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
Screen captures of Greenleaf Technologies’s mobile application app for agriculture on iPhone showing the home screen and an example result from their Nozzle Calculator called ‘NozzleCalc
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
Milan Kucerak, president/CEO, West Central
CropLife 100West Central Cooperative And Its New President Are A Match Made In Deviation
June 29, 2015
To appreciate just how unique West Central Cooperative is in the world of ag retail, an observer need only consider Read More
Winter Wheat
CropLife 100South Dakota Co-op Member Owners Vote No On Unification
June 26, 2015
The Boards of Directors for North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) and Wheat Growers (WG) have announced that member-owners have voted Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Acquires South Dakota Plant Nutrient Manufacturer Kay-Flo
May 20, 2015
The Andersons, Inc., ranked No. 22 on the CropLife 100, has purchased Kay Flo Industries of North Sioux City, SD. “This Read More
CropLife 100AgGateway’s Barcoding Initiative Progressing Nicely
May 8, 2015
According to legend (or Wikipedia), the first step towards modern bar codes came back in 1948, when Bernard Silver, a Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
Latest News
Agworld Apple Watch Farm Management
EquipmentAussie Data Management Software Company Making Its Mark…
July 4, 2015
Western-Australia-based Agworld — having fully launched its data management software system stateside last year after a 2013 soft launch — Read More
Topcon AGI-4 on MF Planter
EquipmentAutosteer: Compatibility, Accuracy Remain Top Of Mind
July 3, 2015
The world of automatic steering solutions in agriculture has evolved rapidly in the last few years. From after-market add-ons that Read More
ManagementUnited Suppliers/Land ‘O Lakes Merger & Crop Update
July 2, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the reasons behind the United Suppliers/Land ‘O Lakes merger and USDA’s recent Read More
Industry NewsBioSafe Adds To Sales Force
July 2, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the hire of two new members for its service team. David Britt recently joined the team Read More
Chesapeake Bay
ManagementChesapeake Bay Clean-Up Gets Renewed Attention
July 2, 2015
The Chesapeake Bay has been called one of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. It’s also one of Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
ManagementBulk Pesticide Compliance: Top 10 Areas Of Improvement …
July 1, 2015
  In honor of the 33-year run of David Letterman’s Late Show, the American Agronomic Stewardship Alliance (AASA) is happy Read More
Industry NewsArysta North America Hires Midwest Sales Manager
July 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the hiring of Brian Battles as the Senior Technical Sales Manager for the Midwest Read More
Farmer on tablet
Eric SfiligojThe Never-Ending Battle Against Modern Agriculture
July 1, 2015
In the world of comic books, the character of Superman often refers to the fight to save the world as Read More
Retail FacilitiesBuilding Up Ag Retail
July 1, 2015
In the oftentimes unpredictable world we live in, it’s nice to know some things can be reliably countered on to Read More
Retail FacilitiesMaple River Grain And Agronomy Phases In Site Developme…
July 1, 2015
Marcus Construction helped Maple River Grain and Agronomy in Casselton, ND, with the design-build of its dry fertilizer, liquid chemical/seed Read More
Retail FacilitiesA&B Welding Builds A New Liquid Terminal Hub For Br…
July 1, 2015
To build its new hub facility, Briggs Crop Nutrients enlisted the help of A&B Welding. The result, an efficient facility Read More
Edon Farmers Co-op
Retail FacilitiesNew Marcus Facility At Edon Farmers Co-op Provides More…
July 1, 2015
Edon Farmers Co-Op in Edon, OH, needed a new facility to consolidate outdated locations. Marcus Construction was able to design Read More
Retail FacilitiesKinder Morgan Expands Its Storage With A New Dome Barre…
July 1, 2015
Kinder Morgan wanted additional covered storage at its Dakota Bulk Terminal on the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. With Read More
Retail FacilitiesHeartland Tank Protects Fertilizer From Extreme Cold At…
July 1, 2015
The Arthur Companies in Harvey, ND, enlisted the help of Heartland Tank Companies to develop a new liquid fertilizer facility Read More
The McGregor Co. fertilizer loadout
Retail FacilitiesThe McGregor Co. Partners With Kahler Automation To Cre…
June 30, 2015
Kahler Automation helped The McGregor Co. expand its Clarkston, WA, operation with unstaffed loadout technology that enables customers to pick Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Helps CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative Build…
June 30, 2015
CHS Dakota Ag Cooperative in Mooreton, ND, wanted a liquid/dry blender system that could meet the needs of its customers Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes, United Suppliers To Merge Crop Inpu…
June 29, 2015
Land O’Lakes, Inc. and United Suppliers, Inc. of Ames, IA, today announced their intent to merge their crop inputs businesses. Read More
FungicidesHelena To Distribute Unique Summit Agro Fungicide
June 29, 2015
RANMAN 400 SC fungicide, the only fungicide with a FRAC group 21 designation, is now part of the innovative Summit Read More