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The Conservation Farming Unit Spraying and Herbicide Information Booklet CFU established in Zambia in 1996 –

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1 The Conservation Farming Unit Spraying and Herbicide Information Booklet CFU established in Zambia in 1996 –

2 2 Whilst the Conservation Farming Unit does not formally promote the use of specific herbicides or other Crop Protection Products (CPP), farmers know from their own use of these products, whether in Conservation or Conventional Farming systems, that herbicides, when applied correctly will save many hours of backbreaking labour. For farmers who correctly apply these products there are substantial reductions in time and cost when compared with paying hired labour for hand weeding. Commercial suppliers and manufacturers have made herbicides and other CPP widely available in Zambia and across the region and many farmers are now purchasing and using them routinely on their farms, often without the benefit of adequate training. Farmers, whether CF or Conventional, will and do use these products as part of a farming system to increase cash generated and therefore to enhance their family’s quality of life. As one of the largest and most experienced providers of CF training in Zambia and beyond, it would be irresponsible on the part of the CFU not to provide the training farmers need to apply CPP correctly and safely. The CFU continues to provide comprehensive herbicide and sprayer use training to all of its staff. This training is passed on by the CFU Field Officers to the Farmer Co-ordinators who in turn pass this knowledge to all farmers who attend their training sessions. These training sessions are open to all who wish to attend and are free of charge. Many MAL staff members and staff from other NGO’s have benefited from this thorough and interactive training. This handbook has been produced by the CFU as a summary of the safe use and correct herbicide application training already provided to many thousands of farmers and spray operators and is not intended to be a substitute for face to face training.

3 3 Before considering the herbicides that are available to control weeds in field crops grown in Zambia, we must first become skilled in the correct way to apply these products using a knapsack sprayer. When choosing a knapsack sprayer it is important that a good, well made sprayer is chosen. Do not buy poor quality. A good quality sprayer will give many seasons of service, a cheap bad quality sprayer may last only one or two seasons, “buy cheap, buy twice”! Spare parts for good quality sprayers are normally available from the main supplier. This may not be true for cheaper sprayers. Opposite are some examples of good quality sprayers. Knapsack Sprayers

4 The External Components of a Knapsack Sprayer 4. Pump handle 1. Trigger valve 2. Pressure control valve 5. Lance 3. Pump 9. Spray tank 8. Tank lid 7. Delivery tube 6. Nozzle holder and nozzle 4

5 5 How Do Knapsack Sprayers Work The heart of a knapsack sprayer is the pump (3*). The pump is situated inside the spray tank (9*) and is worked by the operator moving the pump handle (4*) up and down. The upwards movement of the handle will bring diluted chemical from the tank into the pump, the downwards movement of the handle compresses this liquid inside the pump. Some operators will place a piece of plastic under the tank lid to seal it as they think that pressure will be lost here but the tank is never under pressure. There is a non- return valve in the lid which if sealed in this way will not be able to operate and will interfere with the proper functioning of the sprayer. When the trigger valve (1*) is squeezed open by the operator, the compressed diluted chemical is allowed to flow from the pump, through the delivery tube (7*) and via the trigger valve filter through the lance (5*) to the nozzle holder (6*). The diluted chemical then flows through the filter in the nozzle holder and to the nozzle (6*) where it is broken up into droplets to form a spray cloud. Some sprayers are fitted with a pressure control valve (2*). This device maintains a constant pressure at the nozzle even if the sprayer is pumped too fast, if the sprayer is pumped too slowly the valve will shut off the flow of the product to the nozzle. For details of how to spray see pages 9 - 11 of this booklet. For sprayer operator training contact your nearest CFU office (see contacts on page 27). * The numbers above refer to the numbers on the diagram on page 4

