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    A Comprehensive Guide to Pre-Season Preparation for Farmers: Maximizing Yield and Efficiency


    This guide focuses on the unique needs and challenges of row crop farming, emphasizing efficient use of resources, technology integration, and sustainable practices to enhance productivity and profitability.


    1. Soil Testing and Field Preparation

    Conduct Detailed Soil Tests: Test each field for pH, nutrient levels, and soil composition to guide precise fertilizer and lime applications. Soil sample analysis can be done by your local soil laboratory or extension service.

    Field Preparation: Implement tillage practices suited to your soil type and crop needs. Minimum tillage can preserve soil structure and moisture, while conventional tillage may be necessary in certain conditions to prepare a seedbed, control weeds, or incorporate amendments.


    2. Crop Selection and Rotation

    Select Adapted Varieties: Choose crop varieties with high yield potential, disease resistance, and adaptability to your climate. Consider traits such as drought tolerance or herbicide resistance as applicable.

    Implement Crop Rotation: Rotate crops to break pest and disease cycles, improve soil health, and optimize nutrient use. Plan rotations to include legumes to fix nitrogen, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers.


    3. Seed Treatment and Planting

    Use Treated Seeds: Opt for seeds treated with fungicides and insecticides to protect against early-season pests and diseases. Consider seed treatments that enhance germination under cold or wet periods or seed varieties which tolerate drought or high-wind conditions.

    Precision Planting: Use precision planting equipment to ensure uniform seed depth and spacing. Calibrate planters for specific seed sizes and adjust planting rates based on germination tests and field conditions.


    4. Water Management

    Irrigation Efficiency: For irrigated fields, optimize irrigation schedules and methods (pivot, drip, or furrow) based on soil moisture monitoring and crop water needs. Consider technology like soil moisture sensors and weather-based irrigation scheduling.

    Drainage: Ensure proper field drainage to prevent waterlogging and enhance root development. Install or maintain drainage systems where necessary.


    5. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

    Scouting and Monitoring: Regularly scout fields for pest and weed pressure. Use thresholds to make informed decisions about the need for interventions.

    Chemical and Biological Controls: Use targeted chemical controls when necessary and consider biological controls like beneficial insects for sustainable pest management.


    6. Machinery Maintenance and Calibration

    Equipment Readiness: Ensure all planting, tillage, and spraying equipment is in good working order before the season starts. Perform necessary maintenance and repairs during the off-season.

    Planter Calibration: Precisely calibrate planting equipment to match seed size, type, and desired planting rate. Check and adjust downforce, seed tubes, and closing wheels to ensure optimal seed placement. Perform a short test swath of planted seeds to ensure all settings are correct before planting entire fields.


    7. Technology in Farming

    Adopt Precision Agriculture: Utilize GPS-guided equipment for precise planting, fertilizing, and spraying. Consider variable rate technology (VRT) for applying inputs based on soil and yield data.

    Data Management: Use farm management software to track field operations, input applications, and crop performance. Analyze data to make informed decisions for future seasons.


    8. Weather and Climate Adaptation

    Weather Tracking: Use weather forecasts and climate data to plan field operations and mitigate risks from extreme weather events.

    Resilience Practices: Implement practices to increase crop resilience against climate variability, such as cover cropping, diversified cropping systems, and conservation tillage.


    9. Economic Planning and Risk Management

    Cost Analysis: Conduct detailed cost analyses for each crop, considering input costs, projected yields, and market trends.

    Risk Management: Utilize crop insurance and marketing strategies (futures, options, contracts) to manage price and yield risks.


    10. Professional Development and Networking

    Continuous Learning: Stay updated on agronomic research, crop protection products, and new technologies through extension services, agricultural publications, and professional associations.

    Collaboration: Engage with local farming groups, cooperatives, and research institutions for shared learning, market opportunities, and collaborative projects. 

    (0) Choosing the Best Type of Flow Meter for Your Application


    Flow meters are some of the most versatile and integral components in any fluid handling system. From agriculture chemical production to water treatment facilities, meters offer a reliable means to monitor how efficient your operation is and provide a tangible reading to identify potential issues within the plumbing system. This makes choosing the right flow meter for your application even more important. Selecting the wrong meter causes inaccuracies within your flow monitoring processes and creates inefficiencies throughout the rest of the system, not to mention significant unintended costs.

    Dultmeier Sales is here to ensure that doesn’t happen.

    In this guide to flow meter selection, we’ll take a look at several common meter types and the various applications in which they are used. We will also highlight some key considerations to keep in mind so that you always choose the best flow meter for your application needs. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

    How to Choose the Right Flow Meter

    Simply put, a flow meter is a device that measures the flow of material—typically either liquids or gases—through a pipe. The flow meter then calculates the volume and flow rate of the product, referred to as the “fluid,” being measured. Flow meters are, however, more complicated in practice.

    Fill-Rite Mechanical and Digital Flow Meters

    Fill-Rite mechanical flow meters & digital flow meters

    For one, no two meters are exactly alike. Depending on application and metering needs, you may have several meter options or a single very specific one from which to choose. Complicating things further are the many external considerations your meter must satisfy in order to accomplish its intended purpose. As they say, the “devil is in the details,” and the same goes for choosing the best flow meter for your application.

    Below are some key characteristics to keep in mind when selecting the proper flow meter:

    • Accuracy & Repeatability
    • Type of Fluid (liquid, gas, slurry, steam)
    • Density
    • Viscosity
    • Conductivity
    • Temperature
    • Pressure
    • Flammable/Oxidizer
    • Corrosiveness/Toxicity
    • Flow Range/Turndown
    • Materials of Construction
    • Environment/Location & System Configuration
    • Hygiene Requirements (pharmaceutical, food processing, etc.)
    • Costs
      • Initial Investment
      • Installation
      • Long-term Maintenance

    While the meter you ultimately select should ideally meet every factor above, ensuring it meets the most important ones for your operation will help guarantee you receive the best results. Let’s dive into a few of the main ones on which you should focus.

    Accuracy & Repeatability

    Near the top of the list when evaluating flow meter specs is flow meter accuracy. Accuracy is how close a measurement is to the actual true value passing through a system. Expressed as a percentage (i.e. +/- 1%) accuracy represents how close the meter’s output is to its calibrated parameters. Generally, the lower the percentage, the more accurate a meter is.

    However, accuracy is not the only side of the coin. Repeatability, or the production of like outcomes under the same conditions, is perhaps even more important when evaluating which flow meter to choose. This is because accuracy is only reliable so far in as its consistency. As you can see below, repeatability is possible without high accuracy, but high accuracy is not achievable without repeatability.

    Flow meter accuracy & repeatability

    If your flow readouts are unreliable—meaning you receive inconsistent results despite the same conditions—then you aren’t gaining any value. Likewise, if your flow volume falls short of or exceeds your meter’s rated flow range (also known as turndown), you won’t receive accurate readings either.

    Precision readings go hand in hand with any well-tuned operation. Choosing the best flow meter accuracy and repeatability percentages that meet your application requirements ensures your system maintains the precision readings you desire.   

    Liquid, Gas, or Semi-Liquid?

    The type of fluid you work with is another big factor when choosing which flow meter best fits your application. Fluid type breaks into four categories: gas, liquid, slurry, and vapor—each with it's own unique characteristics.

    Properties such as fluid density, temperature, viscosity, and corrosiveness/acidity all must be determined before a final selection. This ensures you avoid choosing a flow meter incompatible with the fluid type you are attempting to measure. Electromagnetic flow meters, for example, won’t work with non-conductive fluids like hydrocarbons. Likewise, few meter types are capable of measuring slurries because of their unique semi-liquid characteristics.

    How slurry particles behave between homogenous and heterogeneous mixtures.

    Illustration of how slurry particles behave between homogenous & heterogeneous mixtures

    Here is a shortlist of flow meter types commonly used for the four fluid categories:

    • Gas: Coriolis, Thermal Mass, Positive DisplacementTurbine, Variable Differential Pressure, Ultrasonic
    • Liquid: Coriolis. Thermal Mass, Positive Displacement, Variable FlowPaddlewheel, Turbine, Variable Differential Pressure, Ultrasonic, Electromagnetic  
    • Slurry: Coriolis, Electromagnetic, some subsets of Differential Pressure
    • Vapor: Vortex, Ultrasonic, Floating Element

    While not comprehensive, this list should offer a good starting point. That said, not every meter listed may work for your specific setup or needs. For instance, if your operation handles multiple fluids, you’ll want to ensure that the meter you go with is compatible with all fluids—not just one. Otherwise, you likely spend valuable time calibrating your flow meter each time you handle a different product or troubleshooting why your inventories are off from your readouts.

    Location & System Configuration

    Meter location, as in real estate, is another major consideration. Will the flow meter be installed inside a controlled environment or outdoors in the elements? Is space a non-factor, or must size be considered? Certain flow meters even require stretches of straight pipe before and after the meter to generate accurate flow readings.

    As a rule of thumb, pipe lengths of 10X (where X = pipe diameter) are needed before and after a meter for straight runs of pipe. So, if your plumbing’s diameter is 2” you would need 20” or approximately 2 feet of pipe before and after the flow meter. This goes for just about any meter type, but it is always best to check the manufacturer’s specs.

    Also, keep in mind horizontal or vertical mounting. Some meters can be mounted in either orientation while others must be one orientation or the other. Variable flow meters, for example, rely primarily on gravity in order to measure flow rate. Thus, they must be installed vertically to work. Determining how and where a meter will be installed while choosing a meter saves installation time and avoids costs related to unintended system reconfiguring.

    Differentiating Between Volumetric vs. Mass Flow

    Before we breakdown various flow meters, it is important to say a word on flow measurement. While there are many types of flow meters, most used today fall under two primary categories according to how they calculate flow: volumetric and mass.

    As their name suggests, volumetric flow meters measure flow by calculating the volume of a fluid. Flow is often directed through an intrusion metering device such as a turbine or orifice plate, which then measures fluid velocity proportionally to the volume of matter passing by. Volumetric flowmeters make up the majority of meter types today and include turbine, magnetic, positive displacement, ultrasonic, and vortex meters to name a few.

    Volume flow vs. mass flow within a cylinder

    Volume flow vs. mass flow within a cylinder

    Mass flow meters, meanwhile, calculate flow rate by measuring the mass of a fluid. Mass meters have become increasingly popular due to their precision performance and truer reading of product flow compared to older metering technologies. In the diagram above, for instance, the product volume significantly changes depending on the position of the piston—even as mass remains the same. Today, mass meters have more or less become synonymous with Coriolis mass meters, but other types do exist. We’ll discuss how mass meters work later in the article. 

    Whether you choose volumetric meters and mass meters depends on your application and metering needs, as well as your operational preferences and cost differences. In the end, you can still calculate volume to mass or mass to volume so long as the fluid density, surrounding temperature effects, and other conversion factors are all understood. 

    Comparing Flow Meter Types

    There is, unfortunately, no such thing as a universal flow meter. Each flow meter type has fluids and applications for which it is well suited, and similarly, ones for which they are not. The following is a breakdown of some of the most common types of flow meters and the pros and cons of using each one.

