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New Application Technologies Keep Herbicides Where They Belong
Date:3/17/2010

Researchers, manufacturers, farmers and applicators are collaborating to control drift through precision tools and techniques that optimize the performance of herbicides and minimize the small amounts that drift off target as they are being applied.

Lawrence, KS (PRWEB) March 17, 2010 -- Researchers today are transforming weed control with new precision tools and application techniques that can keep herbicides precisely where they belong. As a result, farmers are able to optimize the performance of herbicides and minimize the small amounts that drift off target as they are being applied.

One of the latest breakthroughs involves low-drift nozzles that can significantly reduce the proportion of very fine (small) spray droplets that are susceptible to drift.

“These low-drift nozzles are really having a revolutionary impact,” says Dr. Tom Wolf, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and a member of the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA). “Research shows we can reduce the spray that drifts away from its target to less than 0.5 percent of the applied amount. That’s a decrease of more than 80 percent compared to conventional sprays.”

The secret is a clever design that reduces the internal operating pressure of the sprayer nozzle and mixes air into the herbicide spray as it is applied.

“We’ve seen nearly 100 percent adoption among custom applicators in Canada, and up to 50 percent of the more innovative growers on large farms are using them as well,” Wolf says. “They have clearly found the devices work well in their operations.”

Still, there are obstacles to even broader adoption. Not all weeds and all herbicides respond the same way when changes are made to reduce the number of very fine spray droplets.

“It can be tough to provide practical recommend
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