Spraying fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides is a common practice on Indiana farms, but regulators are trying to put all that to an end. Farmers are facing tougher regulations on what, when, and where they can apply crop protection chemicals. The concern is drift. The EPA and other agencies are imposing tougher regulations on spraying products on water sources and outside of fields. Dr. Robert Wolf, a spray consultant, says education — not only educating applicators, but also regulators– is the key, “We are going to have to educate beyond the applicator level to get people to understand that these products are safe for the environment.”
In an effort to help applicators do a better job of controlling drift, Wolf and BASF are sponsoring a series of educational seminars to develop better practices to control spray application drift, “The technology is available and we need to use it correctly; misuse is our concern.” He told HAT this educational effort will be directed to applicators and top farmers to establish a set of best management standards that can be adapted by all growers. According to a survey conducted by BASF, more than one-third said they were interested in taking a herbicide self-application training seminar, and 39% want to learn about herbicide application best practices. Eighty percent of growers who responded to the Grower Perception Survey self-apply herbicide to their crops.
Self-propelled spray rigs have gotten bigger and more sophisticated as growers need to cover more ground in a shorter period of time. Wolf says these machines can deliver crop protection products safely and accurately without environmental impact, “There is nothing wrong with that machine as long as the applicator remembers he still has to be a smart applicator and use the technology correctly.” The On Target Application Academy is a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity to provide growers extensive hands-on training for better
awareness of herbicide application best practices that achieve the most effective weed control possible with today’s emerging product and equipment innovations and help mitigate spray drift. On Target Application Academy events will be held throughout the year all over the country at industry and state events. The On Target Application Academy is free and includes classroom presentations and hands-on learning opportunities. Sessions will be about two hours in length.
To learn more about the On Target Application Academy, contact your BASF sales specialist or visit agproducts.basf.us for continued updates regarding academy dates and locations.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/05/driftwrap.mp3|titles=Working To Stop The Drift]