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Pesticide Spray Drift Risk Rises in Dakotas

Pesticide Spray Drift Risk Rises in Dakotas

Wet weather and late spring is putting pressure to cover fields in marginal conditions.

Late spring and wet conditions in some areas are putting pressure on producers to get fields sprayed.

That increases the risk of spray drift, say Jim Wilson, South Dakota State University Extension pesticide

To reduce drift, Wilson recommends adjusting equipment to produce the largest droplet size that will get the job done.

"With many pre-emergence and systemic herbicides, larger droplets can be used without sacrificing effectiveness, while fungicides, some insecticides, and contact herbicides may require a medium-sized droplet to ensure adequate coverage of the plant leaves," he says.

With conventional nozzles, dropping boom pressure or moving to larger-sized nozzles will increase droplet size and decrease the drift potential of droplets. Numerous brands of air-induction nozzles are also available that may help reduce drift from fields."

Also check boom height, Wilson advises It is often set much higher than recommended. This allows more chances for the wind to catch small spray droplets and move them from fields.  

SDSU Extension Fact Sheet 919, "Choosing Drift-Reducing Nozzles," summarizes drift management techniques and offers a description of drift-reducing nozzles. The publication is available at your county Extension office or at this link:

You can also track wind speed and other weather data online at Click on "Recent automatic station's data" choice to get information for their area of the state.

Source: SDSU AgBio Communications

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