Every growing season, Andy Vangilder and other county Extension agents and specialists get called to farm fields to examine crops damaged by sprayed herbicides contaminated by dirty tanks and hoses.

“Changes in crop mixture from one farm to the next, and increases in glyphosate-resistant weed populations can be blamed in part on crop injury from improperly cleaned spray tanks and hoses,” he said. “And it’s a problem that’s not that hard to solve."

His solution was simple: Education. So Vangilder, along with Phillips County Extension Agent Robert Goodson and Extension Staff Chairs Wes Kirkpatrick from Desha County; Gus Wilson from Chicot County; and Chuck Capps from Arkansas County put their heads together to organize a series of clinics to reduce the problem.

“This is a statewide issue and other county agents, along with several state specialists deal with this problem every year,” Vangilder said. “Applications to control pests such as diseases, insects, and weeds also need to be made correctly, No. 1 to avoid drift, but also to make sure the rate needed to kill the pest is applied to the pest.”

The clinics will feature Extension specialists from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, plus Bob Wolf, a Kansas State agricultural engineering professor emeritus, now principal in Wolf Consulting and Research, LLC, based in Mahomet, Ill.

Three clinics will be held across the Delta:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 5 – Rector Community Center, Rector, 740 E. 9th Street (Corner of U.S. Hwy. 49 and Arkansas Hwy. 119).
  • Wednesday, Nov. 6 – Cotton Branch Research Station, Arkansas Hwy. 1 South, Marianna. (Three miles south of Marianna on Hwy. 1.)
  • Thursday, Nov. 7 – Men’s Club and Community Center, 1 Airport Rd. South, McGehee.

Each clinic begins at 9 a.m. The rest of the agenda:

  • 9:05 a.m. – Application tips for successful weed and insect control with Tom Barber, extension weed scientist, and Gus Lorenz, extension integrated pest management coordinator.
  • 9:45 a.m. – Bob Wolf on nozzle types for improving control of hard-to-kill and resistant weeds. Using electronics to apply crop protection products, illustrating the influence of speed changes, rate changes, and nozzle types and sizes on PSI, patterns, drift and coverage.
  • 11 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. break.
  • 11:15 a.m. – Calibrating for droplet size to meet the new spray quality requirements on the label, plus the effect of chemicals and adjuvants in the tank mix on droplet size, drift, coverage, mixing and clean out. — Wolf.
  • Noon – Lunch
  • 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Breakout sessions.
  • Tips for Different Sprayers to Reduce Contamination – Vangilder.
  • Proper cleaning procedures for mixing tanks, parts – Barber.
  • Spray table demonstration of proper spray tips and demonstration of the influence of electronics on coverage and drift – Wolf.

Door prizes will be available.

For more information about the Rector clinic, call Andy Vangilder, 870-930-6075; for the Marianna event, contact Robert Goodson at 870-995-4505; and for the McGehee event, contact Wes Kirkpatrick at 870-222-7260