EAST LANSING — Any grower who uses a ground sprayer will benefit from knowing proper winterizing procedures to ensure the sprayer will function properly in the spring. As the weather cools and the growing season ends, you’ll need to prepare pesticide application equipment, such as ground sprayers, for prolonged storage time.
Thoroughly rinsing your sprayer with a small amount of clean water several times will rid it of pesticide residues.
Drain all water out of the sprayer to prevent freezing water damage. Dispose rinsate (the water used to clean the sprayer) in a field away from all water sources. Do not let the water accumulate into puddles. It’s best to rinse out the sprayer on a surface that cannot easily absorb liquids. Collect the rinsate and dispose of it at a Clean Sweep Public Distribution site. The sites allow growers to dispose of their chemicals properly to avoid health issues.
“If there’s a problem, the farmer’s household is usually the first that is impacted,” Christina Curell, MSU Extension educator, said.
After spraying out all remaining residues, clean and decontaminate the sprayer. You can purchase chemical cleaning agents, but household cleaners will work just fine.
Wearing proper personal protective equipment, check for any damages and make any necessary repairs to your sprayer. Inspect the tank as well as nozzles, screens, hoses, valves, pumps and the boom.
After careful inspection, remove any removable parts and clean filters with soapy water. Store the removable parts in an area that is not likely to freeze, if possible. Last, run antifreeze through the entire system to prevent freezing-water damage.
For more information on winterizing your ground sprayer, visit MSU Extension News. This online resource features helpful articles about various topics submitted by MSU Extension experts throughout the state. Find MSU Extension News at news.msue.msu.edu.
(This release was submitted by MSU Extension.)