Finer nozzle screens linked to Proline plug-ups

Bayer CropScience is recommending users of its Proline foliar fungicide double-check the nozzles they’re using before spraying, to avoid the “plugging issues” affecting some customers’ sprayers.

The company on Wednesday reported a “small” number of cases in which farmers’ sprayers were plugging up during applications of Proline, a broad-spectrum prothioconazole (Group 3) suspension Bayer bills as “Canada’s No. 1 canola fungicide.”

After looking into the problem, Bayer said Wednesday it appears the plugging issues are “associated with” the use of nozzles with 80-mesh or finer screens.

“Mesh” denotes the number of openings per inch in a nozzle screen — thus, a higher mesh number denotes a finer screen.

Bayer said affected Proline users “have been able to quickly resolve this issue by switching to 50 mesh screens.”

Bayer’s analysis shows product performance “will not be negatively affected” by moving to 50 mesh, the company said.

The company emphasized the number of reported plugging cases has been “small,” but “we want to be proactive and inform all our grower and retail customers of the situation.”

On sprayer nozzles, screens are used to strain and filter out debris and bigger particles from a spray mixture, maintain an even flow of product and reduce clogs and nozzle wear. A 50-mesh screen is more typically recommended when spraying products at higher rates or using wettable powders.

The Proline product label, dated September 2016, states under “Application precautions” that for ground application, “spray screens should be no finer than 50 mesh.”

The Proline label, for ground application, also calls for a minimum of 100 litres of water per hectare — unless otherwise noted in the directions for a specific crop or disease — and for pressure to be maintained at “no less than 275 kPa” to “ensure good foliage penetration and coverage.”

Also, if a Proline spray mixture remains in a tank overnight, or for long periods during the day, the label states it should be “agitate(d) thoroughly prior to application.” — Network

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