Pesticide Spraying & Kestrels: Onsite vs Distant Weather Station Data
Pesticides help provide bountiful harvests, reduce transmitted diseases carried by insects, and keep food prices affordable. While there certainly are obvious benefits that come from effective pesticide use, there are risk factors associated with spraying these helpful but potentially harmful chemicals in the air. Off-target drift can cause damage to surrounding crops and threaten the safety of nearby people and animals.
Knowing current weather conditions at the site of application can help you spray safely and get the best result possible result.
How Does Climate Conditions Affect Pesticides?
The weather is a big factor in how pesticides are applied and how effective they will be for long-term results. Several weather variations are considered with pesticides, including:
- Extreme temperature variations: Some pesticides freeze during cold temperatures, causing the container to crack. Freezing temperatures may also cause liquid pesticides to crystalize and otherwise become useless. Hot temperatures can cause an issue in terms of storage, resulting in a buildup of pressure that may burst glass containers---or even result in a fire. You should also never spray in temperatures over 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This applies to all brands and types of pesticides.
- Moisture/Humidity: This can make pesticides clump or dissolve, or it can trigger slow-release chemicals to release active ingredients. Relative humidity should ideally be less than 40%.
- Wind: Specifically wind direction and wind speed, knowing your wind meters can make a difference in making your target or missing it into downwind areas.
- Delta T: This is the measurement of the evaporation rate and the lifetime of a droplet.
Now that you see how some climate variables will impact pesticide storage and application, let's explore how onsite vs offsite weather tracking differs.
Onsite Weather Tracking with Kestrel Weather Meters
When you're preparing to apply pesticides, you'll need to consider the readings your meter provides and how this data will help you with your application.
For example, irresponsibly spraying Dicamba can put you in a legal bind. The XtendiMax Application Requirements state the 3 environmental conditions that must be logged from an onsite weather meter, but those readings do not give enough information to prevent spray drift.
At the bare minimum, you should track wind speed and temperature. However, the aforementioned climate conditions---humidity and wind speed---should also be considered. Dicamba should be applied during wind speeds of 3 mph to 10 mph. Wind speeds under 3 mph are forbidden.
Capture Ideal Conditions and Microclimates
Kestrel Weather meters ensure that you are spraying at a moment in time where you have close to the ideal conditions. This is because it's not pulling weather data from a distant meter or your smart phone's weather app. It's taking microclimates into consideration and your precise geographic location.
Tracking with an onsite Kestrel weather meter is significantly more reliable than using an app or a distant weather station. The latter items also do not supply you with all of the information from the bulleted list above. When you have accurate weather readings right onsite, it can improve the success of your pesticide application.
Keep in the Legal Clear with Kestrel Weather Meters
By using Kestrel, you can keep yourself out of court, protect your crop, and prevent causing harm to nearby crops or even people. Join countless other farmers who trust Kestrel for spraying pesticides of all types and brands. Consider our Kestrel 2000 Wind Meter, Kestrel 3000 Wind Meter, Kestrel 3500 Delta T, and Kestrel 5500AG Agricultural Weather Meter.