Spray drift prevention takes center stage at winter meetings

Spray drift

In light of so much recent discussion over spray drift prevention, Take Action has released a handy new 1-page fact sheet on the 4 key points to reducing drift.

Spray drift, and how to prevent it from happening, has taken a renewed center stage role at winter meetings throughout the US this year. In the northeast, the Pennsylvania Agriculture Education Society annual meeting featured two hour-long presentations on spray drift and prevention by Greg Kruger from the University of Nebraska. In Tuscon, AR, The Weed Science Society of America’s annual meeting last week devoted a full-day symposium to herbicide off-site movement.  It has also been quite a hot topic in the news. A quick Google News search for “spray drift” will yield about 20 articles on drift and drift-related damages released just within the last month!

So, why so much talk about this now? Included in many of these discussions is talk of the recent federal approval of Monsanto’s XtendiMax with VaporGrip, as well as ongoing conflicts over illegal dicamba applications to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans that led to off-target dicamba drift damage to surrounding crops in several states in 2016. The XtendiMax dicamba formulation, which is now approved for use with Xtend soybeans in the US for the 2017 season, has stringent restrictions on application, buffer zones, and nozzle selection in order to prevent drift associated with dicamba. Additionally, the label places responsibility on the applicator for any damage caused to surrounding sensitive crops by XtendiMax drift.

In light of these recent developments, Take Action on Weeds has produced a handy 1-page fact sheet on the 4 main points of reducing spray drift. In summary:

  1. Nozzle selection: Choose nozzles that are appropriate for the intended use
  2. Droplet size: Smaller droplets have a greater chance of off-site movement. Applicators can affect droplet size by the boom and nozzle pressure, speed, and nozzle selection.
  3. Application speed: maintain a reasonable speed to decrease the amount of small droplets formed
  4. Additional options: Carefully select drift-reduction nozzles and additives to control drift.