Wind tunnel and lasers help reduce spray drift

If the low-drift adjuvant InterLock really reduces drift, why isn’t it in general use across the Prairies? Spraying specialist and researcher Tom Wolf provides one answer.

“The biggest challenge is that Canadian farmers simply don’t have the tradition of using low-drift adjuvants the way American farmers do. Canadian farmers are accustomed to using nozzles, spray pressure and water volumes to manage drift,” says Wolf, president of Agrimetrix Research and purveyor of Sprayers101.

“If we’re serious about reducing drift, we should start thinking about low-drift adjuvants like InterLock. The product works. Period. There’s no question about that. They’re quite serious about having scientific data backing up their performance claims.

“The company in its original form was called Winfield. They have a strong research program. In fact, I’ve visited their lab. They have lasers and a wind tunnel to measure droplet size and droplet drift. Their data proves that InterLock reduces drift,” said Wolf.

He says nearly every prairie farmer already uses low-drift nozzles. If the drift is still too much, operators adjust the hardware, such as lowering the boom, slowing down and lowering the pressure.

He says in the United States, farmers use all those spray management techniques, but as a precautionary measure, they also add InterLock. They see it as one more tool.

“There are some herbicides that just naturally tend to make a finer spray, even when atomized through low-drift nozzles. Liberty is a classic example. It’s difficult to manage Liberty drift. It’s just the way the formulation works. InterLock helps manage those finer droplets.

“And there are some herbicide-nozzles combinations that create an interaction that is not desirable. WinField did have a couple surprises in the wind tunnel, especially with low-drift TTI combined with Dicamba and Roundup. When they added InterLock the spray drift actually increased. Quite unexpected. The company responded very quickly by making a special formulation specifically for that combination.”

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