You’ve gone out to check fields. Last week’s herbicide application should be in full force, but when you get out to the field, targeted weeds aren’t showing the signs they should, or the crop looks sickly or both. Was this product failure or human error? Both or neither? Spraying pesticides — be they insecticides, fungicides or herbicides — is a complex mix of product and adjuvants, equipment and maintenance, the human element and timing, plus the power of almighty Mother Nature. It’s no wonder farmers are often disappointed with product results, or, at a minimum always looking for ways and means to do the job better.
It’s in this light that the Wheat School has set out to include a sprayer series within this year’s program. Over several episodes, Tom Wolf, spray application specialist, will cover everything from nozzle selection, to boom height, to water quality, to ground speed, environmental conditions and more. More than that, however, Wolf will draw on his year’s of research with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to discuss not just each of this factors in pesticide efficacy, but how they all impact one another and can improve or decrease performance depending on product used and spraying conditions.
In this Wheat School episode, Wolf gives us the introduction to the series, framed around the question of what should be on product application labels, why it’s not there, who to ask for more information and where Canadian farmers are likely going to have to look for answers in the years ahead.
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