    Positive Displacement Flow Meters


    • Accurate across wide flow ranges
    • *Can handle very viscous fluids
    • Versatile applications—simple, reliable design
    • Require no power supply
    • Cost effective

    *Thicker viscosity fluids create larger pressure losses & reductions in flow rates


    • Requires medium to high flow applications
    • Experience greater pressure drops
    • Larger/heavier than other meters
    • Not recommended for dirty fluids or gases
    • Some subsets require constant lubrication
    • Many moving components need regular maintenance and replacement

    Positive displacement (PD) meters consist of chambers featuring mechanical components that rotate in relation to volume flow. As fluid passes through, the reciprocating components—generally a type of gear, vane, or diaphragm—divides the fluid into fixed, metered volumetric units. The number of units rotated through within a specified time frame directly correlates to flow rate. Subtypes include screw meters, rotary vane meters, diaphragm meters, reciprocating or oscillating piston meters, and helical or oval gear meters.

    TCS 700 Series Rotary Fuel Meter with Register

    TCS 700 Series Rotary Fuel Meter with Register

    Since PD meters only measure flow while fluid passes through, they’re ideal for applications where metering is crucial to calculate fluid usage. The TCS 700 series rotary vane meters, for example, are widely used in oil and gas custody transfer industries, while diaphragm meters are commonly installed on residential or municipal water and gas lines. Their fluid driven design additionally makes positive displacement flow meters one of the more cost effective options since they require no outside power supply to operate. However, these meters are ill-suited for impure fluids such as wastewater or slurries, as the suspended soils can clog or slow the reciprocating elements and create inaccurate readings.

    Electromagnetic Flow Meters


    • Obstruction-less/No moving components
    • Highly accurate—unaffected by density, viscosity, turbulence, or pipe configuration
    • Can handle wide flow ranges & multiple fluid types
    • Zero pressure drop
    • Bi-directional
    • Cost effective


    • Cannot measure gases, vapors, or non-conductive liquids
    • Limited fluid temperature range
    • Interference possible with certain suspended fluids
    • Specialized subsets can be expensive

    Electromagnetic flow meters


    Electromagnetic flow meters, also known as magnetic flow meters or magmeters, are rather unique in the technology they use to measure flow. Magmeters feature two parts, a transmitter and an inline sensor, the latter of which features coils that generate a magnetic field. When a conductive fluid passes through the field, a voltage is produced proportional to flow. This flow principle is known as Faraday’s Law.


    Unlike other meters, magnetic flow meters can measure fluids regardless of fluid density, viscosity, or flow turbulence. This makes mag meters highly accurate and reliable across a wide range of solutions. Additionally, their design features no obstructions in the pipe, making these meters ideal for a wide spectrum of applications, from highly sanitary liquids to slurries and highly corrosive fluids. Electromagnetic meters can be found in industries such as pulp and paper, metals and mining, food and beverage, water and wastewater, chemical transfer, and many more.

    Banjo Corp 3in Mag Meter

    Magnetic meters, however, only work with conductive fluids. This means hydrocarbons such as oils or gasolines or deionized liquids are not recommended with mag meters. Suspended solids, such as those found in various ag chemicals and fertilizers, can also sometimes pose a problem. The suspended soils, which may not be conductive, can interrupt the magnetic field and throw off the reading’s accuracy. Newer, specialized magmeters such as slurry magmeters are engineered to counteract this magnetic interference. However, these units generally feature heftier price tags compared to standard models. 

    Turbine Flow Meters


    • Highly accurate
    • Cost effective
    • Capable of measuring low flow rates
    • Versatile applications—simple, reliable design


    • Not recommended for dirty or suspended liquids
    • Require straight pipe runs for best results
    • Limited to certain pipe sizes
    • High flows rates can cause damage or inaccuracies
    • Moving components need regular maintenance and replacement

    Like paddlewheel or propeller flow meters, turbine meters feature a multi-bladed rotor mounted inline to fluid flow. Sensors attached to one or more of the turbine blades transmit the number of revolutions the turbine makes. The speed at which these revolutions happen is proportional to volumetric flow rate. Similar to positive displacement meters, turbine and paddlewheel meters only measure flow when fluid mechanically acts upon their metering components.

    Turbine Meter


    Because turbine meters provide accurate readouts in relation to linear flow—even at low flow rates—they are widely used in the oil and natural gas, custody transfer, and petrochemical industries.  In fact, turbine meters are often used to help verify accuracy on other meter types.

    Turbine meters aren’t without their limitations, though. For starters, turbine meters are not well suited to handle dirty or highly viscous fluids, as the turbines can be easily fouled by the soils. These meters also require straight runs of pipe before and after the meter to stabilize flow for the most accurate results. Additionally, larger pipe diameters are incompatible from an engineering standpoint. This limits where and for what applications turbine meters can be installed. Finally, as with any technology with moving components, regular maintenance is necessary to keep these meters in peak performing condition.

    Coriolis Flow Meters


    • Extremely accurate
    • Low maintenance
    • Can handle a wide spectrum of flow ranges
    • Compatible with many dirty, corrosive & difficult to handle fluid types
    • Versatile installation—no straight pipe runs required
    • Serviceable without removing from pipeline
    • Easy in-field calibration
    • Capable of measuring gases


    • Expensive initial investment
    • Not suited for low pressure gases
    • Limited to certain pipe sizes

    Coriolis meters, more commonly known as mass meters, differ from other meter types in that they measure mass flow instead of volume flow. These meters also feature a unique means of calculating flow rate based upon the Coriolis Principle. Check out the video below for a quick look at Coriolis meter technology.


    Advantages of Mass Meters

    Mass meters generally hold an NTEP certification and are widely used in legal-for-trade (resale) applications. In the Dultmeier Sales world, this generally means fertilizers or chemicals with respect to the agricultural industry. Back in the 1990s, Dultmeier Sales partnered with Kahler Automation to offer some of the first automated solutions for fertilizer/chemical plant automation. 

    The mass meter was at the heart of the system because it was new technology that allowed end-users to sell using the real-time density of the product – a truer way to meter liquids. For example, water is known to be 8.34 lbs. per gallon at 70⁰F.  However, as temperature drops, the weight of water increases. Thus, the solution of water becomes denser as the ambient temperature drops. This would mean static volumetric calculations would be off if one pumped 1000 gallons of water and converted to 834 lbs. (using 8.34lbs/gal as the constant conversion factor) if the water were only 50⁰F. 

    This same principle happens with fertilizer and chemicals – as they are generally water-based solutions.  Volumetric meters of the time; however, were unable to account for this change in density in relation to volume flow. Take this scenario for example, which was quite common in the 1990s and early 2000s:

    Let’s say that it’s 40⁰ F. and we’re loading a 10,000 gallon tender trailer, running 32% Nitrogen into the vessel. We’re using a paddlewheel meter as our measuring device and pumping the product into the vessel. Once we reach our hit point of 10,000 gallons – the automated equipment shuts down and we send our trucker to the scale. The scale breaks in 20 lb. increments. 

    Our potential for error:

    • Paddlewheel meter runs at approx. +/- 2% accuracy (mass meter is +/- .3% accuracy)
    • Paddlewheel cannot determine density reading, so we have a static calibration factor that was calibrated at 70⁰ F. (or another temperature) and we are using that static factor to now calibrate pounds to gallons at 40⁰ F.
    • Scale breaks in 20 lb. increments vs. mass meter measuring in increments of 1/10th of a pound
    • Scale cannot account for “slosh” or movement of liquid as truck stops abruptly on the scale

    Considering these many variables and the potential for error, it’s no wonder why inventories could, and often would, be way off come year-end. We know that a solution’s density changes constantly if in an ambient environment. For this reason alone, mass meter technology is the preferred method of measurement in many instances. By using a mass meter that can continually read this fluctuation in density on-the-fly, we offer our customers a better method to dispense and record inventory.

    Automated Mass Meter Systems—Praxidyn

    MixMate Flow Stack System

    MixMate Flow Stack System

    Choosing the right flow meter for your application can often come down to dollars and cents. Coriolis meters with automated equipment controls like what Praxidyn offers can provide a more accurate way to measure and sell fertilizer and/or chemicals. Praxidyn has a complete line of automated meter systems that fit almost any application, from grower specific operations to global industrial applications. Analysis has proven that an automated system can pay for itself in just one season – based solely on shrinkage/cost savings alone. Figure in the savings from enhanced efficiency and mass meters more than pay for their high initial investment costs.

    Flow Meter Price, Performance & Popularity

    Unfortunately, there is no universal flow meter that works for every application. Depending on how diversified your operation is, that could mean multiple types of flow meters are needed. While it is fair to research the most popular meters for your industry, don’t buy the first meter you think will work. 

    Price, quality, and other key factors do play a significant role in a flow meter’s overall performance. Simply because everyone else uses a certain meter does not mean you should be. Low purchase cost, for instance, shouldn’t be the deciding factor in choosing the best flow meter for your application. When choosing a flow meter, you have to consider not only the initial purchase price, but the overall lifetime costs and long term returns on investment, too.

    Money investment scale.


    For instance, while a Coriolis meter boasts a hefty price tag at initial investment, it provides a great ROI because less maintenance and greater product savings are realized over the long run. Mass meters’ exceptional accuracy, versatile flow ranges and fluid compatibilities, minimal wearable parts, and the ability to recalibrate without removing the meter from the pipeline all translate to fewer dollars spent overall. When it comes to the bottom line, spending more money upfront can outweigh years of hemorrhaging dollars spent repairing or replacing inefficient meters.

    That said, not every operation needs an expensive, high-end flow meter. It’s a good idea to run a cost assessment evaluating application needs against initial investment costs and long term cost savings. This way you have the best picture of whether a certain meter is practical or worth the price tag over the long haul. If you need help assessing meter options and determining what is best for your application(s), we are always just a phone call away at 1-888-677-5054.

    Final Words

    We hope this article has provided some insight into the world of flow meter solutions. Although we covered some of the most common types, these are by no means the only flow meters out there. Choosing the best type of flow meter for your application all starts with knowing what you need and researching your best options. Compare all associated costs—both short and long term—and avoid making a decision based on price tags alone. Ultimately; however, the manner in which you choose to meter is entirely up to you.

    If you have any questions regarding flowmeter selection, give us a call at 888-667-5054 or Dultmeier Sales carries a diverse inventory of chemical and water flow meters, flow meter repair parts, and flow meter accessories. No matter what meter your operation requires, our experience and technical expertise will help make sure you select the right one.

    (0) Disinfectant Basics - 3 Methods for More Effective Disinfecting

    We speak a lot about sanitation and disinfection these days. From the office and classroom to our own personal spaces, we are focused on cleaner, safer areas more than ever. And while many businesses are just now taking a closer look at how they clean their facilities, disinfecting in food processing has long been serious business. That doesn’t mean all disinfectants for food processing cleaning are made equal.

    Disinfectants come in a variety of forms, each with its distinct advantages and disadvantages. In fact, which disinfectant you choose for your application is just as important as the why and how you disinfect. As we’ll cover in this article, understanding the basics of each disinfectant type and the general rules behind applying them ensures a more comprehensive and cost-effective cleaning regimen. Read on for our breakdown of disinfection basics for more effective disinfecting.

