Farmers and agricultural aviators may be able to reduce herbicide drift by making simple adjustments, according to a recently published study.
The study, published in Nature’s “Scientific Reports” journal late last year, was conducted to better understand the drift potential from herbicide applications made on the ground and through the air.
“Drift” is when the wind carries an herbicide application off-target and causes unintended damage to a nearby crop. An average of 400 drift complaints have been filed with the Arkansas State Plant Board each year since 2018 in Arkansas, according to Tommy Butts, assistant professor and extension weed scientist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
“If we can reduce drift complaints by 50 percent in Arkansas annually because of a better understanding of application drift potential, and use mitigation strategies recommended from this research, nearly $2 million could be saved annually for Arkansas growers and applicators,” Butts said.