South Carolina: Pay Attention to Wind Speed to Avoid Herbicide Drift

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With some of the new herbicide technology labeled for use this year, growers need to be paying more attention than ever to the wind in order to reduce drift.  I would urge everyone that plans to apply auxin herbicides to invest in a wind meter.  

There are a wide range that wind meters that go for $25-$600.  The one pictured below goes for $74 on Amazon.

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This meter is reading a 4.1 mph wind speed.  So is good or bad for spraying?  Consider the following wind speed requirements on these herbicide labels:

Enlist Duo:  0-15 mph

XtendiMax:  3-10 mph

Engenia:  0-15 mph, if spraying in less than 3 mph, steps need to be taken to make sure there is no inversion.

According to all three labels, 4.1 mph is a good speed for spraying.  What this photo doesn’t show, and what the wind meter can’t tell you, is wind direction.  Applicators also need to pay close attention to wind direction as well as what lies downwind.  It would be a good idea to make some flags (a 6 ft piece of rebar and some flagging tape would be cheap and easy) and put them in a couple places on the edge of the field you are about to spray.  That way you can look at those flags while you are spraying and be aware of any changes in the wind.