February 09, 2016 at 8:41 am

Pesticide applicators are under intense pressure to minimize damage and exposure caused by off-target spray drift and spray volatilization. There are several factors that affect a spray droplet throughout the application cycle – while it is in the tank, through the air, and on the target. We can minimize off-target spray drift while also ensuring quality spray mixes, improving target placement, and optimizing retention and coverage.

Here are 10 easy steps to minimize off-target spray drift:

1. Clean the entire spray system.

It is fundamental to clean the entire sprayer system as residual active ingredients from previous spray mixes can dry or settle in places that are difficult to reach, such as hoses. There, the built-up residue can interact adversely with components in a new spray mix.

2. Consider water quality.

Water quality and pH are also important as water conditioning agents may be needed to ensure performance of the spray solution, especially with the upcoming new herbicide technologies.

3. Mix in the proper order.

Adding products in the incorrect sequence may cause compatibility issues.

4. Follow label recommendations.

Applicators and growers should always follow labeled instructions.

5. Watch the weather.

Weather factors as wind speed and direction, humidity, thermal inversions and temperature should be fully considered before making spray applications to avoid drift.

6. Select the correct nozzle.

Depending on the chemistry being applied, 200-600 micron size droplets are ideal. Understanding the droplet size and proper nozzle selection are essential for proper spray application placement.

7. Spray at the correct pressure.

8. Use drift reduction adjuvants.

9. Consider innovative new chemistries that enhance droplet retention, droplet coverage, and product absorption.

Reaching and retaining droplets on the target plant can be maximized by reducing the kinetic energy to minimize droplet bounce. Adjuvant technologies can enhance droplet retention and coverage on the target surface, which increases product absorption by promoting product movement into the plant.

10. Learn more about Total Spray Droplet Management

Do this (and earn continuing education credits for pesticide applicators) by attending one of our Winter Education Seminars offered in Central Ohio on February 17 and 18.

Click on the image above to download the infographic.

Chip Houmes
Precision Labs