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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Hit the Bull's Eye: Know Pest, Plant Canopy, and Pesticide to Boost Sprayer Efficiency in Vegetables

item Derksen, Richard

Submitted to: The Grower Magazine
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: March 23, 2005
Publication Date: April 23, 2005
Repository URL:
Citation: Derksen, R.C., Muzzi, D. 2005. Hit the bull's eye: know pest, plant canopy, and pesticide to boost sprayer efficiency in vegetables. The Grower Magazine. p.22-24.

Technical Abstract: Understanding the performance of machinery used to deliver pest management materials is critical to selecting the best equipment for each application. The pesticide, target, and pest problem largely dictate the delivery technique. Field studies using fresh market peppers were established to evaluate nozzles producing different spray quality, travel speed, air-assisted delivery, and charged sprays. Spray deposits at different elevations were used to assess sprayer delivery performance. Insect and disease occurrence were monitored during the growing season and yields were measured at the end of the season. Travel speed did not affect yield or pest occurrence. Spray quality and air-assisted delivery of charged and non-charged sprays did not significantly affect efficacy. All treatments, even those where only one-half the recommended amount of active ingredient were applied, performed significantly better than the unsprayed check plots. All applications were made to a relatively light canopy and in a timely manner which improved chances of managing the pest problems. Further research will be conducted to explore how to optimize spray delivery in an overall pepper production system but these results do demonstrate that drift control technologies and reduced pesticide inputs may provide growers with efficacious insect and disease control in some situations.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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