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Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 18751

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Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), Section of Mechanics and Mechanization, University of Catania, via Santa Sofia, 100, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: agricultural machines; pesticide applications (nozzle, sprayers, distribution uniformity, spray drift, worker exposure); mechanical distribution of natural enemies; safety in agriculture (noise and vibrations both in field and food-industry plants); post-harvest (packing lines, mechanical fruit damage); sustainable agriculture (anaerobic digestion plants, biomasses, digestate spreading, erosion, sod-seeding)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), Section of Mechanics and Mechanization, University of Catania, via Santa Sofia, 100, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: pesticide application (foliar deposition, ground losses, worker exposure, spray quality); post-harvest (packing lines, mechanical fruit damage); worker safety (noise and vibration exposure); renewable energies (anaerobic digestion plants, digestate spreading)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), Section of Mechanics and Mechanization, University of Catania, via Santa Sofia, 100, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: robotics; agricultural machines; precision agriculture; automatic control systems; electronics and sensors; biosensors; measurement system; informatics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), Section of Mechanics and Mechanization, University of Catania, via Santa Sofia, 100, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: pesticide application (foliar deposition, spray quality); integrated/organic pest control (mechanical distribution of natural enemies); worker safety (noise and vibration exposure); renewable energies (anaerobic digestion plants, digestate spreading)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on “Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems” in Applied Sciences (MDPI).

Spraying plant protection products (PPP) is recognized, also at the regulatory level, as one of the agricultural activities that have the most impact on human health and the environment. The effects of PPP on human health involve operators, farmworkers and bystanders, consumers, professionals, and the general population, whereas those on the environment involve water, soil and atmosphere quality, and non-target organisms such as vertebrates, useful arthropods, and other invertebrates. Therefore, on the one hand, researchers and manufacturers are trying to make the application of PPP more sustainable according to precision agriculture principles and, on the other, to promote non-chemical approaches.

Worker exposure, environmental effects, deposition on the target, and efficacy of pesticide applications are affected by numerous variables, including active substance, adjuvants and formulation, type of equipment used and its status, nozzle and droplet size spectrum, target features and canopy structure, amount of pesticide handled and the packaging, environmental conditions, duration of the activity, personal protective equipment (PPE) used, worker capability, and others.

The equipment status, its drift potential, its inspection according to the legal framework, and the user knowledge, are all prerequisites for a successful application. Sprayer calibration by means of suitable test benches according to the crop features or according to real-time data (precision spraying) is another key point to minimize the environmental impact of pesticides. Finally, waste management after treatment is crucial when environmental effects are examined.

The topics of interest for this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following (in alphabetical order):

  • Deposit assessment and dose adjustment
  • Measurement equipment
  • Modeling of spray and airflow pattern
  • Operator safety and risk mitigation
  • Remote sensing for precision pest management
  • Spray drift reducing technologies
  • Spray quality assessment
  • Sprayer inspection
  • Spraying equipment
  • Waste management and environment safeguard

Dr. Giuseppe Manetto
Prof. Dr. Emanuele Cerruto
Dr. Domenico Longo
Dr. Rita Papa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Airflow rate
  • Crop protection
  • Deposit
  • Dose
  • Droplet size
  • Measurement equipment
  • Modeling
  • Nozzle inspection
  • Nozzle testing
  • Operator exposure
  • Pesticide
  • Pesticide application equipment
  • Pollution from point sources
  • Precision spraying
  • Risk mitigation
  • Safety
  • Spray drift
  • Spray quality
  • Sprayer calibration
  • Sprayer inspection
  • Spraying equipment
  • Waste management
  • Water sensitive papers

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 182 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue on Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems
by Giuseppe Manetto, Emanuele Cerruto, Domenico Longo and Rita Papa
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3695; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083695 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1281
Abstract
The European Directive 2009/128/EC on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides recognizes the use of Plant Protection Products (PPP) as having great impact on human health and the environment [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

