The agriculture industry understands that crop protection is necessary to ensure optimal yields, but we also understand that the damage caused by off-target drift can be detrimental. Current herbicide regulations are becoming more stringent to reduce off-target drift and minimize potential damage to surrounding plants or species, making it more important than ever to take the necessary precautions to make sure the herbicides only make contact with their intended targets.
Drift reduction agents (DRAs) reduce off-site movement of herbicides. This term has been around for a long time. However, with the approval of the new herbicide technologies, DRA has also come to be an industry term for an adjuvant or other product that is approved to be tank mixed with the herbicide to mitigate drift. DRA’s create larger droplets for the tank mix to prevent off-target movement during the application or from being carried away from the desired target after the application.
Minimizing drift, means less damage to surrounding crops and other unintended targets, which is better for everyone. With drift control being a top priority in the agriculture industry, approved DRAs are required with the new dicamba herbicide applications.
The new tank mix and DRA regulations have changed the way new products are developed in the agriculture industry. While previously the focus was on reducing small droplets and creating more uniform droplet sizes, with the development of new chemistries and herbicide technology, the necessary standard today is to develop adjuvants and other DRAs that create the larger droplets necessary to reduce off-target drift.
Optimize DRA Use for the Best Results
Industry professionals agree the proper use of DRAs yield the best results. They also know there are many factors that can affect the efficacy of a pesticide application, including, but not limited to the DRA.
Today’s goals include minimizing off-target application, while trying to maximize the efficacy of the particular chemistries you are applying. This is why product manufacturers are working with industry experts and the EPA to come up with the best solutions for pesticide applicators and growers. However, as you consider your crop protection recommendations for next season, keep in mind that there are factors beyond the tank mix that in cooperation with each other, can also affect off-target movement.
These other factors include:
Spray nozzle selection
Volume and pressure of sprayer
Pesticide tank mixes’ impact on droplet size
In the past, many people thought that if you have a product that minimized drift, it worked uniformly regardless of the other parameters. Now there is a much greater awareness among experts that all these factors in combination with each other have an important impact on the outcome of the spray application. This means an application can have quite different outcomes, even if only one of these factors are changed.
This is why it is important to make sure you follow the application requirements for each product. The manufacturers have online resources that are updated regularly and product labels are clearly marked with specifications and regulations for spraying conditions, boom height, mixing instructions and additional information. Be attentive to the label to ensure that you are using the products correctly and in turn, reducing the potential for off-target drift.
Proper use of DRAs with approved tank mix partners is important and helps avoid damage to crops in neighboring fields and other species. It will also allow the industry to continue using these herbicide technologies as part of an effective weed management plan.
The All-In-One DRA
CHS offers TRAPLINE PRO™ II, a DRA approved adjuvant with tank mix partners including XtendiMax® With VaporGrip® Technology, Engenia®, and FeXapan™ herbicide Plus VaporGrip® Technology. TRAPLINE PRO II contains a water conditioner, surfactant and defoamer and also includes unique drift control abilities that are approved for use with glyphosate, dicamba, 2,4-D and other herbicides with DRA requirements. In addition to being an all-in-one adjuvant, TRAPLINE PRO™ II has a convenient low use rate of 4 to 5 pints per 100 gallons of water.TRAPLINE PRO II has also shown to be a beneficial adjuvant with other herbicides, in addition to glyphosate and the new dicamba products.