Total Spray Droplet Management was developed by Precision Laboratories, a leading provider of specialized chemistries, for applicators and growers to consider factors that affect a spray droplet throughout the application cycle - while it is in the tank, through the air and on the target. This ensures quality spray mixes, improved target placement and optimized retention and coverage, while minimizing damage and exposure.

"The newer herbicide technologies making their way to the market including Enlist Duo, Engenia and RoundUp Xtend have an emphasis on drift control," said Jim Reiss, senior vice president of product development at Precision Laboratories. "Minimizing off-target spray drift and spray volatilization is very important, but we have to think about the entire life span of the spray droplet - starting in the tank all the way to plant absorption. That's what Total Spray Droplet Management encompasses."

In the Tank
Proper conditions are essential for effective spray applications. In a Total Spray Droplet Management approach, it's fundamental to clean the entire sprayer system as residual active ingredients from previous spray mixes can dry or settle in places that are difficult to reach, such as hoses.

There, the built-up residue can interact adversely with components in a new spray mix. Water quality and pH are also important as water conditioning agents may be needed to ensure performance of the spray solution, especially with the upcoming new herbicide technologies. Applicators and growers should always follow labeled instructions and mix products in the proper order to avoid compatibility issues.

Through the Air
Depending on the crop protection chemistry being applied, 200-600 micron size droplets are ideal. Understanding droplet size, nozzle selection and sprayer pressure are essential for proper spray application placement. Total Spray Droplet Management focuses on selecting the correct nozzle (which can often be confusing), spraying at the correct pressure, and the use of drift reduction adjuvants. In addition, such weather factors as wind speed and direction, humidity, thermal inversions and temperature should also be fully considered before making spray applications to avoid drift.

On the Target
Reaching and retaining droplets on the target plant can be maximized by reducing the kinetic energy to minimize droplet bounce. Applicators and growers are encouraged to ensure superior droplet coverage with adjuvant technologies that spread the product over the leaf surface. This increases product absorption by promoting product movement into the plant.

"In line with our Total Spray Droplet Management platform, we have developed new adjuvant technologies specifically designed for each of the new herbicide formulations," said Reiss. "We understand the pressure that applicators and growers are under and are committed to providing them with the best technologies, best practices and information that we can to help them be successful."

For more information on Precision Laboratories and its products, visit www.precisionlab.com/.