Spray Drift: Not Going Away

In story writing, there is always a definite beginning, middle and ending to each tale told. When it comes to telling the tale of spray drift, however, the pattern is much different. According to most tip manufacturers, spray drift has a beginning and a middle, but the ending will always be elusive.

“I believe spray drift challenges will increase every year,” says Carolyn Baecker, president of The CP Products Co., Inc., Tempe, AZ. “The first reason centers on regulatory issues. The EPA still wrestles with label language defining drift in a reasonable way. It isn’t easy. The definition has to be strict enough for enforcement but with parameters reasonable enough to allow spraying to be done. When a definition is finally agreed on, it will be included on chemical labels, but not on all of them all at once. Old labels will not immediately be rewritten. This problem leaves all parties in the industry, including growers, in limbo and vulnerable to litigation.”

As for the second reason for the never-ending nature of the spray drift fight, Baecker points to the litigation itself. “Organizations which want to eliminate production agriculture and any chemical spraying are well-funded,” she says. “Each year, myriad more creative lawsuits are initiated by them. When courts decide against the industry, the result may be restrictions which even conflict with federal laws and guidelines. Again, the industry is left in limbo.”

Reducing Drift

Mark Bartel, a representative for Wilger, Inc., Lexington, TN, agrees. “Interest in drift reduction technologies by regulatory agencies and at the user level has increased due in part to increased pressure from regulations and the general public,” says Bartel. “Users are searching for information to help them make intelligent choices of tips, bodies and technologies to improve application and reduce drift. Users are willing to make adjustments to practices to reduce drift as much as possible.”

According to Bartel, this includes using the technology already available to reduce the chances of spray drift occurring. “A big part of application management including application rate, drift control and runoff is the spray control systems on sprayers,” he says. “Automatic rate controllers are designed to maintain a constant application rate through the normal spraying speed range. However, the changes in pressure results in wide variances in droplet size and subsequent drift potential.”

According to Jennifer Burr, global marketing and communications manager for TeeJet Technologies, Wheaton, IL, technology will always play its role in the spray drift equation. “In our opinion, there is and always will be an ongoing demand for increased technology as it relates to spray drift,” says Burr. “The ability to control drift has increased over the past five years due to the diversity of products and spray tips available to end-users. In the past, drift was controlled in large part by varying your pressure, but these days, taking a look at the different droplet sizes and tip types available, it is apparent we now have much more control.”

To deal with these and other new technologies issues, tip manufacturers believe the industry needs to have some form of continuing education program available for users.

“We need to do a better job of educating the market about nozzles and droplet size, drift and coverage,” says Will Smart, a representative for Greenleaf Technologies, Covington, LA. “Yes, it is a balancing act, but it can be achieved. Ultimately, the challenge is doing a better job of educating everyone that has anything to do with applying ag chemicals about delivering an effective droplet spectrum without going back to the old technology that will get us into problems with drift.”

Michelle Calbeck, market coordinator for Lechler, Inc., St. Charles, IL, agrees.

“Our main issue is to continue to educate growers and their advisors about the nozzle technology that’s available and to select the right part type, size and material that’s best for their cropping practices,” says Calbeck.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Nozzles Stories

Nozzles18 Spray Nozzles That Reduce Drift, Optimize Coverage
May 7, 2014
This year’s line-up of tips feature the versatility to handle any spray job. View photos and product descriptions of the latest nozzles on the market in our slideshow. Read More
NozzlesChanging Crop Protection Landscape Demands Drift Advances
May 1, 2014
New weed control systems and growing public pressure mean technologies to minimize drift can’t come fast enough. Read More
NozzlesGreenleaf Launches Free NozzleCalc App
January 16, 2014
Quickly calculate sprayer settings for TurboDrop and AirMix nozzles anywhere with the new Greenleaf Technologies Nozzle Calculator app. Read More
NozzlesTeeJet Technologies Launches New Droplet Size Monitor, Guidance System
July 24, 2013
TeeJet has unveiled two new products: the Sentry 6120 Droplet Size Monitor, which helps operators improve spray applications, and the Matrix Pro GS guidance system with enhanced swath control. Read More