    Why Disinfecting in Food Processing is So Important

    While commercial processing facilities spend the majority of their time up and running, their most important activity occurs when the production floor is empty and silent. Maintaining clean, sanitary workstations and equipment, particularly in food processing, is integral to public health and safety. In the United States, such standards are overseen by government agencies such as the EPA, CDC, and USDA.

    But why disinfect at all?

    E. coli, a common bacterial target of disinfecting food processing facilities

    E. coli, a common bacterial target of disinfecting food processing facilities

    Well, for starters, food processing plants are not the cleanest places once production gets going. Soils, in the form of fats, oils, blood, and other animal protein and production byproducts, quickly collect on equipment and surrounding surfaces. Such deposits, if left unaddressed, make these surface areas ideal breeding grounds for countless hosts of bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful microorganisms.

    Proper cleaning removes these unwanted soils and contaminants, providing significant benefits downstream. Maximized production efficiency, increased product shelf life, safer work conditions, and fewer mechanical failures and delays are but a few positive outcomes to attentive housekeeping. Scheduled cleaning and disinfection also significantly decrease the chances of costly product recalls due to food hazard risks such as food poisoning or foreign body contamination.

    A processing plant’s commitment to a culture of health and food safety can easily be seen by how devoutly they approach the cleaning and disinfecting processes. And yes, there is a difference between the two.

    Cleaning vs. Disinfecting

    For most of us, cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are all one and the same concept. They are, however, three distinct steps within the larger cleaning process. Cleaning is the process of physically removing unwanted substances and contaminants from a given surface. The cleaning stage, sometimes referred to as the detergent stage, is often characterized by the removal of common soils such as dirt, grease, or oils via manual scrubbing with brushes or wipes or washing with a high-pressure spray wand. Cleaning a surface in this manner alone; however, will not kill germs present.

    Tub-O-Towels - Heavy Duty Cleaning Wipes for removing difficult soils

    Heavy Duty Cleaning Wipes for removing difficult soils

    Disinfecting on the other hand, does kill bacteria and other microorganisms left behind following the cleaning stage. While similar to sanitizing agents, which merely reduce the number of bacteria and other germs to acceptable levels of health safety, surface disinfectants make a surface truly contaminant-free. Their high bactericide concentrations of chlorine or bleach eliminates the ideal growing conditions bacteria and other microorganisms thrive on. 

    TACT Disinfection Cycle

    Every cleaning application will follow a distinct set of variables, generally known as TACT. The four aspects of this cleaning/disinfection concept are time, temperature, action, and concentration. How prominently each phase is in the disinfecting cycle depends specifically upon your unique needs, including the soils you’re wanting to destroy, and the chemicals being used. Followed properly, the combination of them all will achieve the desired result of a clean, disinfected space.

    It’s important to understand that cleaning must take place before the disinfecting stage. Since disinfectants do not break through heavy soils on surfaces, removing such deposits ahead of time ensures the disinfectants are able to work with the greatest efficacy.

    Choosing the Right Disinfectant for the Environment & Application

    Today, disinfectants cover a wide spectrum of chemical concentrations and applications. Choosing the right disinfectant for a specific environment, therefore, can be a task in and of itself. A few things to consider.

    First, the choice of disinfectants depends foremost on a user’s requirements. In other words, where are they disinfecting and what type of contaminants are they trying to eliminate. After that, the type of processing and cleaning equipment used, the application method, and, to some degree, the personal preference of the user all play a role in selecting a disinfectant.

    Also, review a disinfectant’s toxicity, leftover residues, and any possible chemical reactions related to water hardness and various surface types. This is particularly important within the food processing industry. Any residual chemical compounds left behind after disinfecting can adversely affect product taste, curing, and shelf life. In the brewing industry, for example, certain disinfectant cleaners are avoided because they linger on glass surfaces. (Soapy beer anyone?) Understanding a disinfectant’s proper application process and any residue properties it has helps prevent product quality from suffering.    

    Once a disinfectant is chosen, the most important thing to remember is to always read your disinfectant product labels! Always. With effective cleaning practices, disinfectants will kill 100% of germs listed by the label—when used properly.

    Disinfectant Label

    Ignoring what’s detailed on the label—or choosing not to read it altogether—is a great way to undermine a disinfectant’s effectiveness and cause mechanical failure of your disinfecting systems. It’s also quite dangerous. Later in this article, we’ll cover some of the safety considerations and equipment needed when dealing with disinfectants. For now, just remember that the label is the law. By following the label, you keep you, your cleaning staff, and anyone who comes in contact with the disinfected area, directly or indirectly, safe.  

    Disinfectant Type Comparison: Foam, Spray & Steam

    Most of the food processing industry today relies on three common disinfectant application types: foam, spray (aerosol), and steam. Since no two environments are exactly alike, no two disinfectants will perform equally across the board either. Below we’ve provided some comparisons for these three disinfectant types and some general considerations to have before choosing the right disinfectant for your situation. 

    Foam Disinfectants

    Foam Disinfectants


    • Better coverage of surfaces
    • Greater visibility of coverage
    • Lower pressure application
    • Less product needed to work
    • More cost-effective than other disinfectants


    • More challenging mix ratios
    • Added costs if needing separate surfactant agent
    • Greater attention to spray nozzle orifice size
    • Greater flow needed to apply

    Foam disinfectants are quite common in most food processing and industrial operations. Why? For starters, foam disinfectants can offer up to 50% more coverage than sprays. This is because foam expands as it comes in contact with a surface, greatly increasing coverage and disinfecting performance. In large production spaces, such as production floors or livestock barns, this helps keep cleaning costs down. Users can realize up to 50% cost savings on chemical alone, with additional savings possible in application time as well. Foaming is also a great option for disinfecting ceilings and vertical surfaces since the foam adheres better than sprays and therefore extends disinfection dwell time.

    One challenge with foam disinfectants, however, is the need to include a surfactant. A surfactant is a foaming agent that chemically reacts with your disinfectant chemicals. Surfactants also lower the surface tension between two materials, such as water and dirt, making the soil easier to remove. Without a surfactant, your disinfecting solution will not foam properly, making it less effective. While some disinfectants include a surfactant already, most do not. Be sure to read your labels prior to starting your cleaning process to ensure proper solution effectiveness.

    Additionally, check that your application equipment is compatible with foam solutions. Using a high-pressure pump without the appropriate chemically compatible elastomers is a great way to ruin an expensive pump. It is imperative, therefore, to check the chemical compatibility of ALL components throughout your entire cleaning systems. That includes examining the largest pump to the tiniest o-ring. In doing so, you not only avoid costly equipment damages or failures, but also prevent ineffective treatment from taking place.

    Hydro Systems FoamMaster

    Opt for chemical spray foamers and accessories that feature downstream injectors that bypass incompatible seals and components. Better still, invest in a complete foaming system like the Hydro FoamMaster. Available in multiple mounting styles, the FoamMaster is ideal for larger industrial cleaning applications, from washdown facilities and meatpacking plants to animal production buildings, such as the dairy barns shown in the video above. These compressed air units allow a user to set the desired dilution rate for their specific application. From there, the system mixes the chemical and surfactant with the carrier agent (generally water) to create rich, clinging foam.   

    Dultmeier has even helped develop custom disinfecting systems. Check out our work on the JBI Poultry Disinfectant Foaming Trailer here.

    Spray Disinfectants

    User disinfecting with spray in an industrial kitchen

    User disinfecting with spray in an industrial kitchen


    • Fewer chemical compatibility issues
    • Quick-and-easy to apply
    • Wide variety of disinfectant types
    • Usable for almost any application/environment


    • More chemical usage to achieve adequate coverage
    • Generally higher pressures applications
    • Greater health concerns due to aerosol emissions

    Dultmeier Sales DC1 Air-Driven Disinfectant Applicator

    Dultmeier’s DC1 Air-Driven Disinfectant Applicator

    Aerosols are the most widely used disinfectants used for industrial cleaning tanks to their incredible versatility and ease-of-application. You can find disinfectant sprays for nearly every circumstance and apply them using a commercial pressure washer, handheld or backpack sprayer, or similar system without any chemical compatibility issues. Dultmeier’s DC1 disinfectant applicator system, for instance, features an air-powered diaphragm pump, a 25 gallon storage tank with an automatic mixing valve, and a trigger spray wand that can easily store and apply most disinfectant products without a problem.  

    Complete Plant Washdown/Industrial Clean System

    Complete Plant Washdown/Industrial Clean System

    The thing about spray disinfectants is that they can be costly. For one, most disinfectant sprays require a high-pressure system to be applied well. These systems; while effective, can be expensive to fund. Furthermore, since so much energy goes into turning a disinfecting solution into spray, an operator may have to use more product to disinfect an area compared to if he used foam.

    Steam Disinfectants

    Dry steam disinfecting for food processing sanitation

    Dry steam disinfecting for food processing sanitation


    • Effective against a wide range of microorganisms
    • Not affected by soils or hard water
    • Non-corrosive or chemically reactive
    • Leaves behind zero residue


    • Cannot be used on heat-sensitive equipment or surfaces
    • Does not remove large soil deposits
    • Dangerous high temperatures to human contact
    • Difficult to maintain consistent temperature and exposure

    As their name suggests, steam disinfectants work using steam to kill bacteria, spores, and other contaminants. The prolonged exposure to the moist high heat destroys microorganisms, leaving surfaces truly decontaminated.

    Although a viable disinfectant method, we recommend using either foam or spray detergents for most applications. The main drawback to steam is that high temperatures, generally either 250° F or 270° F (or greater), must be maintained throughout the disinfection process to ensure microbial death. Such high temperatures can also damage certain components and surfaces. Foams and sprays have much wider applications, which simply makes them better and more-cost effective options for most operations.

    Disinfecting Scope - Know Before You Go

    No two areas are created equal when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. Case in point, you don’t clean and disinfect an office space in the same way you do a meat packing processing floor. That makes understanding your scope of disinfection all the more important before ever beginning the cleaning process.

    Product Needs

    Pure hard surface disinfectant

    Purehard surface disinfectant; ideal for food processing & food preparation

    For instance, the size of the area you’re disinfecting will greatly influence the amount of product needed. Do you need a 5-gallon bucket of disinfectant or a 55-gallon drum? Maybe you need more. This is where foam disinfectants really have the advantage. Their enhanced coverage and prolonged contact time with the applied surface allow less product usage.

    Make note of the GPM flow of your system. If you have a pump that produces 3 GPM of flow attached to a 50 gallon tank, you effectively have 16.5 minutes of continuous application time. Time is money, so how much time will be spent mixing solution is an extremely important thing to remember when disinfecting large areas.

    Disinfectant Systems

    Your style of disinfectant system is something else to keep in mind. Most operations have some level of clean-in-place (CIP) process. However; for a vast majority of the disinfecting process, mobile cleaning units are necessary to leave an area truly decontaminated. Portable disinfectant systems equipped with powerful pumps and spray wands allow an operator to spray disinfectant at a variety of angles, speeds, and tailored quantities. This versatility ensures every hard-to-clean space can be adequately decontaminated. 

