Fertilizer Dealer Supply is committed to providing our customers with a wide selection of agricultural spray nozzles from the leading spray tip manufacturers.

Although crop sprayer nozzles are some of the least expensive components of a sprayer, they hold a high value in their ability to influence sprayer performance.

Nozzles meter the amount of liquid sprayed per unit area, controlling application rate, as well as variability of spray over the width of the sprayer boom. Ag sprayer nozzles also influence droplet size, affecting both target coverage and spray drift risk.

Nozzles come in a wide variety of types and sizes. The best nozzle for a given application will maximize efficacy, minimize spray drift, and allow compliance with label requirements such as application rate (gallons per acre) and spray droplet size. Selecting the best nozzle requires careful consideration of all the factors listed below:

  • Sprayer operation parameters
    • Application rate, spray pressure, travel speed
  • Type of chemical sprayed
    • Herbicides (soil incorporation, pre/post emergence)
    • Insecticides
    • Fungicides
    • Fertilizers and growth regulators
  • Mode of action of chemical (spray coverage requirement)
    • Systemic
    • Contact
  • Application type (broadcast, band, directed, air assisted)
  • Target crop (field crops, vegetables, vineyard, shrubs and trees, etc.)
  • Spray drift risk

Nozzle selection

Nozzle type
Each nozzle type is designed for a specific type of target and application. For example, an ag sprayer tip designed for broadcast spraying is not good for spraying pesticides over a narrow band. Luckily, most nozzle manufacturers’ catalogues have charts showing which nozzle type will be best for a specific job. Check the websites of nozzle manufacturers to reach their catalogues. For more information, contact your county Extension office.

Nozzle size
Nozzle manufacturers’ catalogs provide tables and charts showing application rates (gallons per acre or gpa), given a nozzle’s flow rate (gallons per minute or gpm) delivered at various pressures (psi) and travel speeds (mph). These tables are useful tools for selecting the appropriate nozzles, pressure and speed to spray chemicals at application rates prescribed by product labels. However, the charts are only for a limited number of travel speed and nozzle spacing situations. There may be situations where the charts will not provide information associated with your sprayer setup (nozzle spacing) and operating conditions (travel speed and spray pressure). The Apps developed by most of the major nozzle manufacturers can provide you the exact nozzle flow rate required for any given set of application parameters and identify a specific set of nozzle recommendations for the given application parameters.

To find these Apps, simply visit the App Store in your smart phone or tablet and do a search under “Spray Nozzle Calculator”, or some other key words related to nozzle size selection. You may also want to do a search under the name of the nozzle company from which you are interested in buying the nozzles. However, some Apps are not user friendly and sometimes they do not take into account the droplet size requirements when recommending nozzles. Although the Apps and tables in catalogues may expedite the nozzle size selection process, it is best to understand the procedure and the math nozzle manufacturers use to generate the values listed in tables and to recommend nozzles in their Apps. The procedure used by the nozzle manufacturers to generate numbers in tables and in their Apps is explained in this article.

Once the exact nozzle flow rate is determined, you can then select the nozzle that will provide you the flow rate at a practical pressure setting.

The information above is taken from Ohio State University Extension’s factsheet FABE-528