17 pages, 2061 KiB  
Article
Reduction of Pesticide Use in Fresh-Cut Salad Production through Artificial Intelligence
by Davide Facchinetti, Stefano Santoro, Lavinia Eleonora Galli, Giulio Fontana, Lorenzo Fedeli, Simone Parisi, Luigi Bono Bonacchi, Stefan Šušnjar, Fabio Salvai, Gabriele Coppola, Matteo Matteucci and Domenico Pessina
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 1992; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11051992 - 24 Feb 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2712
Abstract
Incorrect pesticide use in plant protection often involve a risk to the health of operators and consumers and can have negative impacts on the environment and the crops. The application of artificial intelligence techniques can help the reduction of the volume sprayed, decreasing [...] Read more.
Incorrect pesticide use in plant protection often involve a risk to the health of operators and consumers and can have negative impacts on the environment and the crops. The application of artificial intelligence techniques can help the reduction of the volume sprayed, decreasing these impacts. In Italy, the production of ready-to-eat salad in greenhouses requires usually from 8 to 12 treatments per year. Moreover, inappropriate sprayers are frequently used, being originally designed for open-field operations. To solve this problem, a small vehicle suitable for moving over rough ground (named “rover”), was designed, able to carry out treatments based on a single row pass in the greenhouse, devoted to reduce significantly the sprayed product amount. To ascertain its potential, the prototype has been tested at two growth stages of some salad cultivars, adopting different nozzles and boom settings. Parameters such as boom height, nozzle spacing and inclination, pump pressure and rover traveling speed were studied. To assess the effectiveness of the spraying coverage, for each run several water-sensitive papers were placed throughout the vegetation. Compared to the commonly distributed mixture volume (1000 L/ha), the prototype is able to reduce up to 55% of product sprayed, but still assure an excellent crop coverage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems)
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9 pages, 4355 KiB  
Article
Nonlethal Effects of Pesticides on Web-Building Spiders Might Account for Rapid Mosquito Population Rebound after Spray Application
by Stefan N. Rhoades and Philip K. Stoddard
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11041360 - 3 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2883
Abstract
Spiders are important population regulators of insect pests that spread human disease and damage crops. Nonlethal pesticide exposure is known to affect behavior of arthropods. For spiders such effects include the inability to repair their webs or capture prey. In this study, nonlethal [...] Read more.
Spiders are important population regulators of insect pests that spread human disease and damage crops. Nonlethal pesticide exposure is known to affect behavior of arthropods. For spiders such effects include the inability to repair their webs or capture prey. In this study, nonlethal exposure of Mabel’s orchard spider (Leucauge argyrobapta) to the synthetic pyrethroid permethrin, via web application, interfered with web reconstruction and mosquito capture ability for 1–3 days. The timing of this loss-of-predator ecosystem function corresponds to the rapid population rebound of the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) following insecticide application to control arbovirus epidemics. We suggest this temporal association is functional and propose that follow-up study be conducted to evaluate its significance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems)
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19 pages, 5560 KiB  
Article
Spatial Distribution of Spray from a Solid Set Canopy Delivery System in a High-Density Apple Orchard Retrofitted with Modified Emitters
by Rakesh Ranjan, Rajeev Sinha, Lav R. Khot, Gwen-Alyn Hoheisel, Matthew Grieshop and Mark Ledebuhr
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020709 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2573
Abstract
Solid Set Canopy Delivery Systems (SSCDS) are fixed agrochemical delivery systems composed of a network of micro-sprayers/nozzles distributed in perennial crop canopies. A previous SSCDS design composed of a 3-tier configuration using hollow cone sprayer nozzles has been shown to provide excellent coverage [...] Read more.
Solid Set Canopy Delivery Systems (SSCDS) are fixed agrochemical delivery systems composed of a network of micro-sprayers/nozzles distributed in perennial crop canopies. A previous SSCDS design composed of a 3-tier configuration using hollow cone sprayer nozzles has been shown to provide excellent coverage and deposition in high-density apple orchards. However, the hollow cone nozzles substantially increases the initial system installation costs. This study evaluated the effect of irrigation micro-emitters replacement on spray deposition, coverage and off-target drift. A micro-emitter used in greenhouse irrigation systems was duly modified to enhance its applicability with SSCDS. After laboratory assessment and optimization of the micro-emitters, a replicated field study was conducted to compare 3-tier SSCDS configured with either of modified irrigation micro-emitters or traditional hollow cone nozzles. Canopy deposition and off target drift were evaluated using a 500 ppm fluorescent tracer solution sprayed by the field installed systems and captured on mylar collectors. Spray coverage was evaluated using water sensitive papers. The overall canopy deposition and coverage for treatment configured with modified irrigation micro-emitters (955.5 ± 153.9 [mean ± standard error of mean] ng cm−2 and 22.7 ± 2.6%, respectively) were numerically higher than the hollow cone nozzles (746.2 ± 104.7 ng cm−2 and 19.0 ± 2.8%, respectively). Moreover, modified irrigation micro-emitter SSCDS had improved spray uniformity in the canopy foliage and on either side of leaf surfaces compared to a hollow cone nozzle. Ground and aerial spray losses, quantified as deposition, were numerically lower for the modified irrigation micro-emitter (121.8 ± 43.4 ng cm−2 and 0.7 ± 0.1 ng cm−2, respectively) compared to the traditional hollow cone nozzle (447.4 ± 190.9 ng cm−2 and 3.2 ± 0.4 ng cm−2, respectively). Overall, the modified irrigation micro-emitter provided similar or superior performance to the traditional hollow cone nozzle with an estimated 12 times reduction in system installation cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems)
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11 pages, 791 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Handler Exposure to Pesticides from Stretcher-Type Power Sprayers in Orchards
