Oct. 24, 2018
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications are becoming increasingly common in Asian countries, reducing the drudgery of manual pesticide application, improving efficiency, and reducing labor costs. All of these reasons are important for growers to take a great interest in this technology. It is just as important, however, to consider the quality of the application when determining the best method for your crop needs. We define a “quality application” as delivering the right product, at the right rate, and at the right target location to treat the target pest under a certain set of conditions. Without a quality application, all other advantages that the UAV technology may afford will be diminished. Planning and executing a quality application require more than just a simple scan of label instructions, and a broader understanding of the product, equipment and environmental factors.
So what should be considered to ensure a quality application? Reducing off-target application, achieving the necessary coverage, penetration and retention on the target surfaces and reducing run-offs are all critical requirements. In order to achieve these criteria, more decisions about the application must be made. Correct nozzle selection, pressure, flow-rate, height above canopy, speed and ensuring the environmental conditions are conducive to your application are key factors that contribute to the quality application. All of these parameters will likely need to change depending on the crop, target pest and environmental conditions. Unless these parameters are known and set correctly, there is a high risk of a poor application that could result in crop damage, exposure, and reduced efficacy.
A quality application takes the safety of humans, livestock, beneficial insects and other elements in a sustainable environment into consideration. Syngenta scientists are working closely with the stewardship, cross-industry groups and Chinese government bodies to deliver safe operating instructions, provide safety data and develop a regulatory framework specific to UAV applications.
The success of a quality application is also closely linked to the features of the formulation. Formulated products should be designed with a number of criteria in mind, including the aims of a quality application. When considering UAV applications, the ultra-low carrier volumes, the most concentrated tank-mixes and little or no agitation, crop protection formulators will need to specifically meet the delivery expectations of this technology with increasing regularity as the UAV applications grow. As we continue to unlock the capabilities of UAV systems, Syngenta will continue to refine formulation technology that will provide growers with the efficacy they expect and trust from us.
At Syngenta, we are investing time and resources across multiple regions to better understand this new delivery technology and the capabilities it offers, while ensuring the efficiency, effectiveness, and the ultimate safety of the operators, crops, and the environment. Ensuring that we can achieve an acceptable level of efficacy through a quality application is the number one objective across all of our development testing. Our full understanding will allow us to inform the adopters and give them the tools and knowledge they need to make decisions with high confidence for ensuring high quality of applications. Through education and awareness, we can reduce the risks and ensure that Syngenta's products will perform the way that they were designed.
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