Drift wording on product labels coming closer
“The problem has been validation of these technologies. How do you validate and what standard do you use to validate these technologies against. You are reducing drift as opposed to what?,” Ferenc asked. “It has to be so much better than the standard, but what is the standard? What is the standard nozzle? What is the standard adjuvant? What is the baseline to work from?”
EPA has been trying to come up with an approved protocol to answer these questions for years and some progress has been made in working with the agricultural industry.
The one necessity to help in setting standards and rating nozzles and adjuvants is being able to test final solutions containing the water and active ingredient product, but such testing has not been performed in the U.S. because it is unlawful to do so in the environment. It is known by all in the industry that water sprayed through nozzles does not normally have the same drift characteristics as when actual product is in the solution being sprayed.
Some research for establishing U.S. protocol with field-type solutions containing various actives and adjuvants and applied with different nozzles has been done in Australia in a wind tunnel. Now that type of wind tunnel testing with field-type solutions is going to proceed in the U.S. Ferenc reported that Winfield Solutions “has just built a low-speed wind tunnel” where active ingredient and adjuvant effect on spray drift can be tested. She also said Winfield Solutions, Wilbur Ellis and BASF have contributed to the University of Nebraska for the construction of both a low-speed wind tunnel, for ground application testing, and high-speed wind tunnel, for aerial application testing. Each of these tunnels will be available for contracting to test products.
The payback to companies investing large sums of money into working with the EPA is that their brand of validated technology might actually be listed on pesticide labels as an accepted DRT.