Sprayers are commonly used on farms to spray pesticides, herbicides,
fungicides, and defoliants as a means of crop quality control. There are many
kinds of machine-operated sprayers, the most common of which are low-pressure,
high-pressure, air-carrier, and fogger types.
History[Back to Contents]
Though methods of chemical pest control have been used for centuries, they were not always spread by machine; before the 1800s, most pesticides were applied by hand.Early sprayers were most likely first developed to apply fungicides to the vineyards of Bordeaux, France.Between 1850 and 1860, John Bean of California, D.B. Smith of New York, and the Brandt Brothers of Minnesota developed the hand-operated insecticide sprayer.1874 marked the year that knapsack sprayers first entered the U.S. market. At the beginning of the following decade, the first commercial spraying machine was introduced. By 1887, the first spraying machine that did not rely on manpower was developed.This traction sprayer was supplied with power by the machine’s wheels, and was horse-drawn. In 1894, the first steam-powered sprayer was produced.
Advancements continued, and by beginning of the 20th century, the first
gasoline engine powered sprayer was on the market.
As the chemical control market continued to develop, so did its machines. 1911 saw the introduction of a pressure regulator and air chamber; these were employed to achieve smooth, uninterrupted spraying. In 1914, Moses Rittenhouse began producing orchard sprayers for the fruit-producing region in Niagara, later founding M.K. Rittenhouse. Several years after the development of the row-crop tractor in 1925, tractor mounted sprayers were introduced. In 1944, dusting machines began to comprise attachments designed to inject water into the dust; this moisture supplied by this attachment enabled the dust to more effectively stick to dry leaves. The same year, low-volume, low-pressure sprayers were introduced. In 1945, 10,000 power sprayers were produced– this year marked the beginning of a decade-long span during which the use of sprayers dramatically increased. Two years later, 2,4-D (Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a common herbicide used today, was first applied using low-pressure, low-volume sprayers to weeds in cornfields in selected southern states; the weed-control results were successful.In 1950, 75,000 power sprayers were produced.
How it Works[Back to Contents]
Typical sprayers are comprised of the following basic parts: a tank, a pump,
filters in the suction and delivery lines, a boom, and nozzles. Additional
components include a nozzle pressure gauge, a control valve including anti-drip
mechanism, and a relief valve to bypass excess material back to the tank. The
most commonly used machine-operated sprayers for field application are
low-pressure sprayers,similar in operation to which are high-pressure sprayers.
In addition to the above-mentioned types, commonly used sprayers are air-carrier
models and foggers. These models are not operated in the same way as low- and
These sprayers are most widely used due in part to their relatively low cost. Low-pressure sprayer types include tractor mounted, high-clearance, trailer mounted, and truck mounted versions; they are typically operated hydraulically. Low-pressure sprayers include an air chamber to level out the pump’s pulsations to provide a constant nozzle pressure, as well as pressure gages and regulators. Though booms are common on many sprayers, boomless power jet sprayers, with one to five nozzles on a single bracket, are also available.
Common Manufacturers[Back to Contents]
- John Deere
- Top Air
- Zoomlion/ Detank