Potato growers are being urged to switch to the latest Syngenta 3D 90 nozzles to ensure more timely blight applications this season with best possible results.

The company’s application specialist, Harry Fordham, said the nozzles could reduce drift by 90% drift reduction nozzles and create the optimum droplet spectrum for coverage throughout the crop canopy, including lower leaves and stems where micro-climate conditions can be particularly humid and conducive to blight infection.

Three seasons of independent research in the Eurofins evaluation trials had shown the 3D 90 nozzle repeatedly performed the most effectively for blight control with Revus and Amphore Plus programmes.

“More consistent coarser droplet size of the 3D 90 has the momentum to penetrate deeper into the canopy, compared to more drift susceptible fine droplets,” he advised. “When that is combined with the 55° angle of the nozzle, it is especially effective at treating larger crop canopies, such as potatoes and sugar beet.”

The 05 and 06 sizes that are most suited to potato blight applications – applying around 200 l/ha water volume at 12-14 km/hour – offer 90% drift reduction when operated at up to five-bar pressure.

“That provides sprayer operators with the opportunity to fine tune application techniques to achieve spray coverage right through the canopy, while still providing exceptional drift control and ensuring the maximum protection reaches the leaf surface,” added Mr Fordham.

Windy weather patterns can see just three to five days per month of ideal spraying conditions, particularly in later months of the blight control season.

“Reducing drift is essential to ensure spray hits the intended target and is not lost out of the field,” highlighted Mr Fordham. “Crucially for blight controls, it will also minimise effects of wind gusts that shift the spray pattern and could leave patches of crop less well protected from blight spore infection.”

For optimum leaf coverage he advised the 3D ninety nozzles should be fitted with the angle alternating forwards and backwards along the spray boom. The ideal set up is operating at a pressure of 2-3 bar, nozzle height of 50 cm above the crop and working at a speed of 12 km/hr or less.

In Revus application trials at Eurofins, where the crop was artificially inoculated with aggressive blight strains and irrigated to maximise disease development, the nozzles kept out blight entirely throughout the treatment season, compared to 3% to 5% infection creeping in with conventional flat fan nozzles.

However, 21 days after the treatment programme finished, blight was 80% faster to develop in plots treated with flat fan, or Syngenta Potato nozzles, compared to those that had been sprayed using 3D 90 nozzles through the season.