Demostration project of the Generalitat of Catalunya

Evaluation of the effectiveness of phytosanitary treatments carried out with low-drift nozzles in low-port horticultural crops in the Baix Llobregat

Funding entityProject founded through Operation 01.02.01 of Technology Transfer of the Catalan Rural Development Program 

Reference56 30085 2019 P4. 

Period: From 07/01/2020 to 09/30/2022

Project coordinator: UMA-UPC 

The activity proposed in this project aims to demonstrate that drift reduction technologies can be used in vegetables without negatively affecting the efficacy of plant protection products regardless of their nature.

The horticultural area of Baix Llobregat (Barcelona) is defined by a very varied landscape that brings together in very close proximity plots of conventional production, organic production plots, urban areas or recreational areas and other sensitive areas. For this reason, it is necessary to provide users with tools to be able to distribute pesticide products efficiently, guaranteeing adequate crop protection and minimizing the effects of drift in nearby areas.

Before biological efficacy tests, a study was carried out with different nozzles (standard fan as reference, fan and double anti-drift fan) to determine which anti-drift nozzle is the most suitable. Tests on different crops (cabbage, artichoke and cauliflower) and in two vegetative stages, allowed to determine that the double fan anti-drift nozzle is the most suitable. To carry out the biological efficacy tests, 4 vegetable garden producers, members of the ADV Horta del Baix Llobregat, were selected. Each of these producers was calibrated with the sprayer and provided with the necessary nozzles.

It has been demonstrated that by using low-drift nozzles, aphid and lepidopteran pests have been controlled in artichoke, cabbage and cauliflower crops in the same way as with conventional nozzles. The nozzles used allow a 50% reduction in drift, and the properly calibrated sprayer can reduce application volume by up to 40%.