Contact: Dr. Juan Lopez, Research Entomologist, USDA-ARS, 2771 F&B Road, College Station, TX 77845 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: The most important aspect of any aerial application of a crop protection or production material for the applicator and agricultural producer is that the deposits on plants have the desired effect. As such, it is important to optimize deposition on plants relative to efficacy. This is easier said than done because of the large number of crop protection and production materials available and their concentrations and targets. Additionally, replicated tests using aerially-applied materials under actual crop production situations require large crop areas and this can get very expensive. We approached this problem through use of a spray table to simulate deposition of aerially-applied materials based on droplet size spectrum and density on plants and different plant parts. Different nozzles were calibrated for droplet size spectrum and density so that deposits on plants with very specific characteristics could be simulated with the spray table. Bioassays with different targets were then conducted to determine efficacy of different materials with emphasis on those recommended for use on the label or extension publications. Significant findings with the spray table were verified under field conditions. Examples of the use of this approach for evaluating the effect of insecticide deposits on cotton plants for control of various insect pest species will be discussed.
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