Bryan Gueltig, Brown, Kimberly Pope
Pesticides are a key tool in pest control, and proper applications are on the forefront of a pesticide applicator’s mind. One of the main considerations is the on-target application of pesticides. Pesticide drift is the unintended movement of pesticides from the target area. Why is pesticide drift mitigation important?
There are two types of pesticide drift that an applicator should understand and work to mitigate: vapor drift and particle drift. Vapor drift occurs when the pesticide volatilizes during or shortly after the application and the vapors of the pesticide move off-target. Particle drift, the more common type of drift, occurs when spray droplets move off-site at the time of the application.
Responsible pesticide applicators should follow good management practices that result in effective pest control with little risk to the environment. Applicators should assess weather conditions and sensitive sites near the application area. Then they should set up equipment properly and ultimately make the decision to spray or not to spray. The applicator needs to read and follow the pesticide label carefully. Applicators should pay attention to product characteristics that might increase the potential for off-target movement.
Be aware of conditions present before and during pesticide applications to mitigate pesticide drift. Be sure to set up application equipment to mitigate pesticide off-target movement. Do your best to keep your pesticide applications on-target! Be sure to read and follow label direction of the pesticide product that you are using. Understand drift potential and make adjustments. Consider a tank additive to reduce drift potential. Take the time to properly set up your application equipment. Prior to an application assess sensitive areas near the application zone and assess weather conditions. Make the decision to spray or not to spray.
Applicators should assess weather conditions to make the best choice possible concerning whether to spray or not to spray.