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Spray particle drift mitigation using field corn (Zea mays L.) as a drift barrier

Vieira, Bruno C, Butts, Thomas R, Rodrigues, Andre O, Golus, Jeffrey A, Schroeder, Kasey, Kruger, Greg R
Pest management science 2018 v.74 no.9 pp. 2038-2046
Zea mays, air, canopy, corn, fan nozzles, herbicides, mechanism of action, porosity, vegetation, windbreaks
BACKGROUND: Herbicide particle drift reduces application efficacy and can cause severe impacts on nearby vegetation depending on the herbicide mode of action, exposure level, and tolerance to the herbicide. A particle drift mitigation effort placing windbreaks or barriers on the field boundaries to reduce off‐target movement of spray particles has been utilized in the past. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of field corn (Zea mays L.) at different heights as a particle drift barrier. RESULTS: Applications with a non‐air inclusion flat fan nozzle (ER11004) resulted in greater particle drift when compared with an air inclusion nozzle (TTI11004). Eight rows of corn were used as barriers (0.91, 1.22, and 1.98 m height) which reduced the particle drift for both nozzles, especially at shorter downwind distances. Applications with the ER11004 nozzle without corn barriers had 1% of the applied rate (D₉₉) predicted to deposit at 14.8 m downwind, whereas this distance was reduced (up to 7‐fold) when applications were performed with corn barriers. The combination of corn drift barriers and nozzle selection (TTI11004) provided satisfactory particle drift reduction when the D₉₉ estimates were compared with those for applications with the ER11004 nozzle without corn barriers (up to 10‐fold difference). CONCLUSION: The corn drift barriers were effective in reducing particle drift from applications with the ER11004 and the TTI11004 nozzles (Fine and Ultra Coarse spray classifications, respectively). The corn drift barrier had appropriate porosity and width as the airborne spray was captured within its canopy instead of deflecting up and over it. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry