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May 18, 2013

Be a good neighbor with pesticide applications

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6) Select the lowest boom height possible while still getting good coverage of the target plant species. Research shows that when the boom height is doubled, for example 24 to 48 inches, the amount of drift increased 350% at 90 feet downwind.

7) Leave a large buffer zone unsprayed in areas where sensitive crops may be affected. When the distance downwind is doubled, the amount of drift decreases fivefold. This means that when near sensitive crops, leaving a large buffer zone will decrease the chances of particle drift causing harm to that crop.

8) Use a drift control agent when spraying near sensitive crops. Drift control agents work to keep the spay droplet size uniform reducing the amount of fine spray particles that can move down wind easily.

9) Treat pasture weeds as early in the spring as possible. Small pasture weeds are easier to kill and less volatile chemicals can be used while still maintain the desired control. Treating earlier also means treating in lower temperature environments. Research on 2,4-D vapor effects on tomatoes showed that as temperature decreased below 75 degrees, vapor effects on tomato plants was minimized. As the temperature got above 90 degrees, damage from vapor movement became significant with low volatile ester formulations of 2,4-D.

By following these simple best management practices we can go a long way in reducing the problems we may potentially have with pesticide movement to non-target areas and this will go a long way toward keeping all of our neighbors, good neighbors.

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