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Open AccessArticle

Spray Drift Generated in Vineyard during Under-Row Weed Control and Suckering: Evaluation of Direct and Indirect Drift-Reducing Techniques

1
Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (DiSAFA), University of Turin (UNITO), Largo Paolo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
2
Institute of Bio-Economy & Agro-Technology, Centre of Research & Technology Hellas, Dimarchou Georgiadou 118, 38333 Volos, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5068; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125068
Received: 8 April 2020 / Revised: 14 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 22 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suitable Agronomic Techniques for Sustainable Agriculture)
The most widespread method for weed control and suckering in vineyards is under-row band herbicide application. It could be performed for weed control only (WC) or weed control and suckering (WSC) simultaneously. During herbicide application, spray drift is one of the most important environmental issues. The objective of this experimental work was to evaluate the performance of specific Spray Drift Reducing Techniques (SDRTs) used either for WC or WSC spray applications. Furthermore, spray drift reduction achieved by buffer zone adoption was investigated. All spray drift measurements were conducted according to ISO22866:2005 protocol. Sixteen configurations deriving from four nozzle types (two conventional and two air-induction—AI) combined with or without a semi-shielded boom at two different heights (0.25 m for WC and 0.50 m for WSC) were tested. A fully-shielded boom was also tested in combination with conventional nozzles at 0.25 m height for WC. Ground spray drift profiles were obtained, from which corresponding Drift Values (DVs) were calculated. Then, the related drift reduction was calculated based on ISO22369-1:2006. It was revealed that WC spray applications generate lower spray drift than WSC applications. In all cases, using AI nozzles and semi-shielded boom significantly reduced DVs; the optimum combination of SDRTs decreased spray drift by up to 78% and 95% for WC and WSC spray application, respectively. The fully-shielded boom allowed reducing nearly 100% of spray drift generation. Finally, the adoption of a cropped buffer zone that includes the two outermost vineyard rows lowered the total spray drift up to 97%. The first 90th percentile model for the spray drift generated during herbicide application in vineyards was also obtained. View Full-Text
Keywords: under-row band herbicide application; weed control; grapevine suckering; drift model; spray drift reducing techniques; air-induction nozzles; shielded spray boom; buffer zone; drift mitigation; ISO22866:2005 under-row band herbicide application; weed control; grapevine suckering; drift model; spray drift reducing techniques; air-induction nozzles; shielded spray boom; buffer zone; drift mitigation; ISO22866:2005
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Grella, M.; Marucco, P.; Balafoutis, A.T.; Balsari, P. Spray Drift Generated in Vineyard during Under-Row Weed Control and Suckering: Evaluation of Direct and Indirect Drift-Reducing Techniques. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5068.

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