The 2018 growing season saw fewer herbicide drift complaints in the Mid-South when compared to the previous season. The 2017 season had witnessed the widespread introduction of the XtendFlex weed control system in cotton. The drop-off in reported instances of drift was especially evident in Tennessee, where 2018 mid-season drift complaints had been effectively cut in half from the previous year, according to Dr. Larry Steckel, University of Tennessee Extension weed specialist.
The reasons for this positive development are varied, Steckel says.
“Number one is that we’re mostly Xtend soybeans this year,” Steckel said at a Monsanto Union City field day in early August. “Another one is that we’ve got farmers doing better jobs.”
Steckel cited the spot checks conducted by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture throughout the 2018 growing season which found Tennessee farmers “…were following the label. They were using the right nozzles, using the right products, they had their training documented, and boom heights were good.”
Steckel says he was very pleased with how Tennessee farmers responded to the drift challenges in 2018.
Mid-South Extension weed experts continue to emphasize the importance of equipment in the ongoing effort to minimize herbicide drift in the region. Broadcast hooded sprayers, Steckel says, can be a big help. One important aspect, however, involves proper nozzle use when paired with broadcast hooded sprayers.
“It’s a little tricky, because we only can use the nozzles that are labeled,” Steckel notes. “And they’re 110-degree angles, so it depends on the setup you have on some of these hoods, because you can get splash on the end. Or some folks just believe they can use their old nozzles that they’ve had on those hoods for years – but you can’t,” he says, urging growers to follow label recommendations for nozzles.
“You’ve got to use the correct nozzles, but clearly hooded sprayers help,” he said. “They’ve got to help.”
From Cotton Grower Magazine – November 2018