Aerial Application - 72



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Project Leader and Principal UC Investigators

N.B. Akesson, W.E. Yates, Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Contamination of Chemical Applications in Rice

D.E. Bayer

W. Ray Winterlin

R.W. Brazelton



Protection of neighboring crops, the surrounding area, and the ecology in general require that spray droplets be uniform in size. Atomizers that restrict size to a narrow range are therefore the ideal that engineers have sought for for many years. Droplet diameter should be in the range of 200-300 micrometers for two reasons: 1) elimination of smaller drops will virtually end drift of materials applied by ground or aircraft machines; and 2) elimination of larger drops will end the waste involved in the poor distribution they give.

The agricultural engineering department at Davis has now developed a piezoelectric-driven small-drop-producing atomizer that has performed successfully on a fixed-wing aircraft operated at 100 mph. Drops were produced in a narrow band around 250 micrometers, with no evidence that substantial numbers exceeded the size range specified above. The potential is thus high to reduce drift of applications from both fixed-wing aircraft and ground rigs. The narrow range of drop size is nearly optimum for effective plant coverage, though further field tests are needed to verify that plant coverage is indeed improved and that drift from target areas is virtually eliminated. (RP4)


In addition to major research emphasis on aerial distribution of liquids. progress was made in improving the uniformity of aerial distribution of solids, including seed and fertilizer. In work with agricultural aircraft operators the performance of commercially available equipment was improved. This includes the new spinner distributor now being used by a number of aircraft operators. (RP4)


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