Submitted to: Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Growers Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 4, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Proper application of pesticides is crucial to ensuring their effectiveness. Application needs vary depending on the pesticide, crop and the pest problem. The little application research that has been conducted in vegetable crops has shown that matching equipment to the crop canopy and pesticide and air assistance can improve pest management. Much of the improvement can be attributed to increased spray coverage and more uniform spray distribution across the canopy. 1995 and 1996 potato sprayer evaluations conducted in New York found that an air-assist sprayer and a sprayer utilizing both air assistance and electrostatic spray charging produced higher underleaf spray deposits than conventional sprayers. These treatments also provided better protection against late blight infection. While there were no significant differences in mean deposits between the traditional potato sprayer treatments, there were significant differences in the degree of late blight protection provided by these treatments. This suggests that perhaps spray coverage, a factor that was not evaluated in these studies, could be important in providing protection against foliar infections. More recent coverage evaluations conducted in a crop of processing field tomatoes showed that coverage was indeed affected by the application technique. Non-traditional application techniques, such as using low-drift nozzles and air-assisted spray delivery, to apply fungicides produced more favorable coverage characteristics than traditional nozzles. Wind tunnel and laser based droplet sizing techniques have shown that these new low-drift nozzles can significantly reduce the risk of off-target spray movement.