    Portable Sani-Mister disinfectant unit

    Portable Sani-Mister disinfectant unit


    Finally, take a minute to evaluate your space’s ventilation. Taking the office vs. processing floor scenario, ventilation is likely very different between the two spaces. On the processing floor, the larger area means aerosols and vapors have more room to dissipate or be dispersed by exhaust fans. In the smaller office space, however, chemical fumes become more of a hazard. Respirator masks may be required based upon the chemicals used and/or size and ventilation capabilities of the application area.

    Always be cognizant of how to enter a space for disinfection and understand how your solutions react when in use. Evaluating how to approach an enclosed space for disinfecting and how long someone should be exposed to that environment once they start keeps everyone healthy and safe.   

    Safety First: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Disinfecting

    Personal Protective Equipment PPE for Disinfecting

    Regardless of the style of disinfecting you ultimately use, you need to wear personal protective equipment, also known as PPE. This protective equipment ranges from nitrile chemical gloves and safety goggles to full body TYVEK coveralls. These products protect you from spills, splashes, and unexpected contact with the disinfectants which can cause serious chemical burns.

    Reusable Unlined Gloves

    Certain aerosol disinfectants may even require a respirator mask to protect you from harmful chemical vapors. Even if the disinfectant label doesn’t list a respirator as required PPE, you may still choose to wear one if working in a small, poorly ventilated space. Each chemical application is different.

    Read your product labels for the proper PPE required to handle specific disinfectants safely. Regularly inspect PPE for wear or damages and replace if needed. Also, ensure your facility has clearly marked eyewash stations and safety showers in case of an emergency. Whether you need gloves, eye protection, or water-resistant clothing, we can help you find the gear you need to be best equipped for the tasks at hand.


    Proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures will always be a serious focus in the industrial and food processing industries. In fact, one of the most important activities that occurs in any industrial processing facility is their disinfectant regimen. Even so, disinfection practices and policies will continue to change with new health research, product development, and societal perceptions. With that in mind, having a reliable, knowledgeable company you can trust to support you is imperative to your business’s success.  

    Dultmeier is that company you can trust. We carry an extensive catalog of disinfectants, personal protective gear, and cleaning equipment and supplies from trusted brands like Mosmatic, DEMA, Suttner, General Pump, Hydro Systems, Boss, and others. While we cannot ultimately tell you how to disinfect, we can share with you the many different methods and assist your operation regardless of your choice of application. We’ll happily help answer all your questions about various disinfecting types and work to get you the equipment and products you need to ensure your workspaces are cleaner than ever.

    Reach us at or give us a call at 888-667-5054. Your Experts in Delivering Fluid Handling Solutions – WE KNOW FLOW!

    (0) A New Age of Spraying – How To Size PWM Spray Nozzles

    The commercial spraying industry continues to improve technology. At this point, incremental gains can make a tremendous impact and that incremental gain can be as smaller than a 60 micron droplet. If you have a new spray rig, you’re probably not alone. Favorable grain prices paired with government payouts related to COVID-19 have allowed many operations to afford asset upgrades this past year. Maybe that asset upgrade came with Pulse Width Modulation technology? If so, this post is a must read for you prior to sizing your spray nozzles this season. 

    Speak at length with anyone involved in the ag sprayer industry about the new advances in sprayer technology, and there is a solid chance you’ll hear the phrase “pulse-width modulation” mentioned. Although the technology isn’t exactly new, advancements in spray nozzle design and overall efficiency of pulse-width modulation (PWM) spray systems arrive on the market every year, along with a slew of new PWM spray nozzles. 

    Following up on our article on sprayer nozzle sizing, we’ll focus on explaining how PWM systems work and provide you example-based guidance for how to size a PWM spray nozzle on your own. We’ll also explore the benefits of PWM spraying and why it may be time to consider making the switch from a conventional sprayer system to one outfitted with PWM spray nozzles and accessory components. Read on for all the details and be sure to use the table of contents to help you get around.

    Pulse-width Modulation Explained

    Pulse-width modulation was first developed for the agriculture industry in the 1990s by Dr. Ken Giles, a professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of California, Davis, and Capstan Ag Systems. For many farmers and agronomists today, however, pulse-width modulation still presents considerable degrees of uncertainty and understanding. So, let’s clear up the confusion.

    Pulse-width modulation, in ag-related terms, refers to how liquid flow rates are controlled via an electronic signal and shut off valve. Unlike conventional sprayer booms, a PWM system features nozzle bodies each equipped with an electric solenoid. As this solenoid turns on and off—typically an average of 10 times a second—an intermittent, pulsed spray is created through the nozzle. The proportion of time that the solenoid is open is known as the pulse width or duty cycle. It’s this percentage of time the nozzle is open vs. closed that ultimately dictates your rate of application.

    PWM solenoidactuated nozzle body.

    Cross-section illustration of a PWM solenoid-actuated nozzle body.

    Because duty cycle plays such a significant role in determining proper sprayer calibration for PWM operation and PWM nozzle sizing, it’s best we dive a little deeper into how this concept works. That way, you will know exactly how to choose the proper size spray nozzle for your specific agricultural operation.  

    Duty Cycle — The Driving Force Behind PWM

    One of the limitations of conventional sprayer systems is that nozzle flow varies indirectly with sprayer pressure. As the sprayer speeds up, the system must adjust pressure to also adjust flow rate to deliver the same application rate per acre. Generally, a device called a rate controller automatically recalculates the necessary adjustments for you. So, when the sprayer increases speed, the rate controller causes spray pressure to increase as well until the flow rate sensor shows that the nozzle flow is enough to maintain the target application rate desired.   

    There are two related problems with these conventional spray systems. First, pressure must be increased significantly in order to increase flow rate as speed is increased. For instance, nozzle pressure must be doubled for nozzle flow to increase by just 41%. Moreover, pressure must be tripled to increase flow by 73%. Most sprayer pumps cannot achieve this doubling or tripling of their output while increasing flowrate.

    Secondly, sprayer tips are very sensitive to changes in spray pressure. Go too slow and the lower pressure can cause the spray pattern to collapse. The result is poor, inconsistent coverage. Drive too fast, though, and your droplet size becomes finer, creating drift problems. This delicate balance means traditional sprayers must remain within a very specific, narrow speed range, which is not always possible given field conditions or with variable rate applications.

    A key aspect in PWM systems is that spray nozzle output is no longer tied solely to sprayer pressure. Instead, PWM systems focus on duty cycle. Again, duty cycle is the proportion of time that the solenoid is open/on, meaning the percentage of time that your spray nozzles are actually spraying.

    PWM Duty Cycles


    Typical duty cycle ranges are between 20-100%. Although lower duty cycles are possible, they are not recommended since droplet size and spray pattern can become inconsistent.

    During operation, every nozzle can spray at its maximum flow (100% duty cycle) or a fraction of its flow capability. That means a nozzle operating at a 20% duty cycle will deliver about one-fifth of the flow of a spray nozzle spraying 100% of the time. Even so, the pulses occur so quickly that spray pattern and droplet size won’t be adversely affected.


    What does this mean in practice? For one, while duty cycle is still linked to changes in sprayer speed, the spray pressure remains constant. This enables a sprayer operator to make pressure adjustments to maximize coverage or drift control independent of speed and the rate of application. The end result is a spray application that is not only more accurate but also more consistent across diverse field conditions.

    Calculating Duty Cycle

    Duty cycle directly correlates to ground speed. When calculating duty cycle to correctly size your PWM spray nozzles, you want to aim for an average speed around 75% duty cycle. For example, if you figure you’ll travel between 10 and 20 MPH while spraying, you’ll want to choose your spray nozzle for an average speed of 15 MPH—or 75% of your maximum speed. This gives you plenty of flexibility to adjust the duty cycle up or down if you experience unexpected changes in speed without compromising your droplet size or spray pattern integrity.

    Selecting the Appropriate Spray Nozzle for PWM Systems

    Since the means of controlling nozzle flow rate is different between traditional sprayer setups and those with pulse-modulation, sizing PWM nozzles likewise differs a bit from conventional spray tips. This means that you won’t necessarily be able to use traditional flow rate tabulation charts to size your nozzles. No need to fear, though. The PWM spray nozzle sizing process is still easy to understand.

    There are three things to remember when selecting PWM nozzles. For starters, you want to always choose wider angle spray nozzles for pulse-width systems. One of the biggest concerns regarding PWM spraying is the risk of application “skips” as you move through the field. Wider angle nozzles such as 110° flat fans ensure you’ll produce enough overlap in your spray coverage to eliminate skipping.

    Additionally, you’ll want to avoid using air-inducted spray nozzles for PWM spraying. The introduction of air can compromise the spray pattern and droplet size as the nozzle pulses off and on. As shown in the video below (at 3:18), this deterioration of droplet size is especially obvious upon the valve pulsing off, where residual air causes the application to dribble out from the air inlets—thus rendering the spray nozzle ineffective.

    Now, new advancements have been made regarding air-induced nozzles regarding pulse-width modulation. TeeJet, for example, has several air-induced nozzles that have been approved for PWM use. However, your best bet is still to use non-air-inducted nozzles such as the Turbo TeeJet and Turbo TwinJet. The Greenleaf Soft Drop or Blended Pulse Dual Fan (BPDF) series or Wilger ComboJet series are good options, too.  

    Finally, an important point to remember when using PWM systems is that nozzle pressure is different than boom pressure. This is because nozzle pressure/flow is now controlled by the solenoids which are independent of your overall system’s pressure reading. As the solenoids turn off and on, a pressure drop needs to be accounted for with higher boom pressure.

    Difference between gauge pressure and nozzle pressure for an 0.8 nozzle.

    Difference between gauge pressure and nozzle pressure for an 0.8 nozzle.

    For example, for a 110-04 spray tip, the average drop is only about 3 PSI. A larger 110-08 tip, however, will push the limits of the solenoid even further, creating a greater decrease in pressure. This can be anywhere from 6 PSI at 30 PSI gauge pressure to 13 PSI at 60 PSI gauge pressure! If the pressure drops too low, the nozzle won’t be able to form a uniform spray pattern and droplet size. Therefore, the larger the nozzle orifice, the greater the boom pressure required to compensate.

    PWM charts calculate against this pressure drop and offer speed ranges for operating specific nozzles at a given gauge pressure.

    Sizing PWM Sprayer Nozzles

    Alright, let’s size some spray nozzles. A few things you’ll need to know ahead of time:

    • Target application rate
    • Typical average speed
    • Desired droplet size

    Using these three components, you’ll be able to quickly find the correct spray nozzle size for your PWM application.

    Once you start looking at the charts, just like with conventional spray tips, you want to select a PWM nozzle which falls near the center of the pressure range for your desired droplet size. In most cases, this will be between 40 and 70 PSI for the best pattern and droplet size retention. However, it’s difficult to suggest the proper droplet size and nozzle type for every application. As always, check your chemical labels for proper application droplet size before beginning.

