The use of pesticides on agricultural crops has been around for centuries but it wasn't until the 1800s that the industrial revolution saw the first use of pesticides. It is thought that the first use was in Bordeaux, to control pests on the valuable vines there.
These early versions were simply hand held, with a hand pump to build up some pressure in the vessel which was then used to release the spray via a nozzle. The same sort of arrangement can be seen in domestic garden sprayers today.
Of course, there have been many advances since those early days, such as pressure regulators and dosage controls to achieve an even spray but the actual elements of the sprayer haven't changed that much and are relatively simple in operation. These consist of a reservoir, to hold the pesticide, fertiliser or fungicide solution. There will also be a pump of some kind to provide the pressure to force the liquid out of the sprayer and on to the field. There will be lines to carry that liquid to nozzles, which are designed to create a fine and even spray, depending upon the requirements of the crop. Later models may also add some sophistication, such as filters to keep the machine from clogging.
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A tractor mounted sprayer may have a tank of larger capacity, perhaps ranging from 100 to 500 gallons. The pump of the unit will be connected to the power take off shaft (PTO) or it may be driven by a separate hydraulic motor. The nozzles of the sprayer will be attached to booms of varying lengths, some of them quite considerable in size, and these can be fixed to the front or back of the tractor or slung amidships, underneath the vehicle.
The tractor mounted sprayer is a simple device with mature technology, and a used tractor mounted sprayer should be relatively easy and cheap to maintain.
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