The objectives of any spray application are to balance productivity, efficacy, and prevent off-site movement of pesticides.

In some situations, this can be easier said than done. Below are several things to consider to help reduce particle (not necessarily, vapor) spray drift.

  • Spray at low wind velocities (<10 mph); in general, winds are less early in the morning or late in the evening

  • Reduce spraying pressures; lower pressures allow for larger droplet sizes

  • Increase carrier volumes/application rates; if possible use 20 gallons or more/acre instead of 10 gallons or less/acre

  • Select the proper nozzles with coarse spray droplets; there are several companies that manufacture nozzles that are designed to reduce drift; some examples include: TeeJet AI, AIXR, and TTI; Greenleaf TurboDrop XL; Hypro Ultra Low Drift, among others

  • Use lower spray boom heights; make sure to use nozzles that have 110° or more spray angle which allows the boom to be lowered more than nozzles with lesser angles, but ensure spray pattern and proper overlap is maintained

  • Reduce sprayer ground speed (<10 mph); faster speeds cause more boom bounce and spray vortex to occur sending spray droplets higher in the air

  • Use drift retardants; there are many good products on the market for this purpose

  • Spray when wind direction is away from sensitive crops, homes, etc.

  • Invest in “high-tech” sprayers (e.g., pulse modulation); some of the new sprayers use a pulsing system to assist in better application and drift reduction

    Dwight Lingenfelter

    • Program Development Specialist

    William Curran

    • Professor of Weed Science