    Sizing Greenleaf PWM Nozzles

    For this first example, we’re going to find a nozzle within the Greenleaf line of spray nozzles using their PWM tabulation chart. To start, we take our target application rate, let’s say 12.5 GPA on 20” spacing, and set our average speed at 15 MPH. Keep in mind we want to maintain a 75% duty cycle through the field. This means we can go as fast as 20 MPH (100%) or as slow as 5 MPH (25%) without exceeding our chosen nozzle’s pressure rating or compromising our droplet size or application rate. Our droplet size for this example is Coarse to Very Coarse.


    Next, moving down the 75% duty cycle column, we find where our average speed of 15 MPH falls within the 40 to 60 PSI gauge pressure range. Looking left, we see that the best fit is a 0.8 nozzle. We can also readily see that only one nozzle, the BPDF, will provide our desired droplet size.


    We could’ve chosen an 0.7 nozzle, but we’re already pushing the pressure limits of that nozzle at our speed. If our average speed was to increase by even one mile to 16 MPH, our droplet size would decrease to Medium. Choosing an 0.8 nozzle still retains our Course-Very Course droplet size even if we were to decrease pressure or speed.

    Sizing TeeJet PWM Nozzles

    TeeJet has a similar approach to sizing PWM nozzles, though their tabulation chart works a bit differently. Instead of providing you with the duty cycle columns, they simply display your minimum/maximum speed range. This means you have to calculate what the 75% duty cycle speed would be on your own. Once you have that however, you can quickly find your ideal spray nozzle.


    In the example below, we chose to apply a 15 GPA at 10 MPH with a desired Ultra Coarse or Extremely Course droplet size. We actually have two nozzle options to choose from in this case—the Turbo TeeJet Induction (TTI) and TTI TwinJet (TTI60). Both are again in the 0.8 size.


    We also have the Air-Inducted Turbo TwinJet (green box) with an XC droplet size if we wanted. However, the larger UC droplet size of the other two nozzles and the fact that they aren’t air induction nozzles makes them better options.

    Sizing Wilger PWM Nozzles Using the Wilger Tip Wizard

    Wilger has made selecting their Combo-Jet nozzles for PWM systems even easier via their online Tip Wizard. Here, simply enter your GPA, speed, and target droplet size into the specific fields. You’ll also enter nozzle spacing, spray tip angle, and which PWM system you’re operating on. Many PWM systems, from Capstan PinPoint to Case AimCommand, Raven Hawkeye to John Deere ExactApply have different actuation speeds. The Tip Wizard will then provide you a list of the best nozzle options given your specifications.


    For a complete guide to using Wilger’s Tip Wizard and understanding results when sizing nozzles for PWM, click here. They even have a video walkthrough if you prefer that option.

    Advantages of Using Pulse Width Modulation Nozzles

    Although there is no indication that conventional spray nozzles will become obsolete in the near future, the rise of PWM nozzles will undoubtedly continue to assume an increasing share of the industry. And for good reason.

    First, PWM spray nozzles allow you to maintain constant pressure across a wide range of speeds. Having a wider range of travel speeds means that even when speeding up or slowing down through the field, you retain the necessary pressure—and therefore droplet size—to correctly apply your desired chemical rate without sacrificing coverage.

    Drift control is another benefit of using PWM nozzles. While PWM systems do not significantly improve drift control alone, they do make it easier. This is because they offer a wider speed range to work with, meaning you can use larger sprayer nozzles designed for coarser spray patterns. Even if you tweaked your pressure higher or lower, your duty cycle would internally adjust to apply the same application regardless of speed. The larger droplet sizes then allow you optimal drift control.

    Illustration of turn application rates for conventional spray system with rate controller

    Illustration of turn application rates for conventional spray system with rate controller only (left) vs. a PWM system with nozzle-by-nozzle turn compensation capability (right)

    Finally, greater precision. The consistency across numerous speeds means PWM spray nozzles provide incredible application accuracy. Reduction in chemical costs, fewer over- or underapplications, and less drift potential gives PWM operators much more control over their spray operation. Many systems today even have the capability of controlling individual nozzle flows. This nozzle-by-nozzle sectional control enables greater turn compensation and more accurate, site-specific application through the field.

    This feature is especially important when turning around at the end of the row. When turning in a conventional sprayer system, the inner boom nozzles become effectively stationary and substantially over apply chemical. Meanwhile, the outside boom nozzles move faster than the application rate can be accurately applied. PWM systems featuring turn compensation such as Capstan’s PinPoint overcome this by individually controlling each nozzle, maximizing efficiency and accuracy.  

    Final Thoughts

    As industry leaders continue developing new, better PWM spray equipment systems, understanding PWM technology and how to apply it to your own operation becomes increasingly important. Not unlike sizing conventional sprayer tips, choosing the correct PWM spray nozzle plays an integral role in ensuring the accuracy and efficiency of your sprayer system. After all, your application is only as good as your spray tip.

    For any questions regarding sprayer tip sizing and PWM spray systems, be sure to check us out at or give us a call at 888-667-5054. We’re happy to assist you with whatever questions you may have and provide you the technical expertise and diverse products necessary to get you back in the field. Let us help you find what you’re after today so that you get the best sprayer performance possible.

    Your Experts in Delivering Fluid Handling Solutions – WE KNOW FLOW!

    (0) Sprayer Nozzle Sizing — How To Properly Size Spray Nozzles

    Whether it’s 1980 or 2021 – Dultmeier Sales fields thousands of calls each spring on this topic alone. How do I size my spray nozzles? We don’t help you select the type of spray tip for your application(s) – we advise you to consult your agronomist in this instance so they can get eyes on the crop situation to help develop a custom plan for your operation. That being said, once you’ve identified which type of nozzle(s) you need, we can absolutely assist in the sizing of said nozzles. This post is a great resource to use that helps to outline what we do just about every day during spring. 

    It’s spring, and with the frenzy of field preparation, fertilizing, and putting seed in the ground on everyone’s mind, the height of the planting season is nearly upon us. This time of the year also signals, if you haven’t started already, that the time for you to begin readying your sprayer for your early season spraying is fast approaching. 

    Between calibrating your sprayer pump and checking all your hoses, you already have a lot to get done in order for your sprayer to be ready for the field. One of the most important parts of your sprayer prep; however, is ensuring that you have the correct sprayer nozzles appropriately sized for the chemical and fertilizer solutions you’re looking to apply. 

    Without serious attention to detail, improper nozzle sizing can lead to a multitude of mistakes and delays when you can least afford them, not to mention the increased costs. In this article we’ll examine the proper approaches for how to size nozzles for various spray application types and how to attain ideal nozzle coverage and drift control. We’ll also share why correct sprayer nozzle sizing is so important to your sprayer and crop performance. Read on at your leisure or use our table of contents to help you navigate through the article to find the answers you’re looking for. 

    Nozzle Sizing Information to Know Before You Begin

    Sprayer nozzle sizing can often be a confusing bit of business, especially with new tips and nozzles being designed every season. Pulse width modulation anyone? Luckily, the way you decide which nozzles you need has remained essentially the same for years. The first step is ensuring you have three pieces of critical information:

    • Rate of application – in gallons per acre (GPA)
    • Average sprayer speed ­­– in miles per hour (MPH)
    • Nozzle spacing – in inches (W)

    Once you have those pieces of information nailed down, you can then plug them into a standardized formula and calculate how many gallons per minute (GPM) that you need to apply. Here’s the formula:

    GPA  x  MPH  x  W / 5,940 = GPM (per nozzle)

    Knowing the number of gallons per minute you need to spray then allows you to reference a sprayer nozzle sizing chart that you can use to locate the ideal nozzle size for your specific sprayer setup. There are also plenty of tip sizing tools available online that calculate the best tip size for you. Try these from WilgerPentair, and TeeJet

    In the next section we’ll put this formula into practice and walk you through a few examples of how to size your sprayer nozzles for different chemical and fertilizer applications so you have a better idea of how to approach it on your own. 

    Sprayer Nozzle Sizing for Different Applications

    Although sizing spray nozzles is largely uniform across the board, there are a few slight differences in how to size a sprayer tip depending on the type of liquid solution you’re applying. Here, we’ve included the two most common application types when sizing broadcast nozzles: chemical/water solutions and liquids heavier than water.  

    Sizing for Ag Chemicals and Water Solutions

    A vast majority of your sprayer applications will fall under this category since it includes most of your herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and other common ag chemicals. Sizing nozzles for this type of application is also the most straightforward since you’re using water as the base agent and aren’t having to adjust for a higher relative density.

    Relative density, also commonly referred to as specific gravity (SG), is the ratio of density—or mass of a unit volume—of a substance to the density of a standard reference material. For liquids, specific gravity is almost always measured against water since water has a specific gravity of 1.0. When calculating the application rate of liquids heavier than water, you must use a conversion factor to compensate for the higher solution density. We’ll cover more on these conversion factors when we discuss sizing sprayer nozzles for liquids heavier than water a bit later. For now, though, assume that our examples are calculated with the SG of water. 

    Now, many sprayer nozzle sizing charts will display a wide selection of common spraying speeds. If your speed is already in the table, simply cross-reference your nozzle spacing and speed and locate the GPA you want to apply. But what if the speed you want to spray at isn’t shown on the table? This is where the formula plays such an important role.

    Shows how to find nozzle size for 8 GPA at 6 MPH for 20” nozzle spacing when all information is listed in the chart.

    Shows how to find nozzle size for 8 GPA at 6 MPH for 20” nozzle spacing when all information is listed in the chart.


    So, example time.

    Let’s say we want to spray 20 gallons per acre of 2,4-D. Our average sprayer speed in the field is 12 miles per hour (not shown in the table), and we are operating on 20-inch nozzle spacing. Our formula would look something like this:

    20 x 12 x 20 / 5940 = 0.808 GPM (per nozzle)

    Let’s also say that we want a course droplet size and are looking to use a Turbo Teejet wide-anglespray tip. Taking our 0.808 gallons per nozzle rate and using the Teejet sizing chart for this model of spray tip, we scroll down the Capacity in One Nozzle column to the nozzle size most closely matching our desired specifications. In this example, that would be the white tip nozzle.  

    Nozzle Capacity Chart


    It’s best practice to find a nozzle that meets the GPM rate as close to the middle of the PSI range as possible. This is important in relation to your speed. Most spraying systems rely on largely consistent speeds across the entire field for the optimal performance. As a result, slow down too much, such as at the end rows, and you compromise your spray pattern and improperly apply your chemicals. Go too fast, and your sprayer pump may not be able to match your new pressure rate for the nozzles you have, setting off system alarms. 

    Even if your sprayer pump can match the higher speed, your droplet size then becomes much smaller, increasing your risk of drift. Neither case is what you want. Having a spray nozzle in the middle of the range ensures that you’re able to maintain spray pattern, solution density, and droplet size—even with slight rises and drops in speed. 

    Sizing for Ag Liquids Heavier Than Water

    When sizing your spray nozzles for liquid solutions heavier than water, such as liquid fertilizer, you’ll follow a very similar process as sizing nozzles for your water-based ag chemicals. The difference in sizing for this type of application; however, is that you need to adjust for the higher density of your solution. You accomplish this by using a density conversion factor seen in the chart below.


