Advanced technologies expand knowledge of spray deposition
The widely used AGDISP™ spray drift model uses broad assumptions when calculating spray drift and deposition of pesticides aerially released for forest protection and pest eradication purposes. AGDISP™, initially created by the US Forest Service, is undergoing further development at Scion in collaboration with the US Forest Service and others.
Dr Tara Strand, Scion Research Leader for Pest Management, explains that the AGDISP™ model is possibly overestimating drift in some circumstances due to an underestimation of spray deposition at canopy top. The canopy top is likely to be ‘grabbing’ more aerosol droplets than calculated within the model. Until recently, this hypothesis could not easily be tested because deployable field-ready technology was not available.
The team used LiDAR instrument to measure the aerosol droplet cloud as it drifted over a 10-m tall sampling tower, and obtained data on cloud height and size.
“Based on our results, we aim to develop a new algorithm for the AGDISP™ model. Impacts for industry will be significant, especially for eradication programmes in urban areas where any off-target drift can have very serious implications. Further understanding of deposition and drift improves industry’s capabilities to aerially apply pesticides on-target in both pest management and eradication applications,” said Dr Strand.
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