6 There are three filters fitted in most quality knapsack sprayers which help to prevent the nozzle from becoming blocked. These filters must always be in place and must always be kept clean or the sprayer may not function correctly, daily cleaning is recommended. Be very careful not to cross-thread when replacing the trigger valve or the nozzle holder, if this happens the sprayer will leak, involving an expensive repair. The third filter is situated in the nozzle holder behind the nozzle (6*) This type of filter is known as a “top hat” filter. The second filter is usually found inside the trigger valve (1*) The first filter is a sieve and is found under the tank lid (8*) * The numbers above refer to the “External Parts of the Sprayer” diagram on page 4. 6 Filters

7 The most important part of any sprayer is the nozzle. A variety of nozzles are available from retail outlets, it is essential that you buy the right type. Different nozzles are used for different purposes and for different products. One type is used for insecticides, fungicides and spraying animals only; this type of nozzle is known as a hollow cone nozzle, it must never be used for spraying herbicides. These are the nozzles that the CFU recommend for the application of herbicides with a knapsack sprayer. These are known as flat fan nozzles Above is the hollow cone nozzle; this must never be used for applying herbicides The correct nozzle must be used or money will be wasted by applying either too much herbicide, which could cause crop damage, or too little which will lead to poor weed control. 7 Nozzles Hollow Cone Nozzle Flat Fan Nozzles

8 A nozzle will not last for ever, they are usually made of plastic and will wear out. The nozzle outlet hole will get bigger with use, as it gets bigger it will emit more liquid, wasting product and your money. You will save money by buying new nozzles every other season. If a nozzle becomes blocked the blockage must be cleared:  Never blow through the nozzle to clear it, if this is done herbicide will get in your mouth and possibly your eyes, this is dangerous.  Never use a wire or a pin to clear a blocked nozzle. Nozzles are manufactured to very fine tolerances, if a hard point is used, the nozzle opening will be enlarged and distorted; the output of that nozzle and the spray pattern will be altered making that nozzle effectively unusable. 8 To unblock a nozzle, drop it into a bottle, add some clean water and shake the bottle. Remove the nozzle and hold it up to the light, if the blockage is still visible push the blockage back through the nozzle opening with a clean grass stalk, check the outlet is clear and wash the nozzle once more in the bottle with clean water.

9 9 When spraying the operator must walk at the correct speed. Walking too fast will result in a low rate of herbicide being applied, walking too slowly will result in a higher rate of herbicide being applied. To walk at the correct speed; hammer two pegs 50 meters apart into the ground in a nearby open space. Fill the sprayer with clean water only. Ask a friend or colleague to time you as you walk between the two pegs. You are walking at the correct speed if you walk the 50 metres in 45 seconds. It will take time and practice to get this right every time. The nozzle slot must be set at right angles to the direction of travel. Keep your nozzle clean, do not let it drop in the soil when you are not spraying, as this will cause nozzle damage or blockage. Align nozzle correctly Direction of travel How to Spray Correctly CFU Operator Training; Using Clean Water Only

10 10 The operator must also pump at the right speed, too fast pumping will result in too high a rate of herbicide being applied, too slow pumping, too low a rate. To learn to pump at the right speed you will need a helper, a measuring jug and a stop watch. Fill the sprayer with clean water only, place the measuring jug under the nozzle, open the trigger valve and pump with a steady slow action into the cylinder for one minute, measure the result in millilitres (cc’s). If using the orange nozzle you should pump 300mls into the cylinder in 1 minute, for the blue nozzle pump 1200mls in 1 minute. You can make a measuring jug from an empty 2litre plastic bottle. Using the measuring cup that is included with your new sprayer. Measure 300mls of water into the bottle and make a mark on the outside with a permanent marker, add another 900mls and make another mark; 300 + 900 = 1200mls, as above. CFU Sprayer Operator Training