Trending Articles

Green Valley Ag facility
Retail FacilitiesGreen Valley Ag Adopts A.J. Sackett’s Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology At New Facility
July 8, 2014
Sackett's Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology is making huge strides around the world. Green Valley Ag adopts the technology at its new facility to support its advancing agronomic needs. Read More
Retail FacilitiesWaconia Manufacturing Builds Facility Designed For Speed, Efficiency
July 7, 2014
To make its new hub facility more efficient, Cooperative Elevator enlisted the aid of Waconia Manufacturing. Read More
EquipmentSummer Show Preview 2014: Superior Sprayers Take The Field
July 3, 2014
In this final installment of our coverage of the major categories of Big IRON that retailers can expect to test-drive at this summer’s events, here is a look at 19 sprayers. Read More
Scouting a soybean patch at Green Valley Ag.
EmployeesCropLife Compensation Survey: Battling Talent Drain
July 2, 2014
Retailers too often lose employees to companies outside of agriculture, while recruiting efforts are most often limited to competitors and other ag-focused organizations. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces SureStart II Herbicide
June 16, 2014
The enhanced formulation has improved viscosity and increased stability under heat and controls more than 60 high-anxiety grasses and broadleaf weeds found in corn fields. Read More
HerbicidesBASF Investing $270 Million To Expand U.S. Herbicide Production
June 11, 2014
BASF has invested more than $270 million to expand herbicide production capacities in the U.S., including more than 20 new products to be launched over next two years. Read More

Latest News

StewardshipMonsanto Joins Panel Of Innovators To Advance Research …
July 30, 2014
Monsanto Co. and The Climate Corp., its division, recently joined a roundtable of experts at the White House to share ideas and research approaches to help the world’s farmers manage and adapt to the impact of climate change on the global food supply. Read More
Crop InputsSoybean Checkoff Produces Big ROI
July 30, 2014
Under the soy checkoff program, all U.S. soybean farmers contribute a small percentage of their gross soybean sales for research and marketing projects that maximize their profit potential. Read More
CropLife 100Learfield Sports, CHS Agree To Football-Centric, Colleg…
July 30, 2014
CHS Inc. will embark on a highly integrated collegiate sports sponsorship platform with 24 Division I universities in 19 states designed to reach the farmer-owned cooperative's rural owners and customers. Read More
LegislationUSDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision
July 30, 2014
The new Supplemental Coverage Option, available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Forms New Organizational Structure For Its…
July 30, 2014
The new structure will provide more responsive internal support and will allow regional vice presidents and area managers to spend more time with customers, on talent development and on operational excellence across branches. Read More
Palmer pigweed in cotton
HerbicidesNew Training Modules On Herbicide Resistance Now Availa…
July 30, 2014
The Weed Science Society of America has announced the availability of three new education modules on herbicide resistance in weeds. Read More
HerbicidesWillowood To Market Glufosinate
July 28, 2014
Willowood USA recently announced that Federal EPA has approved its technical registration for glufosinate. Read More
InsecticidesHow To Scout For Corn Earworms In Corn
July 28, 2014
In her weekly report, University of Missouri Agronomy Specialist Jill Scheidt discusses what to look for when scouting for corn earworm. Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer, Weyerhaeuser Enter Technology License A…
July 28, 2014
The agreement brings together agricultural and forestry know-how to sustainably improve crop productivity for corn growers around the world. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Launches Global iPad App
July 28, 2014
The free AGCO Global iPad App can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store and features the full family of RoGator self-propelled sprayers and TerraGator high-floatation spreaders. Read More
Eric SfiligojYuma Centennial Ag Supply Earns 2014 National Environme…
July 28, 2014
Colorado-based ag retailer receives top trophy in 24th annual DuPont Crop Protection/CropLife ceremony. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Forms Alliance With Wildlife Managment, Seed O…
July 25, 2014
The strategic alliance will provide Tecomate with key wildlife products, processing facilities, distribution centers and sales through Pinnacle’s ever-growing retail network. Read More
ManagementFranken Presses White House On RFS Support
July 25, 2014
Al Franken and a group of Senate democrats recently met with senior White House official John Podesta to urge the administration to change its position on an EPA proposal. Read More
ManagementASA, FarmLink To Launch ‘Operation Benchmark̵…
July 25, 2014
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and FarmLink are teaming up to help farmers close the $11 billion gap between what they harvested in 2013 and what they could harvest annually. Read More
StewardshipNorthey: Farmers Commit $1.4 Million to Try New Water Q…
July 25, 2014
The practices that are eligible for funding include cover crops, no-till or strip till and using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learn How Changing World Will Impact Iowa
July 24, 2014
Technology and understanding global consumer demand for Iowa farm products brought hundreds of farmers and agribusiness leaders to Ames recently for the annual Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Economic Summit. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue: Late Season Weeds May Require Manual Removal
July 24, 2014
Hand-rouging and pulling late season weeds by hand may be the best way to remove them, more so than using a herbicide, a Purdue Extension weed scientist says. Read More
Soybean Field
InsecticidesTransform WG, Closer SC Insecticides Receive R&D 10…
July 23, 2014
Dow AgroSciences has received the award from R&D Magazine for Transform WG insecticide and Closer SC insecticide with Isoclast active. Read More