The likelihood of safe and efficacious applications of crop protection products can be increased by providing applicators with simple, usable information relative to optimizing the inputs and equipment employed to create the most desirable spray droplet spectra for the products being applied.
There are several factors that contribute to the effectiveness of the spray application. A successful application requires the right combination of the adjuvant selection, spray nozzle design, and the pesticide formulation type. Optimizing the interaction between all of these factors will maximize the performance of the application and the return on investment for the applicator.
How do I know what to choose?
The CPDA APPLICATION ENHANCEMENT CERTIFICATION PROGRAM provides a solution to applicators with an easy to understand visual of how to best manage nozzle and adjuvant selection based on the formulation type of the pesticides to be applied. Download flyer here.
Spray nozzle design, pesticide formulation type, and adjuvants all interact and play a collective role in creating the droplet spectra for any given spray application. The base protocol for this certification includes the four primary nozzle designs most commonly used in ground applications of crop protection products. This includes:
• A single orifice flat fan nozzle
• A turbulence chamber nozzle
• An air-inducted flat fan nozzle
• An air-inducted turbulence chamber nozzle
Applicants may submit additional nozzles for testing if desired. While literature results show that SC (suspension concentrate) and granule formulations have minimal impact on the spray droplet spectrum, the inert systems in both SL (soluble liquid) and EC (emulsifiable concentrate) formulations play a significant role in influencing droplet spectrum as well as interacting with various types of adjuvants. The following four pesticide formulation types, that are known to have the biggest impact on droplet spectra, are to be tested in combination with each of the above nozzles with and without a candidate adjuvant to gain a full understanding of the adjuvant impact on the spray quality:
• Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
• Loaded Anionic Soluble Liquid (SL)
• Loaded Cationic Soluble Liquid (SL)
• Non Loaded Soluble Liquid (SL)
The data generated is from approved wind-tunnel facilities and represents a factual finding of how application parameters such as; pesticide formulation type, nozzle selection, and adjuvants interact to affect droplet size and spectra. This data can serve as a guideline to help applicators in making input selections (nozzles and adjuvants) to better optimize the outcome of various applications. Of course, this information is not intended to supersede the label requirement for a given pesticide or adjuvant.
The top number represents percentage of spray volume in “effective” range. A positive percentage variance from the control represents an increase in spray volume determined to be “effective” range when compared to the pesticide formulation alone. Each droplet found in the matrix nozzle contains the % of spray volume found to be in the effective range and the variance from the control.
The additional increase of pesticide on to the target not only improves the likelihood of expected performance but also more than covers the cost of the adjuvant.
A negative variance from the control represents a decrease in the “effective” range. This could guide the applicator to select an alternative more effective, nozzle / adjuvant combination for this particular pesticide formulation.
A variance that is not statistically different from the control is shown as dark gray and demonstrates that the adjuvant tested ‘”causes no harm”. This indicates the user could benefit from attributes of the adjuvant without reducing the delivery to the target.
The right nozzle and adjuvant combination delivers more product in the “effective” range. In the case of the Anionic Loaded SL, the adjuvant plus TT nozzle combination delivered 33% more spray solution to the target than did the same adjuvant with the XR nozzle. That is the difference between consistent performance and the need for a costly, and most likely ineffective, respray.
The right adjuvant can also maximize nozzle performance. With the TT nozzle and the Anionic Loaded SL, the adjuvant improved performance of the nozzle by 7%. Assuming a $30.00 per acre application cost, that’s over $2.00 per acre more product on target and represents a significant portion of the adjuvants cost. It’s like getting all of the adjuvant’s performance at a fraction of the cost, and maybe for free.
The QR code found on the product container can be scanned to direct users to the CPDA website to review the “droplet spectra pictogram” matrix and identify the certified use-rates.
