2007 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop, for horticultural, greenhouse, floral, nursery and landscape crops (1) new methods for assessing relationship of chemical/biopesticide application efficiency (especially coverage) to pest control efficacy; (2) new agricultural machine system for delivering reduced risk fungicides, pesticides and/or biopesticide-control agents; (3) new computer imaging systems for assessing pesticide application efficacy. Participate in cooperative research on automated production/protection technology.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Will explore controlled injector designs for pesticide mixing accuracy and lag time in nozzle delivery and develop system transfer functions. Will examine surfactants and drift retardants for stability and ability to cut droplet reflection/drift. Will seek ways to improve canopy penetration and coverage in horticultural and nursery crops with shielding, airassistance, electrostatics and adjuvants. Sprayer configurations with two or more crossflow fans will be studied for reducing drift from orchard and nursery applications. Will use bioassay and chemical-tracer methods and scanning electron microscopy/electron beam analysis to assay drift and distribution. Will define a fan-pattern nozzle shear index and determine shear effect on application viability of bacillus thuringiensis and entomopathogenic nematodes biopesticides. Prototype disk and/or blade equipment with depth control will be investigated for soil injection of liquid encapsulated formulations.
A. Low-drift nozzle tests for orchard drift management.
Tree fruit crops are particularly difficult crops to protect with pesticides because they are typically taller than most conventional application equipment. A field trial was established to determine the fate of spray released from a low-drift, air induction nozzle set (TD-02) and conventional, hollow cone nozzles (D3-25 and D4-25) which produce a larger driftable volume. These results demonstrate that producers using conventional, axial-flow, orchard sprayer have another option for mitigating drift but the ultimate choice of nozzle must also consider the coverage needs of their pest management materials. These results demonstrate that air induction nozzles may be effective drift mitigation technologies for orchard applications; however, care must be taken to ensure that coverage requirements for maximum pesticide efficacy are met. The accomplishment of this research is directed towards ARS National Program 305 – Crop Production, Research Component II – Agroengineering, Agrochemical, and Related Technology.
B. Biopesticide viability in conventional sprayers.
Experiments were established to determine which factors, mechanical or thermal, could be most detrimental to the biopesticide, entomopathogenic nematode (EPN), and limits their widespread use in conventional application equipment. Equipment evaluated included control valves and three types of common pumps. Tests found that a single pass of the EPN through the selected valves and pumps did not significantly affect EPN viability and that continual circulation of the tank mix through pumps to provide hydraulic agitation increased the temperature of the tank mix. These results can alert equipment manufacturers and EPN suppliers to potential conditions that could affect EPN viability and to provide alternate sprayer designs to minimize the risk of thermal stress on EPN. The accomplishment of this research is directed towards ARS National Program 305 – Crop Production, Research Component II – Agroengineering, Agrochemical, and Related Technology.
5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
|Number of non-peer reviewed presentations and proceedings||3|
|Number of newspaper articles and other presentations for non-science audiences||6|
Fife, J.P., Ozkan, H.E., Derksen, R.C., Grewal, P.S. 2007. Effects of Pumping on Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Temperature Increase within a Spray System. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 23(4):406-412.