    So, let’s say we wanted to apply some liquid nitrogen fertilizer. Using the conversion chart above with our previous example, our formula would look like this:

    20 GPA x 12 MPH x 20 W / 5940 = (0.808 x 1.13 Con. ) = 0.91 GPM

    In this case, you’d still use the white nozzle tip from our previous example since the 0.91 GPM still falls near the middle of the pressure range for the course droplet size desired. If your speed is shown in the chart, simply take your intended GPA multiplied by your conversion factor to locate your nozzle size. 

    The key in either case is to factor in the conversion factor before you reference the sizing chart. Otherwise, you’ll select the wrong spray nozzle and wind up with improper droplet size and inaccurate application. In the next sections we’ll examine why these two ideas, spray coverage and droplet size, are tied so closely to the idea of proper nozzle sizing.

    Nozzle Spacing and Spray Heights for Proper Coverage and Overlap 

    It should come as no surprise that sizing your spray tips correctly is just as important as where you put them on your sprayer. In fact, nozzle spacing and sprayer boom height are two aspects you mustn’t ignore when choosing the size of the spray tip that you need. 

    For starters, nozzle placement—both width between nozzles on the boom and the height of the nozzles above the ground—determines how well your spray coverage theoretically performs based upon the fan angle a nozzle has. Most setups will use some type of nozzle which creates a fan-shaped spray pattern. This means that the heaviest concentration of spray is at its center and tapers off to nothing at the edges. Common sprayer systems operate on 20, 30, or 40-inch nozzle spacing, and the arrangement of nozzles at these spacings determines how uniformly your application is ultimately applied. 

    To achieve uniform application; however, you’ll need to create a pattern overlap in your spray coverage. Overlap—or the combining of spray patterns—is necessary, particularly in broadcast spraying, because the outer edges of spray patterns don’t have uniform volume distribution. Without overlapping coverage, you risk leaving portions of your field under-treated or even skipped. That means you’ll likely spend more time and money correcting the mistake. 

    Illustration of spray pattern overlap.

    Illustration of spray pattern overlap.


    Factors that affect spray nozzle overlap

    Three factors affect overlap in relation to sprayer nozzle sizing. First of all, your nozzle fan angle determines the total width of the spray pattern. The wider the fan angle, the wider the spray pattern. Today, 80-degree and 110-degree fan angles are the most used nozzle angles in agriculture applications, though others are available. Second, spray tip spacing. The closer the nozzles are to one another, the more the patterns will overlap. Farther apart, and the amount of overlap is lessened. 

    Finally, adjusting your spray tip height will further affect how much overlap you have. The higher the boom, the more overlapping because each pattern has more room to spread out. Another good thing to remember regarding the height of your spray tips is that the higher above the row your boom/tips are, the more susceptible to wind and drift your solutions are. We’ll touch on this a bit more in relation to droplet sizing in the next section, but for now keep it in mind. 

    Now, unsurprisingly, not all spray nozzles are the same. Finding the proper height in relation to your nozzle spacing then is imperative. In the table below for example, you can see the height recommendations of various TeeJet nozzle series based upon nozzle fan angle and boom spacing.

    Suggested Minimum Spray Heights


    In most cases, your ideal overlap for broadcast spray nozzles is approximately 30%. Adjusting your nozzle spacing and boom height accordingly will give you the best chance to maintain adequate, uniform coverage across the entirety of your system, even when other variables such as wind speed and pressure decreases occur.

    Maintaining Droplet Size for Optimal Drift Control 

    Finally, we want to share a few words on droplet size. Namely, follow your labels. 

    After all, the label is the law! Not following how a specific chemical or pesticide is meant to be applied can create serious damage to not only your crops, but your fellow farmers' as well. This has become especially important when dealing with volatile chemicals like Dicamba.

    Burn damage caused by Dicamba drift.

    Burn damage caused by Dicamba drift.


    Make sure that you’ve chosen and sized a sprayer nozzle capable of producing the appropriate droplet size recommended for the chemical you’re applying. If the label lists a specific nozzle or droplet size to use, follow those listings to a T. Furthermore, install your spray tips at the proper boom height and operate at the required pressure range to achieve the stated recommended droplet size of a given chemical. This will significantly reduce the likelihood you experience issues with ‘hanging’ droplets and drifting. 

    Consulting the spray label is just smart practice. It can determine whether or not you need to make any additional adjustments to your spray equipment or need to purchase additional nozzle accessories to attain the right nozzle spacing and droplet size specifications. 

    Importance of Proper Sprayer Nozzle Sizing 

    We don’t have to tell you that your time is money. When it’s time for you to be spraying in the field, you can’t afford troubleshooting on the fly or stopping to recalibrate your sprayer a second or third time. 

    Which is the exact reason why you should take the time well in advance of spraying season to research the agricultural chemicals and fertilizers you intend to apply. Running long or short of chemical means your solutions were not applied efficiently and may not work as effectively as intended. 

    In fact, overapplication due to poorly sized or worn out sprayer nozzles is a serious problem if left unaddressed. Ag chemicals are very expensive, and if you’re over applying it, you’re wasting money. All the major manufacturers that we represent recommend replacing any spray tip if it’s overapplying by 10% of the rate of a new nozzle. That includes TeeJet and Hypro to Wilger, Greenleaf, and Delavan. If you find that at least two of your nozzles are overapplying by this rate anywhere across your boom, replace every nozzle in the system. Using a sprayer nozzle calibration tool, like the one shown below, will give you the fastest and most accurate reading of how your nozzles are performing and if you need to swap them out for new ones.

    SpotOn Electronic Sprayer Calibrator, 0-1.0 GPM

    SpotOn Electronic Sprayer Calibrator, 0-1.0 GPM

    Incorrect spray tip sizing has ramifications on your other sprayer components as well. Your sprayer pump especially may struggle to operate at its ideal performance. This can substantially increase the wear and tear on your pump components and lead to an inability of your pump to create or hold the spray patterns and proper application density. 

    Conversely, your pump outperforming your spray nozzles at higher speeds can change the droplet size. Higher pressures create smaller droplet particles and lead to increased risk of drifting that can cause serious damage to you or your neighbor’s crops when dealing with many of the volatile chemicals used today. Be sure to routinely examine your sprayer tips for wear of the nozzle orifice for the reason that you ensure they aren’t in need of replacement in order to maintain the correct droplet size you’re after. 

    In the end, understanding how your agriculture chemicals and fertilizers are meant to be used and their proper droplet size ensures both appropriate solution application and adequate drift prevention. Once you have that information, the rest is relatively easy. 


    Although the science behind sizing sprayer nozzles has become more dynamic in recent years, the process doesn’t have to be complicated for you. Following the guidelines in this article will give you a great start to your spraying season and ensure you aren’t left reworking your sprayer when you should be in the field. 

    Be sure to check us out at or give us a call if you have additional questions regarding sprayer nozzle sizing. We offer a huge selection of TeeJet, Hypro, Greenleaf, Wilger and Delavan spray nozzles to suit your unique sprayer setups. Our team of experts will be glad to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have and discuss how to ensure you’re getting the best performance from your spray nozzles. 

    After all, we’re your Experts in Delivering Fluid Handling Solutions – WE KNOW FLOW! ®

    (0) Sizing a Pressure Tank - Your Step-by-Step Guide

    Pressure tanks are used in a variety of applications, but a common usage is system efficiency.  For example, one reason someone might install a pressure tank in a plumbing system would be to keep the pump from constantly running.  In doing so, the pressure-regulating tank increases the longevity of the pump/motor and reduces maintenance and down time – ultimately resulting in lower operating costs.  Let’s dive into a step-by-step how to of sizing a pressure tank.  

    Info You NEED to KNOW Before Starting

    Before beginning the process of sizing a tank, there are a few important important input data points to know in order to properly size a pressure tank:

    1. Flow Rate
    2. Cut-in/Cut-out Pressure
    3. Target Run Time

    A general rule of thumb, that most manufacturers suggest, is a run time of less than one minute if the horsepower is less than 1HP.  If the motor is over 1HP, then a good guideline to follow, is a run-time of 2 minutes or more.  Always confirm this, with your tank manufacturer of choice, as guidelines can vary.

    General Rule of Thumb for Sizing a Pressure Tank

    Generally, as a rule of thumb, one can follow these guidelines when sizing a pressure tank:

    1. 0-10 GPM: 1 gallon of drawdown per 1 GPM of flow
    2. 10-20 GPM: 1.5 gallons of drawdown per 1 GPM of flow
    3. 20 GPM+: 2 gallons of drawdown per 1 GPM of flow

    Drawdown can be defined as the amount of volume loss in the tank as the plumbing system “draws” off this pent up pressure. After all, the purpose of a pressure tank is to maintain pressure in a given system and give the pump a break. This way, the pump doesn’t need to run constantly to remain at system pressure. While a pressure tank can appear costly up front, it will save in the long run. Less run time for the pump means less maintenance and less money in energy costs. 

    There are various orientations of pressure tanks and the most common are horizontal, inline, and vertical.  Be sure to determine which orientation works best for your plumbing setup.  

    Once we have identified our flow rate in gallons per minute (GPM), have identified our cut-in/cut-out pressure, and confirmed our target run time – we must determine what cut-in/cut-out pressure we want to set the system at.  

    Pressure Tank Sizing Explained

    An important equation to remember when sizing a pressure tank is below:

    Flow Rate X Run Time = Tank Draw Down Capacity


    Let’s say we have a pump that produces 5 GPM and is ran by a ¾ HP motor.  Since I’m operating a motor that is less than 1 HP, we are going to assume that “ABC Manufacturer” recommends a 1-minute runtime.  We want to design this system to cut-in (turn on) at 40psi and cut-out (turn off) at 60psi.  

    5 (Flowrate) X 1 (Runtime) = 5 gallons of Draw Down (at 40/60PSI)

    So, I will need to select a tank that allows for 5 gallons of draw down at a pressure setting of 40PSI cut-in and 60PSI cut-out.  If I need a vertical tank, I could select a WOMAX-220.  If my plumbing layout would accommodate a horizontal tank better, I could select a WOMAXH-220.  This would give me approximately 3.5 minutes of run time before the pump would cycle back on. Horizontal pressure tanks have a plastic pump stand so you can maximize space when designing a plumbing system. This is certainly a nice feature when working in confined spaces where space is at a premium. 

    Relationship Between Pressure & Tank Size

    An important thing to remember, the higher the operating pressure – the larger the tank must be. Pressure and tank size have a direct correlation – as one increases, so does the other.  The higher the pressure setting, the less the drawdown is and thus, the need for larger tank capacity.  

    Wilo Pumps Logo


    After we have these three points determined, we can then proceed with sizing a pressure tank.  Pressure settings are another important factor with any plumbing system.  The most common pressure settings are 30/50; 40/60; 50/70.  Most manufacturers will have a pressure tank sizing chart that will allow viewers to quickly size a tank’s drawdown based upon their system’s pressure settings. 

    We can supply you with this information on the Wilo MaxAir® product line if you want to get into the details. Just give us a ring or visit 24/7. Here is a drawing of a Wilo MaxAir® horizontal tank that outlines some features which set this product line apart from the rest of the pack and really make it one of the top line products in the marketplace. 

