Field experiment on spray drift: Deposition and airborne drift during application to a winter wheat crop

A. Wolters, V. Linnemann, J.C. van de Zande, H. Vereecken

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    A field experiment was performed to evaluate various techniques for measuring spray deposition and airborne drift during spray application to a winter wheat crop. The application of a spraying agent containing the fluorescent dye Brilliant Sulfo Flavine by a conventional boom sprayer was done according to good agricultural practice. Deposition was measured by horizontal collectors in various arrangements in and outside the treated area. Airborne spray drift was measured both with a passive and an active air collecting system. Spray deposits on top of the treated canopy ranged between 68 and 71% of the applied dose and showed only small differences for various arrangements of the collectors. Furthermore, only small variations were measured within the various groups of collectors used for these arrangements. Generally, the highest spray deposition outside the treated area was measured close to the sprayed plot and was accompanied by a high variability of values, while a rapid decline of deposits was detected in more remote areas. Estimations of spray deposits with the IMAG Drift Calculator were in accordance with experimental findings only for areas located at a distance of 0.5-4.5 m from the last nozzle, while there was an overestimation of a factor of 4 at a distance of 2.0-3.0 m, thus revealing a high level of uncertainty of the estimation of deposition for short distances. Airborne spray drift measured by passive and active air collecting systems was approximately at the same level, when taking into consideration the collector efficiency of the woven nylon wire used as sampling material for the passive collecting system. The maximum value of total airborne spray drift for both spray applications (0.79% of the applied dose) was determined by the active collecting system. However, the comparatively high variability of measurements at various heights above the soil by active and passive collecting systems revealed need for further studies to elucidate the spatial pattern of airborne spray drift.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-277
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Issue number1-mrt
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • pesticide volatilization
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