Submitted to: The Grower Magazine
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2005
Publication Date: 4/23/2005
Citation: Derksen, R.C., Muzzi, D. 2005. Hit the bull's eye: know pest, plant canopy, and pesticide to boost sprayer efficiency in vegetables. The Grower Magazine. p.22-24. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Understanding the performance of machinery used to deliver pest management materials is critical to selecting the best equipment for each application. The pesticide, target, and pest problem largely dictate the delivery technique. Field studies using fresh market peppers were established to evaluate nozzles producing different spray quality, travel speed, air-assisted delivery, and charged sprays. Spray deposits at different elevations were used to assess sprayer delivery performance. Insect and disease occurrence were monitored during the growing season and yields were measured at the end of the season. Travel speed did not affect yield or pest occurrence. Spray quality and air-assisted delivery of charged and non-charged sprays did not significantly affect efficacy. All treatments, even those where only one-half the recommended amount of active ingredient were applied, performed significantly better than the unsprayed check plots. All applications were made to a relatively light canopy and in a timely manner which improved chances of managing the pest problems. Further research will be conducted to explore how to optimize spray delivery in an overall pepper production system but these results do demonstrate that drift control technologies and reduced pesticide inputs may provide growers with efficacious insect and disease control in some situations.