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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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ATV-Mounted Sprayers Useful for Brush Control

LAS CRUCES -- Selective ground spraying of noxious brush and weeds is regaining popularity with many New Mexico ranchers. Fueling this revival is the increased use of four-wheel all-terrain vehicles, ATVs, for ranch purposes.


"In addition to using the vehicles for general ranch operations, many ranchers are equipping their ATVs with spray systems," said Keith Duncan, range brush control specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. "Relatively inexpensive spray equipment, combined with newer herbicide mixes and techniques, makes hand-spraying bush and weeds faster and more cost effective."

Four-wheel vehicles are generally more stable than three-wheel ATVs under a load, Duncan said. To prepare an ATV for use as a sprayer, attach a 10- to 25-gallon polyethylene tank on the rear of the vehicle.

Connect an electric pump and one to three spray hoses to the tank. "A 12-volt pump works well for herbicide spraying," Duncan said. The hoses and pump should be suitable for herbicide use and resistant to diesel fuel. This type of spray system can be set up for broadcast or selective spraying.

Duncan recommends filling the ATV's heavy-duty tires with a leak-stopping compound to reduce the number of flats.

The spray system including tank, pump, hoses and spray wand can be purchased for less than $200, Duncan said. "This is considerably less than most self-contained ground spray rigs."

For ranchers who already own ATVs, attaching an inexpensive spray system can make brush control a less daunting task.