Always another question to be answered
The impact of ground speed, water volumes and quality are among the spraying variables that need more research.
Posted: May 26, 2005
The more learned about sprayer technology and herbicide efficacy, the more there is to learn, says Brian Storozynsky, a sprayer technology specialist with Alberta's AgTech Centre.
While time and money are always limiting factors, Storozynsky says there is a growing list of research needed to answer sprayer technology questions. Future projects at the Lethbridge-based centre will include:
- Evaluating equipment performance and herbicide efficacy for different applications, from a pre-seeding burn-off to pre-harvest treatments.
- Evaluating herbicide efficacy with new sprayer technologies and ultra low water rates.
- Evaluating sprayer equipment and herbicide efficacy at faster ground speeds, up to 20 miles per hour, to better reflect on-farm application.
- Evaluating nozzle location and orientation on the spray boom. Is there improved coverage and herbicide efficacy if nozzles are angle-mounted to spray forward and/or backward into the crop canopy?
- Evaluating the effect of water quality. For example, does pure or mineral-free water affect the efficacy of herbicides?
"These are just some of the questions we hope to look at," he says. "While research provides many answers, it also seems to prompt new questions. It's important to look at these issues under field-scale conditions. Small research plots are useful, but we need to test the technology in true field operating conditions."