Watch Video about the Importance of Droplet Size
For over 18 years, attempts have been made at designing programs that would provide applicators guidance and incentives for reducing off-target movement of pesticide applications. However, these programs were too narrowly focused on control of drift, rather than optimization of the entire spray application. While these programs sparked interest, they did not result in a tangible path forward. So, applicators remain hungry for guidance in making more efficacious and on-target applications. To meet this industry need, and at the urging of academia, CPDA began socializing the concept of an Application Enhancement Certification Program in 2019. This program recognizes that drift control without biological efficacy is not a successful application and is designed to provide a more complete picture of the likely outcome of the application. This is achieved by highlighting the positive interactions between pesticide formulation type, various nozzle designs and adjuvant selection. The information provided through this program will provide applicators with an easy to understand visual of how to best manage nozzle and adjuvant selection based on the formulation type of the pesticides to be applied.
Putting more product in the target area and retained on the target surface is critical to improving overall performance. Industry experts have concluded a specific spray droplet size range of between ~160 μm and ~840 μm microns to be “effective” for ensuring deposition and retention of the spray solution on plant leaf surfaces. The three AEC Program Classifications categories are:
To simply communicate the test result for each nozzle, the use-rate tested, pesticide formulation type and adjuvant combination will be displayed in a matrix.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the purpose of the Application Enhancement Certification Program?
Pesticide application stewardship and training are a continued need within the agricultural industry. Programs in the past focused narrowly on control of drift, rather than optimization of an application based on nozzle and product selection. These programs sparked interest but did not result in a tangible path forward.
Applicators are hungry for guidance in making more efficacious and on-target applications. To meet this industry need, and at the urging of academia, CPDA began socializing the concept of an Application Enhancement Certification Program in 2019. The proposed program recognizes that drift control without biological efficacy is not a successful application and is designed to provide a more complete picture of the likely outcome of the application. This is achieved by highlighting the positive interactions between pesticide formulation type, various nozzle designs and adjuvant selection. The information provided through this program will provide applicators with an easy to understand visual of how to best manage nozzle and adjuvant selection based on the formulation type of the pesticides to be applied.
This document outlines the rationale and initial protocol for the launch of CPDA’s Application Enhancement Certification (AEC). The data collected is a factual finding of how various application parameters affect droplet size and the data represents the actual droplet size distributions for each treatment. In no way should the data generated be used to supersede the label requirement for a given pesticide or adjuvant.
Neither participation in the Application Enhancement Certification Program, the data collected, nor the information generated, by the testing be considered or implied as an endorsement of any product by CPDA.
Base Test Protocol – Minimum
The applicant is responsible for the cost for testing each candidate adjuvant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Pesticide Application Technology Laboratory. The cost for testing each candidate adjuvant is as follows:
$4,800 for the standard four nozzles and pesticide formulations specified in the base protocol.
To minimize costs to the applicant, CPDA reimburses the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Pesticide Application Technology Laboratory for the cost of testing the controls in the base protocol.
Base Test Protocol plus Additional Nozzles Prior to Certification
At the Applicant’s discretion, additional nozzles may be tested during the initial Base Protocol testing. Each additional nozzle tested during the initial testing of the base protocol will incur an additional cost of $1,000.
1 nozzle X (4 pesticide formulations + 4 controls).
Additional Nozzles Tested Post Certification
Applicants may submit to have additional nozzles tested after the Applicant’s product is Certified. Each nozzle tested during in this situation will incur a cost of $1,600. 1 nozzle X (4 pesticide formulations + 4 controls).
Payment for Services
Based on the fees identified above, the applicant is responsible for all testing expenses incurred from their submissions. Payments are due upon invoice receipt from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Pesticide Application Technology (PAT) Laboratory.
Application Enhancement Certification Fee Structure
Application and Renewal fees are listed below. Application fees are due once a product is approved for CPDA Certification and provides certification for a period of three (3) years. A Renewal Certification process is conducted and invoiced every 3 years after the initial approval.
Initial Certification Sub-Certification Renewal
CPDA Members $1500 $1000 $ 750
Non Members $2000 $1500 $1000
Interpreting Results and Capturing Value:
How to Apply for Certification?