Pesticide drift management
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Pesticide Drift Management. Dr. Eric P. Prostko Extension Weed Specialist University of Georgia. Pesticide Drift Management Topics For Discussion. definition types of drift factors affecting drift equipment management. What is pesticide drift??.

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Pesticide Drift Management

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Pesticide drift management

Pesticide Drift Management

Dr. Eric P. Prostko

Extension Weed Specialist

University of Georgia

Pesticide drift management topics for discussion

Pesticide Drift ManagementTopics For Discussion

  • definition

  • types of drift

  • factors affecting drift

  • equipment

  • management

What is pesticide drift

What is pesticide drift??

  • the movement of the pesticide away from the target area.

  • physical drift

  • vapor drift

Spray drift is undesirable

Spray drift is undesirable!!

  • inefficient use of equipment and time

  • under-application/ineffective control

  • litigation concerns

  • unintentional contamination of foodstuffs

  • air/water pollution

  • livestock and human health/safety

Corn and grain sorghum yield loss from simulated staple drift college station 1994

Corn and Grain Sorghum Yield Loss From Simulated Staple Drift, College Station, 1994.

Applied 30 DAP

Physical drift

Physical Drift

  • movement of pesticide away from target during application

  • droplet size

  • boom height

  • weather

Pesticide drift management 1370874

Studies have shown that equipment and its operation are responsible for 68-90% of the physical drift problems while weather accounts for 10-32%.

D. B. Smith et al., 1982

Physical drift droplet size

Physical DriftDroplet Size

  • measured in microns

  • hair - 50 microns

  • 20-370 micron range

  • 200 micron average

  • smaller drops increase drift potential (< 100)

Fall rate of various size droplets

Fall Rate of Various Size Droplets

Relationship of particle size to drift

Relationship of Particle Size to Drift

Based upon 10’ fall in 3 MPH winds

Physical drift droplet size1

Physical DriftDroplet Size

  • nozzle selection

  • Drift Guard Nozzles

    * reduces volume of

    droplets below 200

    microns up to 65%

  • Raindrop Nozzles

    * 0.7% - 200 microns

    or less

Physical drift spray boom height

Physical DriftSpray Boom Height


* Easy and inexpensive

* Wide-angle nozzles can be placed lower to the ground but also produce smaller droplets.

Physical drift weather

Physical DriftWeather

  • wind speed/direction

    * most important

  • temperature

  • humidity

  • inversions

Physical drift temperature inversions

Physical DriftTemperature Inversions



Physical drift other factors to consider

Physical DriftOther Factors to Consider

  • nozzle orientation

  • spray pressure

  • spray volume

Physical drift nozzle orientation

Physical DriftNozzle Orientation

  • ground speeds > 10 MPH

  • 450 or more from perpendicular

30% < 100 microns

88% < 100 microns

Influence of spray pressure on droplet size flat fan nozzle 0 6 gpm

Influence of Spray Pressure on Droplet SizeFlat Fan Nozzle - 0.6 GPM

Physical drift spray volume

Physical DriftSpray Volume

  • most effective means to increase spray volume is to increase nozzle orifice size

  • i.e. 8002 vs. 8003 vs. 8004

Vapor drift

Vapor Drift

  • the volatilization or evaporation of a pesticide from the soil or crop surface that occurs after application.

  • Factors that influence vapor drift include:

    *vapor pressure/volatility

    * temperature

    * wind speed

Vapor drift can occur even days after the application

Vapor drift can occur even days after the application





Sensitive Crop

Vapor pressure values of various chemicals @ 77 0 f

Vapor Pressure Values of Various Chemicals@ 770F

Note: The higher the number the more volatile the chemical.

Pesticide drift management equipment modifications

Pesticide Drift ManagementEquipment Modifications

  • shielded spray boom

  • covered boom

  • hooded-sprayers

  • air-assist systems

  • electrostatic spraying

Pesticide drift management drift control agents

Pesticide Drift ManagementDrift Control Agents

  • “thickeners”

  • increase droplet size of pesticide/water mixes

  • $0.10-$1.00/A

  • 38F, Anchor, Array, Border, Chem-Trol, Corsair, Direct, Drifgon, Driftgard, Drop Zone, Get Down, Lo-Drift, More, Nalcotrol, Submerge, Sta-Put, Windfall

Drift fallout as influenced by pressure and nalcotrol

Drift Fallout As Influenced By Pressure and Nalcotrol

Source: W. Bowers. 1975. Ohio State Univ. Extension, Facts #1203.

Top 10 tips for reducing pesticide drift

nozzle selection

reduce pressure

lower boom height

increase nozzle size

avoid spraying when winds exceed 10 MPH

lookout for inversions

use additives

calibrate sprayer

keep records

use common sense

Top 10 Tips For Reducing Pesticide Drift

References used in the development of this slide set include the following

References used in the development of this slide set include the following:

  • Reducing Spray Drift. Ohio State Univ. Extension Bulletin 816, H. Erdal Ozkan.

  • Herbicide Application Management. Sandoz Crop Protection, 1993.

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