11 The nozzle must be held at the correct height above the target. The target will be either the weeds or the ground depending on which herbicide is used, this will be explained later in this manual. The correct height above the target for crops grown in 90cm rows and when using a flat fan nozzle is 50cms. To make a guide for nozzle height; use a weight, an old car wheel nut is perfect, and a length of string. Tie the string to the weight. Cut a piece of timber to exactly 50cms. With a helper, place the nozzle on top of this and tie the string with the nut attached, behind the nozzle holder so that the nut just touches the ground when the nozzle is resting on the timber. The nut should brush along the target whilst spraying this will ensure a nozzle height of 50cms. 11 After you have perfected both walking speed and pumping speed one after the other, practice walking and pumping together whilst also holding the nozzle at the correct height, all at the same time. This is not easy but practice makes perfect. 50cms CFU Spray Operator Training Setting the Correct Nozzle Height

12 There are many different types of herbicides which have specialised uses in crop and non-crop situations. If you use the wrong herbicide you may damage your crop. Herbicides are either selective (these herbicides will kill the weeds and not the crop) or non-selective (these herbicides will kill most green plants). Non-selective herbicides, if sprayed on to your crop, will kill or severely damage it. Droplets of herbicide Systemic herbicides will move through the plant’s system, from the site where they settle on the weed, through the leaves into the roots, killing the whole plant. Soil level Contact herbicides do not move through the the plant, complete cover of the weeds is essential for total kill. 12 Herbicides are also either systemic or contact Root System Categories of Herbicides

13 Herbicides are sprayed either pre or post emergence of the crop, the weeds or both. Pre-emergence herbicides are sprayed before the crop or the weeds or both have emerged from the soil, they usually work in the soil by killing the germinating weed seedlings. Post-emergence herbicides are sprayed after the emergence of the weeds or the crop or in some cases both. Finding the right herbicide for the correct crop situation is complicated, it is essential that the right product is chosen and applied safely and accurately. The CFU Field Staff have been comprehensively trained in the use of herbicides and sprayers and will be able to advise on which herbicides to use in most crop situations. The CFU Field Staff also offer sprayer and application training. Contact the nearest CFU office for herbicide training before choosing and applying any herbicide. See page 27 for the contact details of your nearest CFU office. 13 Always follow the product manufacturers label recommendations for the correct amount of chemical and the correct time to apply.

14 14 The image below shows the damage that can be done to a potentially good crop by uninformed, untrained spray operators using herbicides. Training in the use of herbicides and in sprayer operation is essential before attempting to use these products. See page 27 for the details of the CFU office in your area where advice can be sought and training arranged. Severe Crop Damage Caused by an Untrained Spray Operator

15 15 Herbicides Used in CF Glyphosate is one of the most used and most useful herbicides in CF. Known by many trade names; Round Up is probably the most well known name for this product. Glyphosate is a post- emergence, non-selective*, systemic* herbicide. CF farmers use glyphosate to kill weeds, both annual and perennial, pre-planting of any crop. It could be said that glyphosate replaces the weed control gained by the turning of the soil by the plough or the hoe. The difference is that once the weeds are treated with glyphosate they will not grow back, even perennial grasses and their rhizomes, if sprayed correctly, will be completely killed. Glyphosate is deactivated on contact with the soil, therefore only the weeds that you can see that have emerged from the ground will be killed. If a pre-planting spray of glyphosate is the only treatment that you will use, you may also need to hand weed your crop once during the growing season. Glyphosate should be applied after the first rain showers have induced some weed growth and just before planting the crop. Read the product label for rates to use. Always use an orange nozzle for the application of glyphosate. Remember to walk and pump at the correct speed. (Refer to page 10). Never spray your crop with glyphosate, it is non-selective and will kill your crop if it is sprayed with this product. Never spray onto wet weeds. Do not spray if rain is expected, Glyphosate needs at least 4 hours of dry weather after spraying to work. Glyphosate may take up to 2 weeks to completely kill weeds Pre-planting Herbicide - Glyphosate *Refer to page 13 for explanation