    Cutaway of Wilo MaxAir Horizontal Pressure Tank

    Cutaway of Wilo MaxAir Horizontal Pressure Tank


    You can view the full offering of Wilo MaxAir® Pressure Tanks Right Here on As always, should you have further questions about pressure tank sizing or other applications – don’t hesitate to contact us.  That’s what we are here for.  Your Experts in Delivering Fluid Handling Solutions – We Know Flow!

    (0) TeeJet - Spraying Systems - A Pioneer & Goliath of the Spray Industry

    A Look Back in Time – The History

    In order to completely understand the powerhouse that TeeJet has come to be, we first must look back in the annals of time and address some of the major milestones that helped elevate the Spraying Systems brand to the worldwide leader of spray equipment. So, let’s dive right in and look at the inception of the company. 

    Spraying Systems Co. was co-founded in 1937 by two European immigrants to form the basis of the dynasty that exists today. The company enjoyed a rather humble start in a small 600 square foot garage in Chicago, IL. I bet those two men never imagined, in their wildest dreams, how the company would evolve and grow – and what their company would achieve over the next eight decades.

    TeeJet is Born

    In 1947, the origins of the TeeJet spray tip were conceived. The side profile of the first spray tip embodied a “tee” shape. This combined along with the “jet” family of names is how the TeeJet name came to be. For many years, the industry only required two sizes of spray tips. One must remember that the agricultural industry was still using manure and egg shells as the primary means of fertilizer up until the late-1950s. 

    One of Dultmeier Sales’ long time employees, Bob Hansen, joined the industry in the early 1960s and recalls that the TeeJet family had just two spray tip sizes at the time – a 5 gallon and 10 gallon capacity. Both spray tips were offered only in brass. We will circle back to the expansion of fertilizer distribution later on in this write up and how that quickly elevated TeeJet to Goliath status in the spray industry. For the time being, let’s get back to the chronological progression of the company. 



    GunJet & TeeValve Become Staples

    In 1952, TeeJet introduced their first spray gun product line. Models such as the AA43 and AA2 were the first introductions. Today, farmers have a much wider range of trigger and twist-handle guns for spot-spraying applications. Many of those products can be viewed here

    Next up was the introduction of the TeeValve in 1956. This was revolutionary in the agricultural spray industry as it allowed an operator to remotely control three boom sections on a sprayer. The compact design quickly gained popularity and became a staple in the agricultural industry. This product was so well-built and engineered that it is still used today. You can view this product here

    An offshoot of the TeeValve is the DirectoValve. This product has been slightly modified over the years. The neat feature of this product is that is extremely versatile – it can be banked together to create a manifold, or it can be used alone as a singular valve. However, this is another testament to the superb engineering and functional design from Spray Systems Co. – many of their products from the mid-1900s are still widely popular within the industry. It’s neat to see the old archive below and compare it to today’s version. The electric version of the DirectoValve can be viewed here


    Vintage TeeJet GunJet Spray Gun Catalog      Vintage TeeJet DirectoValve Catalog

    Agricultural Spray Technology is Rapidly Expanded

    In 1968, Spray Systems Co. designed the first electronic spray pattern analyzer in-house. This innovative piece of equipment allowed the company to drastically improve qualities of the expanding TeeJet family. This technology allowed the company to more accurately measure droplet size which is a critical component of nozzle design and functional application. 

    By now, the agricultural spray industry had been experimenting with a new fertilizer called anhydrous ammonia, or NH3, for about seven years. This wonderful fertilizer helped increase growth rates and yields of crops. Not only did it improve crop growth rates – but also weed growth rates. The TeeJet family had positioned itself superbly. 

    2,4-D and DDT were the primary chemicals used in the agricultural industry up until the introduction of anhydrous ammonia as a prominent fertilizer. Once weeds began to expand rapidly, as a result of this wonderful fertilizer – new formulations were necessary to keep them at bay. With new chemical formulations came the demand for new spray nozzles.

    Chemical applications rapidly expanded over the next decade to combat the exploding growths of weeds – along with crops. The industry needed to quickly kill weeds to ensure that crops received as much of the fertilizer nutrients as possible. Let the weeds live and they starve crops of precious, and expensive, input resources. Rather abruptly, the industry changed its practice to combat weeds from cultivation equipment to liquid applications in the form of various chemicals. The TeeJet family was a natural fit to help fuel a major industry boom. 

    1970s & 1980s

    This period embodied an era of rapid growth and expansion for Spraying Systems Co. 1970 marked the beginning of construction on the state-of-the-art office and manufacturing facility in Wheaton, IL. In 1976, LH AGRO was founded in Denmark by two gentlemen named Larsen and Henning. The company’s first product was a grain loss monitor. 

    TeeJet Wheaton Facility

    TeeJet entered the 1980s with a bang. The introduction of the Quick TeeJet system again revolutionized the agricultural spraying industry – and the rapidly growing carwash industry, as well. The 1/4-turn quick attach cap and body system substantially reduced the effort required to install or change spray tips. This system also provided an automatic spray pattern alignment across the boom for optimum distribution. 

    As Dultmeier Sales evolved into the carwash industry, Mike Hansen the Wash Division Manager, greatly relied on the partnership of TeeJet to help offer a solid product line for soap and wax application in self-serve carwash industry. And the Quick TeeJet product line helped Dultmeier Sales do just that. As the agricultural market struggled throughout the 1980s, the carwash industry helped to diversify both Dultmeier Sales and Spraying Systems. Even today, as you move through more sophisticated carwashes – you will see the Quick TeeJet products on many of the stationary boom structures.

    The Quick TeeJet is introduced in 1981

    The Quick TeeJet is introduced in 1981


    In 1983, Midwest Technologies (Mid-Tech) was founded in Springfield, IL. Mid-Tech quickly became recognized as a pioneer of direct chemical injection systems and quickly advanced the Spraying Systems brand into the electronic sprayer & spreader control markets – and eventually into GPS guidance systems. Mid-Tech joined the TeeJet family in 2000. 

    In 1984, the LH1200 was launched in Europe and marked the entrance of the LH AGRO product offering into the sprayer control market. LH AGRO would eventually become a member of the TeeJet family in 2000 with a focus on electronic controls and precision farming equipment. Then, in 1985, the next major introductions into the TeeJet family came with the VisiFlo and XR TeeJet flat fan tip series. 

    The VisiFlo system incorporated color-coded plastic tip bodies with a stainless steel orifice. End users were able to quickly identify the tip capacity based upon the color of the spray tip – another revolution within the spray industry. The VisiFlo color-scheme quickly became the industry standard and was adopted by ISO as the worldwide standard in agricultural tip capacity identification.

    The XR Flat Fan spray tip series was created based upon new manufacturing techniques that enabled the production of an orifice that offers excellent pattern formation and spray distribution across a wide range of operating pressures. The XR tip series has become the standard agricultural spray tip and continues to be one of the highest selling spray tips manufactured today. 

    Retro XR TeeJet and VisiFlo Bulletin

    Retro XR TeeJet and VisiFlo Bulletin


    The 90s – Advanced Controls & Air Induction Spray Tips Introduced

    The 1990s brought about further product diversification and advancement for Spraying Systems Co. The company acquired the ECOSpray product lines in 1993 which further expanded its offering in sprayer controls. Then, in 1995, the QJ360 nozzle turret was introduced. This multiple outlet nozzle body quickly found favor with OEMs and farmers, alike. TeeJet knocked another one out of the park with the simple design and easy use/installation of the QJ360 series

    Then, in 1998, TeeJet entered the air induction spray tip into the marketplace with the launch of the AI tip series. The combination of a pre-orifice and venturi produces large, drift-resistant droplets. TeeJet felt it was necessary to develop this product due to the continued growth in the use of non-selective herbicides like Roundup. These types of chemicals drastically increased the demand for products that reduce spray drift.

    The Next Century – GPS Guidance & Precision Technology

    The turn of the century lead to further product enhancements and new technologies that allow end users to become more accurate and more efficient. In 2000, the Mid-Tech Swath XL lightbar launched and marked the entrance of TeeJet into the growing GPS guidance market. 

    Then, in 2006 the CenterLine 220 revolutionized the GPS market – it brought GPS guidance functionality to every farmer due to the simplicity, reliability, and affordability. Easy operation paired with quick installation make this product appealing and quickly grew its popularity. You can view the CenterLine 220 here. Another important introduction in 2006 was the Turbo TwinJetspray tip. This was the next generation as it offered a twin spray pattern with superior drift control. Market demand for twin spray patterns experienced a rebirth during the early 2000s and TeeJet sought to capitalize on this trend. 

    2009 came along with another large advancement in the GPS market with the introduction of the Matrix guidance console. This product features a 3-D touchscreen interface and brings GPS guidance with live video to form the patented RealView guidance over video feature. The Matrix quickly became the preferred platform for GPS guidance. Additionally, this product allowed end users to leverage new technology called FieldPilot. Which further enhanced efficiencies and helped to reduce waste through features such as auto-steering and automatic boom section control. The Matrix 430 can be viewed here and the Matrix 570 can be viewed here

    The Aeros 9040 field computer was introduced in 2012 and emerged as the most powerful controller offered in TeeJet history. This field computer is targeted towards the self-propelled OEM market. Functionalities include GPS guidance, automatic rate control, automatic boom section control and droplet size monitoring. 

    In 2017, TeeJet introduced a couple more key products. The TTI60 TwinJet and the DynaJet Flex 7140. The TTI60 TwinJet tip/cap combined flat spray patterns and ultimate drift control capabilities of the proven TTI spray tip. The DynaJet Flex 7140 brought Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) nozzle control to the TeeJet family of electronics. The unit boasts ISOBUS compatibility for seamless integration into a wide range of control systems and machines. 

    The Dultmeier Sales-Spraying Systems Co. marriage goes back many years. Back to the days of just two brass spray tips and the introduction of anhydrous ammonia as a fertilizer into the agricultural industry. It’s nostalgic to look back and see how far we’ve come. But we are eager to see what the future holds. 

    We hope you enjoyed this manufacturer highlight of Spraying Systems Co. – TeeJet. Stop by in the future or check out more posts here. As always, if you enjoyed this post – please give us a share.

    (0) Sprayer Productivity – How to Increase & Achieve a Greater ROI

    What do we look for in a sprayer? 

    Is it to merely kill weeds?  How well does a certain sprayer kill weeds?  The size – is bigger necessarily better?  Or, do we also need to assess the value of that sprayer against how long it spends in each field?  All these questions should be carefully considered when making a large investment into a piece of equipment that drastically affects the yield of your crop(s).

    After all, a sprayer is one of your most important asset management tools when maintaining and ensuring your crop health – thus effectively ensuring that you get the most out of your yields – regardless of the crop you’re raising.  Therefore, I think the answer to the questions above is that we must absolutely consider each question when determining a true Return on Investment (ROI) for a sprayer – regardless of the operation size or scope. 

    In this write-up we will assess the four questions above.  To start, let’s dissect each question at a high, strategic level.  

