The EPA has made official the Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) program to minimize spray drift when spraying chemicals in the field. This new program helps to assess the droplets that can drift to the edge of fields and beyond and aims to assign a star rating to products. This star rating will set a buffer zone for the user to establish at the edge of the field to ensure minimal drift to the next field or beyond the edge of the field where the native ecosystem can be impacted.
By looking at adjuvants, nozzle design and structure around the nozzle, it is possible to limit the driftable droplets. As one would expect, the smaller the droplet, the more likely the droplet is to linger in the air and drift in the wind. The DRT and industry at large are working to improve on-target spray rates to ensure both continued efficiency in the field as well as avoiding any unintended consequences of the nearby area.
Spray Analytics is working on the testing capability to perform wind tunnel testing and has experience with designing experiments to simulate spray drift in the field. Our goal is to work with our customers and the EPA in producing studies to ensure agricultural sprays are as safe as possible while providing the effectiveness necessary for the sprayers.