Effect of sprayer parameters and wind speed on spray retention and soil deposits of pesticides: Case of artichoke cultivar
Irrational use of chemical method for crop protection, presents increasingly serious risks for human health and the environment. Droplet size and meteorological parameters are key factors to both environmental contamination and pest control efficacy. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of the nozzle use parameters, the operating pressure and the wind speed on droplet foliage deposition (retention) and soil deposition (losses), when treating artichoke. Several combinations were tested in a wind tunnel and in the field, under Mediterranean microclimatic conditions, using a fluorescent dye as a substitute for pesticide. Multiple regression models were built from tunnel data to predict foliage deposition and soil deposits, with determination coefficients of 0.96. Thus, models are able to simulate pesticide deposition on artichoke leaves and soil deposition, depending on sprayer parameters and wind speed. Foliage deposition and soil deposits rates ranged from 30 to 52% and 26 to 57% respectively for anti-drift nozzle. For conventional nozzle, rates varied from 20 to 38% and 31 to 62%. To improve retention and reduce spray losses, it is recommended to choose a medium droplet size when using an anti-drift nozzle, in conjunction with medium nozzle size, medium pressure and reduced wind speed.
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