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ULV Spray Systems Report – Trials By Wageningen University
Spray volume characteristics and efficacy of weed control of three portable Controlled Droplet Application (CDA) sprayers were tested in comparison with a reference sprayer; an air pressure spray with a spray lance unit.
Significant differences between the sprayers were observed in the release of spray volume per unit of time. The Mini-Mantra Plus® had the smallest spray volume and the smallest variation in liquid release compared to the Microfit Powerpack Pro® and the Micron Plus®.
In 2007, new regulations came into force concerning the professional use of herbicides on pavements in the Netherlands. The SWEEP system, as presented on www.weedcontrol.eu plays an important role in these regulations. Amongst other points, the system enforces use of high quality spray technology and a maximum dose of 1 l of product per hectare per working round (maximum 2 l per year per hectare). Spray technology as shown in this report is useful in achieving minimum use of herbicides on pavements.
For various reasons, it is important to reduce the use of pesticides. Optimised application technology is one of the possibilities for reducing the use of pesticides. In this report, models of ULV (ultra low volume) spraying systems that are used in practice are compared in terms of their delivery of spray liquid and their efficacy.
One major advantage of ULV compared with conventional sprayers is that relatively little spray liquid is required to achieve positive results.
CDA sprayers are relatively insensitive to droplet drift if a shield is fitted and if the spray head and shield are kept low above the ground. Run-off to surface water can be reduced by minimising the dose and by taking into account weather, plant and soil properties.
Sustainable weed control is therefore promoted by minimizing the use of herbicides.
The aim of the study described in this report was to test three models of CDA sprayers used in practice, with an air pressure sprayer as the reference.
Spraying Equipment & Setting
The reservoir of the Mini-Mantra Plus was filled with undiluted herbicide.
The Mini-Mantra report code is M3. The conventional water based sprayer is R, M2 is the Microfit Powerpack Pro and M1 is the Micro Plus.
Dose-Response Test On Paved Surface
At a dose of 1.2 l/ha, the Mini-Mantra Plus had a much greater effect (higher level of control achieved) than the other sprayers.
An important observation with regard to the Mini-Mantra Plus is that this sprayer had a similar effect on the weeds at doses of 1.2 l/ha and above as other sprayers at around 3 l/ha.
The lowest effective dose (the lowest dose that provides 100% control) was 1.8 l per hectare with the Mini-Mantra Plus, and 2.4 l per hectare with the other sprayers.
Spraying Volumes & Delivery Speed
Among the CDA sprayers, the Micro Plus has the highest spraying volume and the Mini-Mantra Plus the lowest.
What is striking about these observations is that the lower doses applied with the Mini-Mantra Plus produced a stronger effect on the weeds than the treatments with the other sprayers at much higher doses.
The use of the Mini-Mantra Plus ultimately had a greater and faster effect over the period of 20 days.
The observations in the dose-response tests for the use of the Mini-Mantra Plus are less variable than those for the other sprayers.
The spread in delivery of the agent is the smallest with Mini-Mantra Plus, and this has a positive effect on uniform efficacy.
The Mini-Mantra Plus and the Microfit Powerpack Pro generated smaller and more uniform droplets than the other two sprayers.
The study shows that the Mini Mantra Plus CDA sprayer is the most robust and the most reliable.