Transportation Safety Board officials are investigating after a fatal plane crash involving a crop sprayer near Arborfield, Sask., July 12. | File photo

Spray plane crash under investigation

Transportation Safety Board officials are investigating after a fatal plane crash involving a crop sprayer near Arborfield, Sask., July 12. RCMP said the accident happened about 3:30 p.m. near the community in northeastern Saskatchewan. The pilot and lone occupant was declared dead at the scene. That was the second crash in the province this week. […] Read more

Hot, dry weather across much of Western Canada has changed the economic threshold to use pesticides. That’s bad news for aerial spraying operators, whose inventory is sitting idle.  |   File photo

Crop sprayers grounded in Western Canada

Aerial crop sprayers are spending more time on the ground than in the air in Western Canada this season, with hot, dry weather limiting disease pressures and changing the economic threshold for insect applications. “The crops came out of the ground very aggressively and good, but there was a prolonged hot spell without any precipitation […] Read more

Aerial spraying allows growers to get out in the fields immediately after a rain and also reduces the spread of disease.  |  File photo

Large fields tailor made for spray planes

There’s no denying that vast fields of contiguous, homogenous plantings are efficient. Large tracts lend themselves to 100 foot drills, 150 foot spray booms, Class 10 combines and 600 horsepower tractors. They are also ideal for aerial spraying. Long, large fields of identical crops are the perfect target for spray planes putting down pesticides, and […] Read more

Spraying is all about penetrating a dense foliage canopy.  Atomizer specialist Tim Sander says rotary nozzles rate better than conventional nozzles when you measure droplets that get into the canopy.  |  Yorkton Aircraft photo

Do rotary atomizers stop drift?

The folks who follow the debate over aerial application’s rotary atomizers versus conventional hydraulic nozzles say it’s like comparing apples to oranges. The common ground on the ground says they’re both round and supposedly good for you, fruit and nozzles. A chief argument put forth by atomizer proponents is that conventional nozzles lack the ability […] Read more

A spray plane equipped with ASC rotary atomizers can be identified by the large nozzles suspended from the boom. The nozzles are designed to limit the variation in droplet size when spraying.  |  Specialized Spray Services photo

Atomizer removes big globs, fine mist for better coverage

Tests show more uniform-sized drops are achieved using rotary atomizers than with standard nozzles

If more spray droplets hit the sweet range of about 300 microns, the extra spray must come from the fine mist at the top end and big globlets at the bottom end. That’s the conclusion drawn by spray plane operators equipped with rotary atomizers when doing a wet paper droplet scan test. Michael Yaholnitsky, owner […] Read more

Driftwatch is designed to help all pesticide applicators, including aerial sprayers, find locations of bee colonies and other sensitive areas before they spray.  |  File photo

Manitoba beekeepers not sold on DriftWatch program

The online tool gives pesticide applicators information on bee hive locations but apiarists have privacy concerns

Saskatchewan beekeepers are registering for a program designed to prevent pesticide accidents, but aerial applicators would like to see improvements before a similar service is implemented in Manitoba. Last spring, Saskatchewan became the first province to launch DriftWatch, an online tool that allows apiarists to register the locations of their bee yards on a map. […] Read more