Category Archives: Spray Drift

Spray Coverage in Carrot Potato and Onion

Jason Deveau, Application Technology Specialist – OMAFRA;
Dennis Van Dyk, Vegetable Crop Specialist – OMAFRA

In recent years, Syngenta has been promoting the Defy 3D nozzle in the UK, which is a 100° flat fan, designed to run alternating 38° forward or backward along the boom. They prescribe a boom height of 50 to 75 cm, 30-40 psi, and travel speeds of 10 to 14 km/h in cereals and vegetables. Compared to a conventional flat fan, they claim that the angle and medium-coarse droplets promise less drift and improved coverage.

In 2017, Hypro and John Deere began distributing the Defy 3D in North America. Our goal was to explore coverage from the 3D in vegetable crops. We compared the nozzle’s performance to common grower practices in onion, potato and carrot in the Holland Marsh area of Ontario.


Continue reading Spray Coverage in Carrot Potato and Onion

Nozzle choice in vegetable crops – an Australian perspective

Here is a great article on about spray nozzle selection in vegetable crops.

During my many years of work in the Australian vegetable and horticultural industry, I am continually asked:

What is the best spray unit to use?

My answer is quite simple:

The one that has been correctly set up and matched to the crop you are spraying.

That can be hard to achieve, especially in vegetable crops where the target can vary enormously from bare ground to upright leaf crops (e.g. onions), to horizontal leaf crops (e.g. potato and brassica).

Generally, I have found that air-assist booms offer the best starting point for achieving good spray coverage of vegetable crops. However, like any spray boom, they must be set up correctly. Air-assist booms are more expensive and require a few more horses to operate, which is why most Australian vegetable growers prefer to make do with a non air-assist boom.

So, if air-assist isn’t an option, it then becomes imperative to determine the most suitable nozzles for their particular requirements. I have worked in many vegetable crops over the years. I’ve held my share of “fluorescent dye nights” and checked spray coverage and canopy penetration with many grower groups. Based on my experience, there are three types of nozzles I recommend for most vegetable crops:

Read more here:


Spraying Dicamba in Canada

This is one to review and share! A very educational slide show from Jason at

There’s been unprecedented demand for information regarding the safe and effective application of the new dicmaba products registered in Canada in late 2016. In response, every extension agent, agrichemical rep and researcher with any know-how on the subject has spent the last year (or more) speaking at grower meetings. I, for one, am fairly certain…

via Spraying Dicamba in Canada — Sprayers 101

Spray Drift: Why is it still happening?

Despite the abundance of information available on spray drift, we continue to see widespread incidents of damage to a variety of crops every year. Do applicators just not care or are they missing some vital information when making decisions to spray? I believe it is the latter. What is the problem? In my experience, the…

via Spray Drift – Why is it still happening? — Sprayers 101

How sensitive is your crop to dicamba and 2,4-D?

Are soybeans or tomatoes more sensitive to dicamba? Are sweet potatoes or watermelon more likely to be hurt by 2,4-D? Could crops show visual injury at 1/800th of the rate of one of these products?

In a recent article in Southeast Farm Press, Dr. Stanley Culpepper, University of Georgia Extension weed specialist, shared his data on crop sensitivity (visual injury) to dicamba and 2,4-D. Note that most of this data is from trials in Georgia (and some of the crops on the list reflect that). Continue reading How sensitive is your crop to dicamba and 2,4-D?

Preventing Spray Drift

This is one to share with the neighbours.  Every spring, we see way too much spray drift onto vegetable crops (as well as residential areas and sensitive habitats).  Not only can this reduce yields by injuring or even killing the crop, but there are many other serious consequences to the victim of spray drift such as:

  • Ÿ reduced crop marketability due to pesticide residue
  • Ÿ reduced crop marketability due to effects of herbicide injury (appearance, size)
  • Ÿ inability to meet contract commitments for volume of crop
  • Ÿ delay in crop maturity resulting in inability to meet contract commitments to buyer
  • Ÿ delay in crop maturity resulting in loss of premium (early) markets
  • Ÿ loss of customers or markets due to gaps in supply of the crop
  • Ÿ long term injury (eg. several years) to perennial crop or windbreaks
  • Ÿ rifts between neighbours, family, friends
  • Ÿ large legal bills

Some of these consequences are particular to certain horticultural crops and others are common no matter what you grow.

Neighbours or custom operators working in adjacent fields may not realize how sensitive the horticultural crops are or the potentially devastating consequences of drift injury that go well beyond the yield loss. Communication between applicators and adjacent home owners or growers is critical, and it should be the applicator that initiates the conversation.

The potential for spray drift can be greatly reduced, but only when spray applicators educate themselves about how spray moves.  Several resources including videos, online tools, written material, and public shaming are listed below. Continue reading Preventing Spray Drift

New Spray Drift Awareness Videos Educate

Dr. Jason S.T. Deveau, Application Technology Specialist, OMAFRA; Kristen Callow, M.Sc., Weed Management Program Lead – Horticulture, OMAFRA

Pesticide spray drift has become a prominent issue in recent years. Both industry and the farm community take it very seriously, recognizing that even extremely low amounts of spray drift can impact sensitive crops, human habitats or environmentally sensitive areas.

Pesticide drift is the aerial movement and unintentional deposit of pesticide outside the target area. There are two forms of pesticide drift: Continue reading New Spray Drift Awareness Videos Educate