16 16 Inter-Row Weeding Herbicide Although a useful tool, paraquat is a very toxic chemical to humans and animals. There is no antidote for paraquat, if it is drunk it will kill. Do not use paraquat or any other herbicides without being trained in their use. As a precaution the CFU does not recommend or promote paraquat but will advise farmers on its use if it has already been purchased. Paraquat is marketed by many companies in Zambia under the names of Gramoxone, Muparoxone, GAP paraquat and as just Paraquat, amongst others. Unfortunately paraquat is very similar in colour to most cola drinks, making it imperative to keep this product out of the reach of children. The manufacturers of Gramoxone included a number of safety additives many years ago; a colour, a stench, a thickener and an emetic (vomit inducer). These additives help in distinguishing Gramoxone as different from a cola drink but may not save a life if the product is drunk. Read the safety instructions on pages 24 - 26 of this booklet and approach CFU staff for training before attempting to use paraquat or any other herbicide. This product can also be used as a pre-planting herbicide but as it is a contact, non-systemic herbicide it will not kill perennial weeds. Paraquat is a non-selective, non-systemic, post emergence herbicide. The main use for paraquat in CF in Zambia is for inter-row weed control mostly in maize, as a “chemical hoe”. The maize must be 0.5 - 0.75m high before paraquat can be used inter-row Paraquat

17 17 For inter-row weed control use the blue nozzle, held low between the maize rows. As paraquat is a contact, non-systemic herbicide, any chemical that does come into contact with the bottom leaves of the maize will kill only those leaves, not the whole plant. Most annual weeds will be killed, perennial weeds will re-grow but may be shaded out by the crop for the remainder of the season. Paraquat: continued One person can easily spray 0.5 of a hectare, inter-row, in a working day. Hand weeding of the same area would take 8 – 10 days (CFU figures), there are therefore, potentially substantial savings in time and cash to be made by using chemical weed control instead of hiring labour for hand weeding. The Effect of Paraquat When Used as an Inter-row Herbicide

18 18 Maize Herbicides These products contain the same two chemicals, atrazine and cyanazine. They are selective, pre or early post emergence, systemic herbicides for maize only. Atrazine will control many annual broad leafed weeds whilst cyanazine will control many annual grasses. This product will not control perennial weeds such as kapinga. The chemicals in this product will continue to kill germinating weed seedlings for up to 8 weeks, long enough for the maize to shade out new emerging weed seedlings. First, spray with glyphosate to kill the weeds pre-planting of the maize using the orange nozzle. Spray again with atrazine/cyanazine just post planting. Using this method most of the annual broad leaved and grass weeds will be controlled for the duration of the maize crop. This will save much time, labour and cash, giving you a much better profit from your crop. These products work best if they are sprayed immediately post planting of the maize. They work by killing the germinating weed seedlings. The soil must be moist when sprayed (as it will be if sprayed immediately post planting) and must be followed by rain within 7 days to work effectively. Follow the label instructions as to the rate of product to use per hectare. This will vary with soil type. This product can be sprayed post emergence of the crop and weeds but never after the four leaf stage of the maize crop. Use the blue nozzle to spray these products. How to Use These Maize Herbicides Blazine, Maize Weed Killer and Excel

19 19 Stellar Star is a selective, systemic, post emergence herbicide for maize only. The active ingredients of Stellar Star are topramesone and dicamba. Stellar Star will control most annual grasses and broad leaf weeds in maize. It is sprayed post emergence of the crop and the weeds. It will not control perennial weeds such as kapinga but may suppress them long enough to allow the maize to shade them out for the rest of the season. It is most effective if sprayed when weeds are at the 3-4 leaf stage but has a wide application time window. This herbicide does have some soil residual action, this will not affect following field crops. Spray with glyphosate, pre-planting of the maize, to kill the existing weeds using the orange nozzle. Wait until the correct growth stage of the weeds and the maize and spray again with Stellar Star. Stellar Star works by bleaching the chlorophyll (green colour) of the weeds, disrupting their function and eventually killing them. Stellar Star is not immediate in action, it will take some days before this is noticeable. Use the blue nozzle to spray Stellar Star. Maize Herbicides The Effect of Stellar Star How to Use Stellar Star Stellar Star

