Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Crop Production Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353291

Research Project: Development of Productive, Profitable, and Sustainable Crop Production Systems for the Mid-South

Location: Crop Production Systems Research

Title: A real-time web tool for safe guide system for aerial application to avoid off-target movement of spray induced by staple atmospheric conditions in the Mississippi Delta

Author
item Huang, Yanbo
item Fisher, Daniel - Ken
item Silva, Mark - Mississippi State University
item Thomson, Steven - National Institute Of Food And Agriculture (NIFA)

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2018
Publication Date: 2/15/2019
Citation: Huang, Y., Fisher, D.K., Silva, M., Thomson, S.J. 2019. A real-time web tool for safe guide system for aerial application to avoid off-target movement of spray induced by staple atmospheric conditions in the Mississippi Delta. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 35(1):31-38.

Interpretive Summary: Injury to sensitive crops from off-target pesticide application spray is of concern to aerial applicators and producers. To assist applicators and producers to avoid off-target drift caused by field surface temperature inversion, scientists at USDA ARS Crop Production Systems Research Unit at Stoneville and Mississippi and Delta Agricultural Weather Center of Mississippi State University have developed a website to provide online real-time guide for when is proper time to conduct aerial spray during a day. This work was funded by Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board. The website is accessible on mobile terminals such as tablets, smartphones and iPad as well. The Internet mobile system can provide timely guidance for aerial applicators and producers to avoid not only crop damage but also air quality issues resulting from long distance downwind drift.

Technical Abstract: Susceptible crops can be injured far downwind if proper application spray procedure is not followed. Avoidance of stable atmospheric conditions while spraying is important to prevent surface temperature inversion-induced off-target drift of crop protection materials. Our previous studies consistently indicated high likelihood (>90%) of stable atmospheric conditions (unfavorable for spraying) primarily between the hours of 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM during clear conditions in the hot summer months at the Mississippi Delta latitudes. With the requirement of timely farm operations, a web application has been developed to provide real-time determination of atmospheric stability and recommendation of whether aerial applications are appropriate for a particular location and time. Computing logic was designed for an algorithm to determine atmospheric conditions likely for occurring a temperature inversion. This algorithm was programmed using the Python programming language and uploaded to an internet-cloud application platform for publication via HTML. It calculates for the potential of temperature inversion occurrence every hour based on air temperature and wind speed data measured in the weather stations deployed over the Mississippi Delta and surrounding areas. This web application is adapted for mobile terminals, such as smartphones, tablets and iPad. It can provide timely guidance for aerial applicators and producers to avoid crop damage and air quality issues long distances downwind.