Advances in developing a new test method to assess spray drift potential from air blast sprayers
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Drift is one of the most important issues to consider for realising sustainable pesticide sprays. This study proposes and tests an alternative methodology for quantifying the drift potential (DP) of air blast sprayers, trying to avoid the difficulties faced in conducting field trials according to the standard protocol (ISO 22866:2005). For this purpose, an ad hoc test bench designed for DP comparative measurements was used. The proposed methodology was evaluated in terms of robustness, repetitiveness and coherence by arranging a series of trials at two laboratories. Representative orchard and vineyard air blast sprayers in eight configurations (combination of two forward speeds, two air fan flow rates, and two nozzle types) were tested. The test bench was placed perpendicular to the spray track to collect the fraction of spray liquid remaining in the air after the spray process and potentially susceptible to drift out of the treated area. Downwind spray deposition curves were obtained and a new approach was proposed to calculate an index value of the DP estimation that could allow the differences among the tested configurations to be described. Results indicated that forward speed of 1.67 m/s allows better discrimination among configurations tested. Highest DP reduction, over 87.5%, was achieved using the TVI nozzles in combination with low air fan flow rate in both laboratories; conversely, the highest DP value was obtained with the ATR nozzles in combination with high air fan flow rate. Although the proposed method shows a promising potential to evaluate drift potential of different sprayer types and nozzles types used for bush and tree crops further research and tests are necessary to improve and validate this method.
CitationGrella, M., Gil, E., Balsari, Paolo, Marucco, Paolo, Gallart, M. Advances in developing a new test method to assess spray drift potential from air blast sprayers. "Spanish journal of agricultural research", 1 Gener 2017, vol. 15, núm. 3, p. 1-16.