20 20 Selective Broad-Leafed Weed Herbicide – Classic, Bean Weed Killer Classic and Bean Weed Killer (BWK) both contain the active ingredient chlorimuron ethyl, which is a post emergence, (of weeds and crop) systemic selective, annual broad leafed weed killer (BLW) for use in soya beans and groundnuts. This product may be sprayed separately or tank mixed (two or more products mixed together in the spray tank) with the correct rate of any of the grass weed killers described on page 21 to provide selective control of annual broad leafed weeds and all grasses in soya beans and groundnuts. Never use Classic on its own or in mixture with a grass weed killer to control weeds in sugar beans or any other crop or damage will be caused. How to Use Selective Broad Leafed Herbicides in Soya Beans and Groundnuts Use the blue nozzle to spray these products Soya Bean and Ground Nut Herbicides First, spray existing weeds with glyphosate, pre- planting, use the orange nozzle. Then spray with Classic or BWK when most of the weeds have emerged either on its own or in a tank mix with a selective grass herbicide; see page 21. Crop Damage Caused by Spraying Callisto on Sugar Beans.

21 21 Soya Bean and Groundnut Herbicides - continued First, spray with glyphosate after the first rain showers, pre-planting, to kill the weeds, including the perennial weeds; use the orange nozzle. Plant the crop, wait for the weeds to grow and spray with either a grass herbicide or a BLW herbicide or a tank mix of the two. The visible action of these grass weed herbicides will take some time to appear. It may take two weeks before the effect of these herbicides is visible and will be seen as a reddening of the grass weed leaves. Selective Grass Herbicides - Fusilade and Orca, Pantera, Quizate, Nova and Grass Killer, Miyidima. Fusilade and Orca contain the active ingredient fluazifop butyl ; Pantera, Quizate, Nova and Grass Killer contain the active quizalofop-P-terfuryl and Miyidima contains the active haloxyfop-P-methyl. All these herbicides are very similar and are post emergence (of weeds and crop), systemic, selective grass weed killers for use in broad leafed crops such as soya beans and groundnuts. All of these herbicides will kill annual and perennial grass weeds including kapinga if sprayed at the correct rate of product and growth stage of the weeds. How to Use Selective Grass Herbicides in Soya Beans and Groundnuts Use the blue nozzle to spray these products

22 22 Cotton Herbicides Cotton Weed Killer and Herbicon These are two of the products sold in Zambia containing the active ingredients fluometuron and prometryn. They are pre-emergence, selective, systemic herbicides for cotton only, which will control most annual grasses and broad leafed weeds, if sprayed correctly. These products will not control perennial weeds. Immediately post planting, spray with one of these products. The soil should be moist when these products are sprayed and rain should be expected within 5 days of application for these products to work effectively. First, spray with glyphosate, pre-planting, to kill existing weeds, including perennials. Use the orange nozzle. How to Use Cotton Weed Killer and Herbicon Herbicide Treated Cotton Use the blue nozzle to spray selective herbicides in cotton.

23 23 Fusilade and Orca, Pantera, Quizate, Nova and Grass Killer, Miyidima. If annual or perennial grass weeds are a problem in cotton these can be controlled selectively, post emergence of the cotton by applying one of the above systemic grass weed killers at the correct rate. These products can be applied at almost any growth stage of the crop and will even control kapinga and other destructive perennial grass weeds if sprayed at the recommended rate. Where maize is being rotated with cotton and/or soya beans and groundnuts, perennial grass weeds can be controlled in the standing crop, effectively cleaning the field of these weeds before the planting of the maize crop in the following season. See page 20 for the list of active ingredients contained in these products. How to Use Selective Grass Herbicides in Cotton First, spray with glyphosate, pre-planting to kill existing weeds. Use the orange nozzle. When it is thought that most of the perennial grass weeds have emerged, spray with one of these products at the label stated rate. The action of these herbicides is not immediate, wait for two weeks for the herbicidal action to show. Cotton Herbicides - continued Use the blue nozzle to spray these products. A Weed-Free CF Cotton Crop

