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

Top 100 Articles

CropLife 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT, Verdesian Ink Distribution Agreement
December 9, 2014
The agreement grants BRANDT the exclusive right to sell and market Verdesian’s patented Steric chemistry in the Turf and Ornamental and eastern U.S. ag markets under the BRANDT Reaction product line name. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Colors Of Custom Application
December 5, 2014
Although many color spray rigs are in the yards of the nation’s top ag retailers, the majority of them still come in only a few shades. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Invests In Meridian Agriculture Distribution
December 4, 2014
Meridian will provide retailers with supplier-branded products and numerous opportunities to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: Entering A New Seed Era
December 4, 2014
The seed category has been re-vitalized during the past few years, and more good news (and varieties) are headed the industry’s way in 2015. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Depressed State Of Fertilizer
December 3, 2014
Following downright giddy growth earlier this decade, fertilizer sales have fallen back down to earth the past two years. Read More

Latest News

Seed/BiotechKaren Arthur Joins AgriThority As Seed Treatment Produc…
December 19, 2014
Prior to joining AgriThority, Arthur directed research and development programs, overseeing laboratory and field research, to build the Valent U.S.A. seed treatment portfolio. Read More
EquipmentJohn Deere To Sell Crop Insurance Business
December 19, 2014
Deere & Co. has reached a definitive agreement to sell its crop insurance business, subject to regulatory approval, to Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. of Iowa. Read More
Crop InputsNufarm Fills Regulatory VP Position
December 18, 2014
Nufarm announced today that Rob Schwehr has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Innovation & Regulatory Affairs for Nufarm Americas. Read More
Seed/BiotechReport: China Approves Viptera Corn, U.S. Officials Awa…
December 17, 2014
Chinese authorities have informed some agriculture industry officials the government has approved U.S. imports of a type of genetically modified corn developed by Syngenta. Read More
FertilizerMonty’s Plant Food Brings In New Sales Rep
December 16, 2014
Monty's Plant Food Company has hired Warren Kearns as its newest Sales Representative for the South Carolina area. Read More
EquipmentHagie Wins 2014 CropLife IRON Product Of The Year Award
December 15, 2014
The self-propelled sprayer maker has a hit on its hands with the new STS Series model. Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Sees China Approving Contentious GMO Corn Soon
December 15, 2014
Syngenta will make an announcement when it receives official documentation from China that Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, has been cleared for import. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Life Sciences Names Vice President Of Communi…
December 15, 2014
Amy Bugg will oversee the execution of all promotional strategies for the corporate brand and the complete product portfolio. Read More
StewardshipFarmers, Retailers Attend 4R Certification 4U Workshop
December 15, 2014
More than 160 farmers and ag retailer attended the “4R Certification 4U” workshop December 12 to learn more about the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship, water quality research in the area and cost-sharing opportunities. Read More
Matt Hopkins10 Best New Agriculture Apps For 2015
December 15, 2014
These new agriculture apps are certain to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2015 and beyond. Read More
ManagementARA Learnings, Retail Buying Intentions: Welcome To Cro…
December 12, 2014
This informal video program puts news and events effecting retailers into context, and features Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Herbicide-Tolerant Technology Closer To Commer…
December 12, 2014
The final EIS moves Monsanto one step closer to the introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, paving the way to provide access to dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement On Her…
December 12, 2014
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a final environmental impact statement on varieties of cotton and soybeans that have been genetically engineered for resistance to several herbicides, including the one known as dicamba. Read More
CropLife 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
LegislationARA Applauds CFATS Passage Prior To Holiday Adjournment
December 11, 2014
The streamlined bill provides a four-year authorization of the CFATS program and guidance to DHS on key issues of chemical facility security Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer CropScience’s ILeVO Approved By EPA
December 11, 2014
EPA has approved ILeVO, the only seed treatment that protects the root system against infections caused by the Sudden Death Syndrome fungus and has activity against dangerous nematodes. Read More
Biologicals in Emerging Markets Map.
Crop InputsBiocontrols Could Quadruple By 2025; Will Regulators Pl…
December 11, 2014
The European experience with GMOs offers caution — and a promise — for biologicals. Read More
Crop InputsBASF Donates $75,000 To Feeding America
December 10, 2014
The donation will support Feeding America’s National Produce Program, an initiative that helps with planning, transportation and logistics to ensure fresh produce deliveries to the 200 member food banks around the country. Read More