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

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
EquipmentGPS: 25 Years And Still Growing
June 2, 2014
The evolution of global positioning systems applications in agriculture remains ongoing as the technology hits a notable milestone. Read More
CropLife 10013 Key Acquisitions Pinnacle Has Made In The First Half Of 2014
May 29, 2014
The only thing that has reached a more frenzied pace than #plant14 might be the multiple acquisitions that Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has made in the first half of the year. Read More

Latest News

EquipmentPrecisionAg.com Relaunches With Responsive Design For M…
July 22, 2014
PrecisionAg, the worldwide leader in precision agriculture information and analysis, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, PrecisionAg.com. Read More
FungicidesEPA OKs Two Willowood Fungicides
July 21, 2014
The EPA has approved Willowood Azoxy 2SC and Willowood AzoxyProp Xtra. two widely used broad spectrum, preventative fungicides with systemic and curative properties. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learning Fast As UAVs Take Off
July 17, 2014
Farmers and others interested in how UAVs can be used in agricultural applications were able to learn more about the technology during the recent Precision Aerial Ag Show. Read More
CropLife 100Bobby Knight, Richard Petty To Highlight Ag PhD Field D…
July 17, 2014
Attendees at the July 24 Ag PhD Field Day at Hefty Farms will learn about the latest agricultural technologies, and get a chance to meet legendary sports figures Bobby Knight and Richard Petty. Read More
WebinarsUpcoming Webinars
July 17, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
A finished Willmar 16-ton side-shooting tender.
TendersNew Production Facility Helps Willmar
July 17, 2014
In 1963, a group of businessmen started Willmar. Today, a half-century later, the company is one of the ag industry’s longest-running brands. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Sells Carbon Credits To Chevrolet, Donate…
July 17, 2014
CF Industries has completed the sale of a large block of carbon reduction credits to Chevrolet, and will donate the net proceeds of $600,000 to the National FFA Foundation. Read More
CropLife 100Grainland Cooperative, Minier Cooperative Grain To Merg…
July 17, 2014
The shareholders of Grainland Cooperative and Minier Cooperative Grain Co. approved a merger of company operations effective August 1, 2014. Read More
ManagementStudy: Drought Costing California Billions
July 17, 2014
A new study has found the drought has cost the state $2.2 billion, primarily in lost farm revenue and wages. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Resumes Production At Oklahoma Nitrogen C…
July 17, 2014
The company had shut down production at the Woodward, OK, facility in April to address an issue in one of the site’s boilers. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis To Relocate Agribusiness Division To Denve…
July 16, 2014
The move Eastward will allow Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division to be more accessible to relevant geographies and is expected to enhance communication and collaboration among the division’s nearly 3,000 employees. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybe…
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Drive To Thrive 10 Finalists Announced
July 15, 2014
Finalists are chosen based on the quality of their essays and photos depicting what makes them thrive. Read More
FertilizerHow To Minimize Phosphorus Losses In Runoff
July 15, 2014
Phosphorus losses from agricultural fields can be divided into three categories: flash losses of soluble phosphorus, slow leak losses and erosion events. Here's how to minimize losses in each instance. Read More
ManagementCalifornia Drought Threatens To Dry Up Farm Wells
July 15, 2014
Farmers hit hardest by California's drought could begin to see wells run dry next year, according to a new study by The Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Read More
Precision AgPoll: Do you plan to attend this year’s InfoAg Co…
July 14, 2014
This year’s InfoAg Conference is just two weeks away. The premier event in precision agriculture takes place July 29-31 at Read More
LegislationFarm Bill Implementation Continues
July 14, 2014
The bill provides $28 billion over the next five years for conservation on private lands while streamlining several old programs and creating new ones like the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Read More
MicronutrientsH.J. Baker Continues Expansion Of Atmore Facility
July 14, 2014
The company has improved its molten sulphur unloading system to help meet increased sulphur demand at Tiger-Sul’s Atmore, AL, facility. Read More