Agricultural pesticide application technology: 5 best practices
The agricultural pesticides application technology has been growing every year. This evolution follows the rhythm of agribusiness development.
Much of this success is due to application technologies, which raise the operation quality standard and give greater security to all involved in the process.
In this article, you will learn about the 5 best machine handling practices and pesticide application. Understand more about the importance of choosing a correct agricultural sprayer and what to consider when planning the spray operation!
Agricultural pesticides application technologies
The purpose of application technology is to increase the quality of the operation and work the process to improve the safety of the farmer and those around. In addition, it seeks to ensure that the farmer can reach their target in the most efficient way possible and with the best cost-benefit.
Many technological trends in the sector have already given fantastic results, helping the farmer not only with the crop but also in their strategic decisions. Let’s list some of these technologies here.
Telemetry is a technique that uses different technologies to collect and share data about agricultural equipment and machinery remotely. For this, you will have a set of connected devices, such as temperature, relative humidity, and oil pressure sensors, in addition to GPS.
This record tells you what was done, when, and where the operation was performed. It generates equipment diagnosis and gathers important information for the farmer to manage the process and make decisions regarding future operations. Everything is clear with daily operation reports for the entire fleet of sprayers, be it on the computer screen, smartphone or tablet.
Eletrovortex is a technology that combines air-assist techniques and electrostatic droplet load to improve spraying. It allows the material to reach even the lowest parts of the culture.
This is because when the drops pass through the electrode, they acquire a negative charge. Since plants have a neutral load, drops with a negative load tend to be attracted by neutral crop loads. In this way, the deposition of products on the leaf surface is improved.
Spraying becomes more efficient and accurate as it improves the distribution of phytosanitary products, mainly when spraying with a high leaf area index. The technology also contributes to reducing drift by up to 35% with the use of EletroVortex technology.
PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) is a technology used in electronic valves that controls the valves opening very quickly and is measured in Hertz (e.g. 30 hertz. The valve will open and close 30 times per second) so that there are no spray failures. Its primary function is to increase the accuracy of nozzle flow control while preserving the drop size characteristics of the nozzles, even with the spray varying the displacement speed.
The result is a higher operating income. In addition, the system allows reducing the drops variability, thus maintaining greater uniformity throughout the application.
Autonomous agricultural vehicle (AAV)
An autonomous vehicle is a machine that can perform the spraying operation independently. It looks like futuristic technology, but there are already prototypes that work in a fully automated manner, guided by sensors, GPS and cameras, performing the entire process efficiently and safely.
The AAV is not yet commercialized, but it is one of the main trends in agricultural pesticide application technology.
The 5 best practices
Combined with these innovations come the best practices that aim to ensure the best possible results in pesticides application. That’s what we’re going to talk about now!
1. Have well-defined processes
The first point we want to highlight is the need to resume good practices in the field. Unfortunately, many farmers make the applications without any kind of process defined to formulate the product.
The problems that arise from the application of agricultural pesticides result from the lack of proper planning and professional guidance, and because best practices are not followed. Thus, the villain is not the product that fights the plague or the disease but rather the inappropriate application form.
The practices we will see below will show how this process should be defined to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the operation.
2. Empower your workforce
There is much legislation behind the application of pesticides. It is after all, a sensitive topic. Therefore, farmers must be increasingly professional and seek people qualified in the management of this spray.
It takes a lot of knowledge to perform this service. Therefore, the professional must understand what they are doing so that the spraying is done safely and respecting the previously described process. After all, the application technology does not involve only the machine.
3. Choose the most suitable machine
There is no right machine, but the most suitable for the type of cultivation with which the farmer works. For example, shrub crops need air-assisted machines because they are equipped with characteristics that meet the shape of this plant’s type and size. In addition to the crop, it is necessary to evaluate the size of the area, the application window, and the desired yield.
4. Gauge spraying
Spray calibration is vital for application safety. And that’s not something so complex or inaccessible. Even the small farmer can have nozzles that reduce the amount of product to the type of application he needs.
For proper regulation, it is necessary to consider several aspects that can interfere with the quality of the spray.
Spray nozzles or tips define:
- the flow rate;
- the spectrum of drops;
- the drift potential;
- application distribution.
You can already see that the nozzle is one of the essential elements of regulation. There are suitable templates for specific applications. It is necessary to check this with the manufacturer when purchasing them.
The optimal drop will depend on the application purpose. The size of the drops will vary depending on the type of product as well as the action mode and the weather conditions. For example, use:
- thinner drops, if you want a smaller volume with good coverage (greater droplet distribution and better penetration when there is a high leaf area index);
- larger drops for a larger volume of products while maintaining coverage;
- larger drops for applications in risk-of-drift conditions and when working with the application of phytosanitary products with the characteristic of the mode of action in the systemic case.
It is worth remembering that the lower the drop, the greater the chance of being lost by evaporation and drift. To avoid this, it is important to pay attention to weather conditions at the time of spraying.
Drops can be sorted by size, and nozzles are separated by colours for easy identification:
- extremely fine (XF), purple;
- very thin (VF), red;
- fine (F), orange;
- medium (M), yellow;
- coarse (C), blue;
- very coarse (VG), green;
- extremely coarse (XC), white;
- ultra-coarse (UC), black.
The size of the droplets may be described in the product package leaflet to ensure greater efficiency.
There is no ideal spray volume, as it depends on factors such as target, plant shape, type of product or tip used.
Usually, to obtain the ideal volume in each one, it is necessary to calibrate the spray using techniques and tools to check if the spray is reaching the place where the product should be deposited. This is done so that it is not too small a volume to the point of not reaching the necessary location or not so high in what may cause draining. Both could cause inefficiency and waste of resources by not getting optimal control over pest disease or weeds.
There are adverse weather conditions that can impair the results of spraying. An ideal scenario would be:
- wind speed between 3 km and 10 km;
- temperature below 30º;
- relative humidity of at least 55%.
5. Use PPEs
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory items in agricultural pesticides application. They include gloves, boots, apron, and clothing. They prevent the worker from suffering from intoxication when handling the products.
Remember that symptoms may not arise immediately, but direct contact with pesticides over the years without adequate protection can cause irreversible health damage.
Jacto promotes the development of application technology for agricultural pesticides and solutions so that this operation is done in the best and safest way. By applying best practices and staying informed regarding technological trends, the spraying process on your farm will bring precise results.
Want to know more about application technologies? Contact us and talk to one of our experts!