The Agronomists, Ep 46: Jason Deveau and Tom Wolf on new spray technology


We’re not about to let some technical difficulties keep us from having The Agronomists go live!

In this episode, storm-stayed Tom Wolf and mall-Santa-ready Jason Deveau join host Shaun Haney for an engaging conversation about new sprayer technology, the rate of commercialization, and strategies for effective product application in the face of possible shortages in-season.

Catch a new episode of The Agronomists every Monday night at 8 pm E!

  • Facing technical adversity tonight
  • Tom is currently at Drumheller, Alta., in a power outage, so he’s calling in for tonight
  • The biggest issue this fall is actually next year: supply chain issues trickling down all the way to the agronomy level
  • People might be tempted to use less water, less product, not tank mix actives that they should
  • Cutting herbicide rates spells trouble long-term
  • Glyphosate and glufosinate could be in short supply or at a higher price
  • Think seriously about what to grow next year, so that you can decrease what you need to spray
  • Wouldn’t you be better off to use no glufosinate or glyphosate than to use a reduced rate? Reduced rates just promote resistance. Apply the full rate if possible
  • What about increasing water volumes as a way to compensate? Dilute the herbicide? Or just slow down and drop the boom
  • There are rules of maximizing herbicide performance
  • It’s not so much about getting every last emerged weed, but about reducing that early competition as much as possible
  • If crop protection products are in tight supply for getting the right active ingredient to the weed, is there a benefit to using surfactants, NIS, MSO, etc.?
  • What about 10 gallon formulations? Deveau says that even though the PMRA is a bit slow, you can search things in their documents and they do a good job of regulating ctrl + f for the words DON’T and MIX, look for seals of approval
  • The many, many companies coming out with additives, hard to know where to draw the line.
  • Can low volume, high concentration spraying via drones be effective?
  • Is there any central repository for information on what adjuvants to add with what, or what definitely should not be done? Is PMRA and the focused search the best we have?
  • Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. We’ve devolved into music talk. (Editor’s note: did Dr. Hook actually only have one eye?)
  • Deposition utility modifier. They’re a thing.
  • Which is more important, droplets per square inch or gallons per acre? Coverage can be hard to define
  • What about nozzle positioning when it comes to what your target might be in certain crops? Recent research results that Deveau has in his grubby hands right now… ground-shaking. And it involved a sprayer rodeo
  • Coverage doesn’t necessarily mean efficacy
  • Eventually Tom’s power came back and he showed his clean face, in relation to Jason’s Kris Kringle look
  • Update on green-on-green, green-on-brown spot spray tech. Things are moving faster than Tom expected. Commercial release of green-on-green… in Australia. Algorithm priced on a per hectare basis
  • Fresh set of eyes on old problems
  • Magical solution for Palmer amaranth? Francois Tardif says in the comments that Palmer is so adaptable that it will learn to evade green-on-green
  • Lighter, smaller, more agile units. More capital investment, but perhaps a definite part of the future. Especially on very wet ground
  • Boston Robotics dancing through a crop zapping weeds with their lasers

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