New Book On Air-Assisted Spraying Available Soon

Cover photo of book Airblast 101: Your Guide to Effective and Efficient Spraying, Second Edition

We’re happy to announce the development of “Airblast101 – Your Guide to Effective and Efficient Spraying, 2nd edition”.

The book began in 2010 as a classroom-based workshop for Ontario’s airblast sprayer operators. It was intended as a primer and decision-support tool for operators to become safer, more effective and more efficient.

After several prior iterations, the first textbook edition was made freely available in 2015 as an ePub, or at cost in hard copy. It won the 2016 Canadian Agri-Marketing Association’s “Certificate of Merit” in the Special Publications Category. Well over a thousand copies have been circulated worldwide… but it was never really intended for an international audience.

And so, in late 2019, US sprayer specialist Mark Ledebuhr (Application Insight LLC) and NZ sprayer specialist Dr. David Manktelow (Applied Research and Technologies Ltd.) kindly agreed to co-author a second edition. Once completed, it will once again be freely available as an ePub, or at cost via print-on-demand publishing.

We anticipate availability by the end of 2020. We will continue to update interested parties on our progress and how to eventually order copies at:

Why a second edition?

The familiar “Airblast 101” title is, perhaps, no longer accurate. The original emphasis was on the classic, low profile radial design developed in the 1940’s when it was recognized that pushing spray with air gave better coverage with less water. These sprayers continue to dominate in specialty crops around the world because they are simple, economical, and can operate effectively across a wide range of canopy forms and planting geometries.

But, air-assist sprayer design has evolved and diversified. With this new edition we’ve broadened the scope to include all air-assist sprayers. We hope to introduce you to equipment and practices you may never have personally encountered. We will also give you the tools to assess their relevance to your operation. This required a deeper dive into the physics of spraying, but we’ve kept the tone conversational and relied heavily on illustration to make concepts accessible.

The new edition continues to focus on three central themes:

  • Understanding the forces that influence air and spray droplet behaviour.
  • How to configure a sprayer to optimize coverage and minimize waste.
  • How to evaluate spray coverage.

So, perhaps you’re new to air-assist spraying and deciding which sprayer is right for your operation. Perhaps you’re an experienced operator re-evaluating your practices. Maybe you’re a farm manager, a government pesticide regulator, an agricultural extension specialist, an equipment manufacturer, a consultant, an agrichemical sales representative or a researcher. No matter your perspective, if you’re interested in air-assisted spraying, the new edition will have something for you.


  • Chapter 1: The six elements of spraying
  • Chapter 2: What is an air-assist sprayer?
  • Chapter 3: How air behaves
  • Chapter 4: Air handling systems
  • Chapter 5: Liquid handling systems
  • Chapter 6: Atomization systems and droplet size
  • Chapter 7: Canopy
  • Chapter 8: Spraying strategy
  • Chapter 9: Measuring sprayer air
  • Chapter 10: The ribbon test
  • Chapter 11: Configuring sprayer air
  • Chapter 12: Transfer efficiency
  • Chapter 13: Canopy deposition
  • Chapter 14: Reconciling rate and coverage
  • Chapter 15: Assessing coverage
  • Chapter 16: Calibration
  • Chapter 17: About hydraulic nozzles
  • Chapter 18: Loading and mixing
  • Chapter 19: Sprayer sanitization
  • Chapter 20: Start-up and storage
  • Chapter 21: Stewardship
  • Appendix 1: Sizing a pump
  • Appendix 2: Rate controllers
  • Appendix 3: Product rate calculations
  • Appendix 4: Electrostatics

Dr. Jason Deveau
Dr. Jason Deveau

Application Technology Specialist, OMAFRA