Ensuring pesticides hit their target not only ensures the best level of control from the minimal chemical input, but also reduces the risk of environmental pollution. Advisors and farmers are working together to help improve the accuracy of spray application at every level. This covers hand application using knapsack sprayers to the very latest in high tech, air assisted sprayers.
One result of this collaboration is the Hawk™ Nozzle. How a product is applied can make the crucial difference in the results achieved by growers. The Hawk™ is part of a whole range of spray nozzles designed specifically to help products work more effectively and minimize environmental loss. The Hawk™, for example, is designed to create a fine droplet which sticks more effectively to fine blackgrass seedlings. It also sprays in a forward direction to ensure more spray hits the target weed. The novel variable pressure design allows operators to reduce spray drift without compromising spray quality and results.
Improved application techniques can help operators avoid spray drift, ensuring more of the spray stays in the crop where it will have the greatest intended effect. This will also significantly reduce the environmental implications outside the crop.
In Morocco a specific application training programme was developed to help the country’s tomato growers meet tough EurepGAP protocols. This enables them to export produce into lucrative European markets. The programme included demonstrating the benefits of calibrating – to know precisely how much has been applied – and the importance of uniform application onto the tomato plants. Both these elements are crucial in minimizing the risk of crop protection product residues remaining at harvest.
Russian apple growers in the South of the country were encountering increasing problems controlling scab, which was seriously affecting crop quality and saleable yield. Grower training days were set up to show how the sprayer’s maintenance, set up and operation, could have a dramatic impact on the spray deposition within the crop; and consequently the level of disease control. The grower training programme has served to reduce costs - since more effective use of products may avoid the need for repeat applications - and improve the value of the crops through better quality produce.
The grower training programme has served to reduce costs because more effective use of products avoids the need for repeat applications. This improves the value of the crops through better quality produce.