Pesticide Spraying in Indian River Grapefruit: III. Opportunities for Improving Efficacy and Efficiency while Reducing Off-target Deposition

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  • 1 University of Florida, Indian River Research and Education Center, 2199 South Rock Rd., Ft. Pierce, FL 34945-3138.
  • | 2 University of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Center, 700 Experiment Station Rd., Lake Alfred, FL 33850.

Parts I and II of this series revealed substantial opportunities for improving spraying of Indian River citrus (Citrus spp.). In this segment of our work we develop guidelines for growers to select the spray parameters providing an optimal balance between efficiency and efficacy while minimizing environmental contamination.

It is proposed that these guidelines could be codified in a simple expert system to make them easier to use. We propose that understanding limiting conditions may be the key to choosing spray options. Wind is a major factor influencing spray deposition and offtarget drift. Based on weather records, wind speeds below 5 mph (8.0 km·h-1) are only routinely observed from 2000 HR until 0800 HR, making night spraying a good choice for low-volume applications. The importance of adjusting sprayer set-up for individual groves is demonstrated, with economic estimates of the cost of failing to make these adjustments. Routine use of careful sprayer adjustments is also likely to reduce off-target drift. Improvements in equipment and spray chemicals are also discussed. Use of non-orchard buffer areas and/or windbreaks appear to offer considerable opportunity for reducing off-site spray movement.

Contributor Notes

To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail address: ewstover@ucdavis.edu
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