by Zhinan Wang, Yuxi Meng, Xiangdong Mei, Jun Ning, Xiaodong Ma and Dongmei She
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8684; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238684 - 4 Dec 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2243
Abstract
The production and export volume of fruits from China are among the top three in the world. Pesticides are applied to orchards more than 10 times a year to control pests, and stretcher-type power sprayers are widely used to apply chemical pesticides. However, [...] Read more.
The production and export volume of fruits from China are among the top three in the world. Pesticides are applied to orchards more than 10 times a year to control pests, and stretcher-type power sprayers are widely used to apply chemical pesticides. However, an assessment of pesticide-handler exposure to pesticides in this scenario has not been reported in China. The test pesticide, 30% SYP-9625 concentrate diluted 3000 times, was sprayed on apple orchards in Beijing China. Experiments were conducted to assess dermal and inhalation exposure using standard whole-body dosimetry and air-sampling methodologies. The dermal deposition was the main route of exposure in this study. The dermal unit exposure (UE) of handlers was 350 mg·kg−1 a.i. of SYP-9625. The hands accounted for 59% of the total exposure and were the most exposed body part. Inhalation UE was 0.720 mg·kg−1 a.i. of SYP-9625 and was negligible compared with dermal exposure. We found that use of protective garments while using stretcher-type powers sprayers reduced dermal pesticide exposure. These results can be used as a reference for the handler’s safety in pesticide management and orchard mechanical management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems)
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21 pages, 6273 KiB  
Article
Development of Drift-Reducing Spouts For Vineyard Pneumatic Sprayers: Measurement of Droplet Size Spectra Generated and Their Classification
by Marco Grella, Antonio Miranda-Fuentes, Paolo Marucco, Paolo Balsari and Fabrizio Gioelli
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7826; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217826 - 4 Nov 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2504
Abstract
Pneumatic spraying is especially sensitive to spray drift due to the production of small droplets that can be easily blown away from the treated field by the wind. Two prototypes of environmentally friendly pneumatic spouts were developed. The present work aims to check [...] Read more.
Pneumatic spraying is especially sensitive to spray drift due to the production of small droplets that can be easily blown away from the treated field by the wind. Two prototypes of environmentally friendly pneumatic spouts were developed. The present work aims to check the effect of the spout modifications on the spray quality, to test the convenience of setting the liquid hose out of the spout in cannon-type and hand-type pneumatic nozzles and its effect on the droplet size, homogeneity and driftability in laboratory conditions. Laboratory trials simulating a real sprayer were conducted to test the influence of the hose insertion position (HP), including conventional (CP), alternative (AP), outer (OP) and extreme (XP), as well as the liquid flow rate (LFR) and the airflow speed (AS) on the droplet size (D50, D10 and D90), homogeneity and driftability (V100). Concurrently, the droplet size spectra obtained by the combination of aforementioned parameters (HP × LFR × AS) in both nozzles were also classified according to the ASABE S572.1. Results showed a marked reduction of AS outside the air spout, which led to droplet size increase. This hypothesis was confirmed by the droplet size spectra measured (D50, D10, D90 and V100). A clear influence of HP was found on every dependent variable, including those related with the droplet size. In both nozzles, the longer the distance to CP, the coarser the sprayed drops. Moreover, LFR and AS significantly increased and reduced droplet size, respectively. A higher heterogeneity in the generated drops was obtained in XP. This position yielded V100 values similar to those of the hydraulic low-drift nozzles, showing an effective drift reduction potential. The classification underlines that the variation of HP, alongside AS and LFR, allowed varying the spray quality from very fine to coarse/very coarse, providing farmers with a wide range of options to match the drift-reducing environmental requirements and the treatment specifications for every spray application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems)
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16 pages, 2649 KiB  
Article
Design and Construction of a Low-Cost Test Bench for Testing Agricultural Spray Nozzles
by Domenico Longo, Giuseppe Manetto, Rita Papa and Emanuele Cerruto
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5221; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10155221 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3360
Abstract
Droplet size distribution is probably the most important feature of a spray as it affects all aspects of a phytosanitary treatment, i.e., biological, environmental, and safety aspects. This study describes a low-cost laboratory test bench able to analyze agricultural spray nozzles under realistic [...] Read more.
Droplet size distribution is probably the most important feature of a spray as it affects all aspects of a phytosanitary treatment, i.e., biological, environmental, and safety aspects. This study describes a low-cost laboratory test bench able to analyze agricultural spray nozzles under realistic conditions. The design of the equipment was mainly based on the ISO 5682-1 standard. It has a couple of 3 m long rails, along which the nozzle under test moves while spraying, controlled by a closed-loop position and speed controller. The drops were captured with three Petri dishes containing silicone oil, photographed by means of a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, and then analyzed with the ImageJ software in order to measure the usual spray parameters: the volumetric diameters, the Sauter mean diameter, and the number mean diameter. Spray trials and tuning of the system parameters were managed by means of a purposely designed user interface running on a Windows 10 PC. Some tests were carried out by using an Albuz ATR80 orange hollow cone nozzle at the working pressures of 0.3, 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 MPa. The results about spray quality agree with the factory information, and the whole system, even if some aspects still need improvements, has proven reliable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticide Applications in Agricultural Systems)
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