    How Well Does a Certain Sprayer Kill Weeds?

    This is a somewhat loaded question as chemical types, brands, and mix rates are involved.  But if your accessory products/equipment, which are used to move the solutions onto the plants are lacking, then your sprayer effectiveness will undoubtedly be lacking, as well.  Therefore, we must consider year-end maintenance programs.  Boom-end flow rates, line obstructions in accessory products such as strainers and valves.  Leaking pump seals, poor shaft alignment, and worn spray tips all factor into the efficiency and productivity of your sprayer.  Neglect these important features of your sprayer and your operation, and your crop yields will undoubtedly suffer.  So, to answer the question outlined in the opening paragraph – your accessory products, that are used to help move solutions, – are just as important to your operation as the sprayer itself.

    Year-End Maintenance

    It is necessary that a season-end maintenance program is followed to ensure your operation sees success in the ensuing season.  Follow our recommended winterization process.  Hoses, pumps, motors/engines, valves, strainers, and spray tips should all be inspected to help create a post-season inventory/repair list, in preparation of the upcoming season. 

    Spray Tip Selection

    Have the proper spray tips been selected for the job(s)?  Consult your local agronomist for specific details on the product(s) you will be spraying for the upcoming season.  When spraying Dicamba products, only specific spray tips are approved for each product – and at specific pressure ranges.  You can read another post related to Dicamba. Undoubtedly, always check the label of the product you are spraying to ensure you are spraying “on label”.  You can have all bases covered in preparation for an upcoming season.  However, if you choose incorrectly on spray tips – or size your spray tip orifices incorrectly based upon the rates you intend to apply – the consequences could be catastrophic to your operation – or your neighbors’ operations.  Here is a tip sizing tool from TeeJet.

    Sprayer Size

    Does bigger necessarily mean better?  It depends. If you’re out in western Nebraska and have straight runs for a mile plus, then you may want to consider 120-foot booms with auto steer functionality.  However, if you’re in Western Iowa and you have many fields that are 75 acres or less, you probably want to opt into a smaller, more agile spray package.  Regardless of your choice, one question should drive your purchasing decision – what is the potential ROI?

    Speed and Efficiency

    How long does it take to spray each field and how many acres do you anticipate covering daily?  This should be one of the largest focal points when assessing your operation.  Don’t focus on non-productive time in an operational day (i.e. travel from field to field, rinse-out, rain/wind delays).  These are variables that we have little to no control over.  

    However, a large area in which we do have control over is nursing, or fill, times.  If you can cut your fill times, regarding both fuel and chemical, how much more productive can you make your operation?  Let’s look at some products that can help you achieve this task.  First, let’s look at a study done by Praxidyn’s Doug Applegate, regarding average sprayer price in comparison with cost per acre/hour.  The numbers displayed reflect average prices/costs from various suppliers/operators in a regional area in Western Iowa.

    Increase Sprayer Productivity Chart


    • Slower loading times increase the cost per acre/hour of productivity.  Increased cost ranges from 26 to 42 percent.
    • Spending 10% more for larger capacity/coverage in a sprayer will increase productivity roughly 8%.
    • Spending 7% more for an automated mixing system can increase productivity by 20% to 30%.
    • Smaller sprayers are actually more cost effective for their capacity. 

    The main takeaway here is that, in general, an operation can lower operating costs by, roughly, 20%.   Let me repeat….20%.  And by simply shaving off 10 minutes from fill times.  It’s important to note, as the sprayer size increases, the cost savings are reduced.  For instance, a sprayer with a 600-gallon tank and 90-foot boom can effectively realize over 29% savings by reducing fill times down to 5 minutes.  Consequently, when looking at a sprayer with a 1200-gallon tank and 120-foot boom, we see about 20% cost savings. 

    Praxidyn MixMate

    The Praxidyn system allows users to automate loads.  You can prepare loads the night before from your living room while watching TV or from an office chair.  Send the loads to the operator in the field.  No math needs to be done by the operator.  The biggest change the operator would make to the load is regarding weed height.  Upon arrival to the field, if the operator notices weed height on the order calls for six inches, and the weed height is actually 10 inches – the operator can make that adjustment to the order and the software will recalculate input quantities on the fly – no math is needed.  

    Another value-added feature to the MixMate system is the ability to track and record data. Through the cloud-based software, a user can record exactly how much product was applied to each field – and the exact time of the load or batch. This will continue to be ever-more important as regulations continue to tighten. 

    Praxidyn Mixing Automation

    Praxidyn MixMate Fusion

    MixMate Fusion – New for 2019


    We hope that you enjoyed this write-up on increasing sprayer efficiencies. Should you have any questions or feedback don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at!

    (0) Inventory Levels Matter at Dultmeier Sales - Proof In the Pudding

    JIT vs. Quarterly Inventory Strategies

    Inventory management and the best strategy to successfully achieve maximum efficiency. It’s the long-standing question of any distribution or supply channel.  What is the best methodology to follow when managing inventory?  Just-in-Time (JIT) relies heavily on the concept of inventory turns.  The more inventory turns, the less carrying cost a supplier must maintain.  Lower carrying costs result in a lower market resale price.  

    JIT is one method by which suppliers can help control their costs.  Why order a year’s worth of inventory when you can rely on the supply chain to help “offload” some of those costs on your partners?  Furthermore, a JIT strategy allows the business to ebb and flow with demand fluctuations within their respective market(s). 

    In certain instances, a JIT strategy does hold merit.  However, at Dultmeier Sales we have a contrarian approach to this type of strategy.  While we have certain products lines where a JIT strategy does work, there are other lines where we cannot afford to not have the products on the shelf – and ready to ship promptly.

    Our business is an extremely cyclical one.  Roughly 50% of our revenue comes in about a three-month period.  Due to the nature of our business, we must have inventory on-hand.  Therefore, we load up heavy in the fall and winter in preparation for the spring season.  In doing so, we allow our customers to use a JIT approach to run their businesses.  This helps our customers lower their carrying costs & provide them with fast deliveries.  Furthermore, when critical equipment failure occurs – we have the products on the shelf to get them back to operational status – as soon as possible.  

    What We Do For You

    We pride ourselves on being a business partner of this nature.  Inventory levels are something we constantly focus upon and look for ways in which we can continually provide better service levels with higher order fill rates and faster, more accurate shipping.  

    What We Can Do For You

    Because let’s face it, when you’re down and out – you need the part or piece of equipment fast.  By maintaining considerably larger inventory levels than the competition, we can effectively promise a 95%+ fill rate on stock orders.

    That means if you order 20 items – we have 19 in stock ready to ship promptly.  And most of the time it’s consolidated from one origination point – meaning we help lower and control freight costs for our customers – by reducing multiple shipment orders.  Consequently, one shipment means one freight bill. 

    Who We Are

    In addition to healthy inventory levels, we pride ourselves on warehouse accuracy.  In all honesty, if we have the item on the shelf, but cannot get it to the customer for whatever reason – we didn’t live up to our promise of impeccable service.  Therefore, it has been and will continue to be our long-standing goal to exceed and maintain 99.8% shipping accuracy.  This means we accurately ship the item(s), and quantities, written on the sales order over 99/100 times.  

    You need it – We have it. That was fast.  Pretty simple concept.  But, to produce extreme simplicity, one must solve the extremely complex.  Therefore, we continue to invest in ourselves and our operating systems.  We continually invest in our people and technology to ensure that we constantly improve and strive for the ever elusive 100% success rate for our customers.

    Additional Value Added Services

    We back our inventory strategy up with some of the best technical expertise in the industries we serve.  With over 250 years of combined technical experience, we have most likely run across your application question.  Furthermore, if we don’t know, we will help to provide a solution that improves the efficiency of your operation – all the while, doing our best to help lower your operating costs. We invest in our people, technology, and inventory to make your business more profitable and efficient.

    We also want to highlight the fact that we have a Free Freight Program that runs throughout the year. This can further help reduce costs for our customers to help them maintain a higher level of profitability. You can check out our Free Freight Program right here


    (0) Banjo Liquid Handling Products

    The Inception of Banjo

    The story of Banjo starts in a small garage in Crawfordsville, Indiana.  We need to go back to 1959 to see where the spark ignited for Banjo.  Jack Canine set out to solve problems by offering high quality products - and nothing short of that attribute.  Soon after he set out to accomplish this feat, he was able to move out of the garage and established Terra-Knife.  Which was a small fertilizer knife supplier that focused on delivering quality products to farmers throughout the United States.

    As the agricultural industry grew, so did the small supply company known as Terra-Knife.  Jack Canine and his team recognized the need to expand their product offerings.  The company quickly began offering ball valves and cam lever couplings.  Shortly after this product line expansion the company was renamed to Terra-Products, in an effort to better represent its added product offerings.

    The name Banjo Corporation came as a result of Jack Canine’s personal hobby and love for the stringed instrument.  An additional factor was that the shape of one of the company’s newly heralded key products, the ball valve, somewhat resembled a banjo.  Thus, Terra-Products transformed into present day Banjo Corporation and rapidly expanded their production capacities of polypropylene products.

    Banjo Corp Poly Valves and Fittings

    4-Bolt Ball Valves


    Current Day Banjo

    Let's time warp forward a few decades to 2006.  Banjo Corporation joined IDEX Fluid & Metering Technologies Division.  This further strengthened the IDEX global position and allowed them to deliver complete fluid handling solutions for Agricultural and Industrial applications.  In today’s marketplace, Banjo is recognized as a world-class producer of a broad and diverse range of mechanical/electrical valves, self-priming centrifugal pumps, and fittings for agriculture and various industrial applications.  The Banjo name is prevalent wherever quality fluid handling solutions are required throughout the world.

    Banjo boasts a large fleet of molding presses and numerous machining and assembly cells.  OEM customers worldwide trust Banjo due to the long track record of delivery quality products.  This sets Banjo apart from the rest of the pack:

    • Part specification tolerances at one-ten thousandth of an inch
    • 36 plastic injection-molding presses
    • Capacity of up to 17,000 valves produced each day
    • 3-day lead-times
    • 98%+ first-pass yield

    Commitment to Quality Control

    In order to maintain their quality, Banjo has implemented various checks throughout their manufacturing process:

    • Multiple finished goods inspections
    • Daily process checks to isolate potential issues
    • Monthly Rapid Improvement Events to identify opportunities where operations can be improved
    • Inbound material inspection

    Jack Canine ingrained a commitment to product innovation at the inception of this organization.  That commitment to product innovation has continued since 1959, when Jack set out to design a better knife to apply anhydrous ammonia.  Not only is Banjo committed to product innovation but to customer-driven innovation.  Some examples of that include:

    • Quick-change manifold systems to improve ease-of-use and versatility
    • Electric valve product line tailored to specific OEM needs
    • Patented Dry-Mate dry disconnects which tremendously reduce the possibility of spillage

    The Banjo name is synonymous with high quality products delivered on time.  From oilfield applications all the way to cornfield applications you can see the Banjo name prominently displayed on various valves, fittings, and couplers.  Here is a link to our Banjo manufacturer page on  We hope you enjoyed this manufacturer highlight.  Stop back any time!