Is using a patternator important?

It has been estimated that only 55% of the spray from an airblast sprayer actually hits its intended target. The remaining 45% either hits the ground or becomes airborne as spray drift. Use of a patternator can reduce spray drift up to 90% and reduce pesticide use up to 20%. A patternator can reduce costs and increase productivity from reduced pesticide use and better application. The use of a patternator allows the farmer to adjust the size, position and orientation of the spray nozzles to maximize the distribution of the spray within the plant canopy. Precise application of proper rates is also required to reduce the possibility of inducing pesticide resistance.

Are patternators available?

Europe has been the leading area for developing vertical patternators for orchard and vineyard sprayers. Patternators are in use in Europe to test airblast sprayer design and calibration. The European models are quite expensive for an individual grower who may only need to use a patternator once or twice a year.

In the United States Dr. Andrew Landers of Cornell University has been a leading researcher in vertical patternators and promoting their use. In early 2006, Dr. Landers and visiting professor, Dr. Emilio Gil of the Universitat Polit├ęcnica de Catalunya of Barcelona, Spain each designed a vertical patternator. The patternator designed by Dr. Landers (Cornell design) had a total parts cost of $489.20, while the one designed by Dr. Gil (UPC design) had a total parts cost of $820.33. Information on building these patternators is available at

A lower cost patternator

In 2010 a Northeast SARE farmer grant was awarded to aid in the develop of a lower cost and more efficient vertical patternator than the current Cornell design of patternator. A Northeast SARE farmer grant was also awarded in 2012 to continue the study of low cost and efficient vertical patternators. Funds were also contributed by Landey Vineyards and Martin Keen. The project leader was Martin Keen. The website was designed by Codoba Consulting.