The importance of cleaning and decontaminating spray equipment after herbicide applications cannot be over-stated. Crops and pastures have been severely damaged and destroyed by spray equipment that was not thoroughly cleaned before use.
Grass control herbicides (such as Verdict®, Fusilade®, Correct®, Select®, Targa® and Sertin®) have an ability to strip residues of broadleaf herbicides (particularly sulfonylurea herbicides such as Glean® and Logran®) from spray tanks and lines. These very small concentrations can be extremely damaging to winter cereal and summer crops like canola, sunflowers, cotton, pulses and legumes and other desirable broadleaf vegetation.
Take particular care to follow the directions on the product label for cleaning and decontaminating spray equipment.
Note: Rinse water should be discharged into a designated disposal area.
A number of tank and equipment cleaners are commercially available (see below).
|Herbicide||Rate of agent/100 L water||Instructions for cleaning and decontamination|
|glyphosate (Roundup®, Raptor®, Flame®, Spinnaker®)||Clean water (*Nufarm Tank and Equipment Cleaner)||Rinse thoroughly several times with clean water before use.|
|2,4-D amineMCPA amine2,4-DBdicamba (Hormone-type, salt or amine formulations)||2 L household ammonia (*Nufarm Tank and Equipment Cleaner)||Thoroughly agitate and flush a small amount of solution through the system and let stand in sprayer overnight. Flush and rinse with clean water several times before use.|
|2,4-D esterMCPA ester (Hormone-type, ester formulations)||500 g washing soda (crystalline sodium carbonate) + 4 L kerosene+ 125 g powdered detergent (*Nufarm Tank and Equipment Cleaner)||Rinse the inside and outside of the tank and flush a small amount through the system for 15–20 minutes. Let stand for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. Flush and rinse before use.|
|atrazinesimazine||125 g powdered detergent (*Nufarm Tank and Equipment Cleaner)||Rinse with clean water before and after using the solution.|
|sulfonylurea herbicides (Glean®, Logran®, Ally®)||300 mL fresh household chlorine bleach containing 4% chlorine or 300 mL BC-45 Spray Equipment Cleaning Agent (*Nufarm Tank and Equipment Cleaner)|
|flumetsulam (Broadstrike®) chlopyralid (Lontrel®) metosulam (Eclipse®)||500 mL liquid detergent such as Surf®, Omo®, Dynamo Matic®, or 500 g of the powder equivalent||Flush the system, then quarter-fill the tank with water and add the detergent. Start the pump and circulate for at least 15 minutes. Drain the whole system. Remove and clean the filters, screens and nozzles with clean water and allow draining.|
|Herbicides for grass control in broadleaf crops and pastures such as Verdict® Fusilade®, Correct®, Select®, Targa® and Sertin®||500 mL alkali liquid detergent such as Surf®, Omo®, Dynamo Matic®, or 500 g of the powder equivalent||Before spraying cereals, maize, sorghum or other sensitive crops, wash the tank and rinse after use. Completely drain the tank and wash filters, screens and nozzles. Drain and repeat the procedure twice. To decontaminate, wash and rinse the system as above, quarter-fill the tank, add the detergent and circulate through the system for at least 15 minutes. Drain the whole system. Remove filters, screens and nozzles and clean separately. Finally, flush the system with clean water and allow to drain.|