water temperature is less than 45° F. Both factors tend to slow the dispersion/dissolution of dry products which will require additional mixing time.

Mix only the amount of spray solution that will be needed for the day and spray as soon as possible after mixing. Do not let the spray mixture sit for extended periods of time since this may result in product settling and/or product degradation. If spray operations must be delayed for a short time, thoroughly reagitate the spray solution before resuming the application.

When a sprayer is used to apply multiple loads of the same tank mix over a period of days or weeks, rinse down the tank and flush the boom and hoses with clean water at the end of each day. If possible, allow clean water to sit in the equipment overnight. This will prevent drying and hardening of deposits which can be more difficult to remove.

Avoid cleanout problems

Nozzles and end capBe aware of the major reasons why cleanout problems may occur:

  1. The sprayer was not clean before the crop protection product was added, or the equipment was in poor condition with pitted or corroded surfaces. Start clean to stay clean.
  2. Failure to mix products in the proper mixing order or failure to allow adequate dispersion time before adding subsequent products.
  3. The label cleanout procedure was not properly followed.
  4. All surfaces of the spray system were not contacted by the cleaning solution.
  5. Failure to clean filters, strainers, nozzle screens and end caps. These are areas where chemical residues may accumulate or become trapped.

Procedure for equipment cleanout

Follow all label directions specified by the chemical manufacturer for equipment cleanout as soon as possible following an application.

Postponing cleanout, even overnight, can lead to formation of dried deposits that can be difficult to remove. Label cleanout procedures for all tank-mix components should be examined and the most rigorous procedure should be followed.

The following information illustrates some important practices in equipment cleanout:

  • Review specific product label for complete cleanout instructions.
  • Fill tube and valveDrain the spray tank and lines as completely as possible. Thoroughly rinse the spray tank, boom and hoses with clean water. Physically loosen and remove any visible deposits. Any observable residues should be removed by scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush and cleaning with a mild detergent. Make sure all interior surfaces are rinsed (including tank top, lid and baffles).
  • Flush or fill tank with clean water and/or appropriate cleaning solution, per label instructions. Flush the cleaning solution through the boom, hoses and nozzles as specified. Then drain the tank as completely as possible.
  • Remove the nozzles, screens, strainers and boom end caps and clean separately in a bucket containing cleaning agent and water. See the photos for typical areas to pay extra attention to. Any other application or mixing/loading equipment exposed to the spray solution (such as mixing bowls, inductors, hoses, fill baskets, etc.) should also be cleaned.
  • Rinse the tank and flush the boom, hoses and nozzles with fresh water.

Warning

NEVER clean equipment in an enclosed area.

Rinsate disposal

Rinse solutions can contain crop protection chemical residues that can cause injury to non-target sensitive crops. Rinsates should be disposed of in the manner prescribed by the product label and according to local regulations.

For more information

The product label always contains specific information regarding the appropriate cleanout procedures for that product. To find product labels and additional information visit us on the Web at cropprotection.dupont.com.

 

This reference guide is not intended as a substitute for the product label for the product(s) referenced herein. Product labels for the above product(s) contain important precautions, directions for use and product warranty and liability limitations that must be read before using the product. Applicators must be in possession of the product label(s) at the time of application. Always read and follow all label directions and precautions for use when using any pesticide alone or in tank mix combinations.
The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont, The miracles of science and TotalSol® are trademarks or registered trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.
Copyright© 2004-2012 E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. All Rights Reserved. 9/12 Reorder No.: K‑26167 (Replaces K-04209)


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