24 24 Safety Reading and adhering to safety guidelines is usually considered tiresome, especially by farmers, who are used to their freedoms. However, all pesticides including herbicides, can be dangerous to the spray operator, those that are close by when these products are being used, the operator’s family and the environment, if these products are not applied correctly. On the next two pages are rules which must be read and adhered to by farmers and spray operators and passed on to all potential users of these products by CFU staff, lead farmers and experienced operators. Potential operators should not attempt to use crop protection products unless they have been properly trained. See page 27 for the details of the CFU offices. Staff will provide free herbicide training.

25 25  No pesticide or herbicide can ever be described as safe. CPP’s must always be handled with great care.  Always read the container label before use.  Never use a product that is not in the original labelled container or has a broken seal.  Always wear the correct clothing. Read the label for recommendations Ideally, when handling concentrated products wear; rubber gloves, overalls, gum boots and eye protection. When spraying, operators also should wear the above but long trousers, stout shoes (no holes) with socks, a long sleeved shirt with the cuffs and top button fastened and a hat is usually recommended.  Never eat or smoke whilst spraying. Take a break, wash your hands and then eat or smoke.  If the sprayer develops a leak, fix it immediately; do not continue spraying until it has been fixed.  After spraying any plant protection products, keep people and animals out of the sprayed area. Read the product label, it will state for how long to do this.  Always handle plant protection products in a well-ventilated place, preferably in the open air. The Safety Rules

26 26  Never transport or store these products next to food or medicine or cigarettes. Transport and store these pesticides separately.  When storing these products, keep under lock and key, outside your house, in a well-ventilated place and out of direct sunlight  Never re-use a chemical bottle. It must not be used for any other purpose. Wash the empty bottle three times with clean water (using roughly 10% of the volume of the bottle); pour these washings into the sprayer. Destroy the bottle by making holes in it. Dispose of the bottle; the most convenient method of doing this is to drop it into a pit latrine.  Never blow through nozzles or filters to clear them of blockages; wash these in clean water (see page 9).  Never spray in windy conditions. The product will drift in the wind polluting the environment and possibly causing damage to neighbouring crops. In a light breeze start spraying from the downwind edge of the field so that any drift is blown away from the operator.  After the days’ spraying, take a bath and change your clothes. Wash the contaminated clothes separately from the family wash. Safety Rules: continued

27 27 The 70 CFU Field Officers and almost 1900 Lead Farmers can train you to use herbicides safely and efficiently. This training is free of charge; for more information contact your CFU regional office:  Central Region, Kabwe; House No. 27, Marshal Avenue Street. P.O. Box 80742 Tel: 05 222343. Cell: 0965238087  Western Region, Mumbwa; House No: 652, Kalenda Street, Low Density Area, Behind New Bus Station. P.O. Box 830080. Tel: 0211 800311. Cell: 0965 238086/ 89  Eastern Region, Chipata; P.0.Box CFU 511013. Tel: 0216 223663. Cell: 0965238092/93/96  Southern Region, Choma; Plot 938, Riverside, Choma. P.O. Box 630257. Tel: 0213 221412. Cell: 0965238034/32  Mkushi; Plot 745, Prison Street, Medium Cost. Cell:0965238094/139  Mongu; ZARI Complex, BOMA Area. P.O Box 910064. Cell: 0965238039  Senanga; Plot 227, Mwanambinyi East. Cell: 0965238053 Never use herbicides without professional training. Without proper training the use of these products could damage your crops and your health.

28 Plot 297/A/9/10 Leopards Hill Road, Lusaka, Zambia. Tel: 0965238058 Email: Conservation Farming Unit

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