REAL TIME SPRAY DRIFT PREDICTION
The production of plant based food products inevitably involves pest and disease management. The usual method is spray application of fungicides and insecticides, but increasingly the risks from off site movement of pesticides as spray drift are becoming unacceptable. Considerable effort has gone into modelling the spray drift process. For example the US Spray Drift Task Force have produced a comprehensive model called AgDrift© which will accurately predict the downwind movement of spray for a given set of circumstances, including spray liquid characteristics, droplet sizes (spray nozzle characteristics) and meteorological conditions. However spray drift hazard is site specific and is largely determined by what happens at the time of spraying at a given site. We describe a new modelling approach that combines the generic AgDrift© model with a Geographic Information System (GIS) interface which embodies the attributes of the specific spray site. Site conditions modify the drift prediction made by the AgDrift© model so that it relates to the planned spray event at the time of spraying for the specified site. These site attributes range from the physical features of the spray target, the location and nature of areas sensitive to spray drift, the effect of shelter and the type of agrichemical being used. The result is that the user has available at the time of spraying, information on the extent to which spraying at that site presents a drift hazard to sensitive areas, taking into account previous spraying events and the effects of other spray activities from other sites.
Maber, J., Dewar, P., Praat, J.P. and Hewitt, A.J. (2001). REAL TIME SPRAY DRIFT PREDICTION. Acta Hortic. 566, 493-498
Drift hazard, spray drift, sensitive area, AgDrift, GIS interface pesticide spraying