Submitted to: Agricultural Aviation
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/13/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Buffer zones are areas adjacent to areas sprayed with pesticides in which spray drift can deposit without consequence. Buffer zones are set wide enough that spray drift will not deposit outside of the buffer zone. There has been suggestion that buffer zones should totally surround areas to be sprayed. But the applicator community has observed from long experience that spray does not drift upwind and has practiced spraying on the downwind side and to the borders of sensitive areas without damaging incidents. We reviewed the scientific literature and employed recently developed mechanistic models of spray drift to assess the magnitude of upwind spray drift and the consequent need for upwind buffer zones. Neither the scientific literature nor the AgDRIFT model support the need for upwind buffer zones for typical aerial spray applications. This information negates the need for upwind buffer zones and will enable production in complete fields rather than having idle buffer zones on field perimeters.