Skip to main content

THE PESTICIDE APPLICATION TECHNOLOGY TEAM
AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY

THE CHALLENGE
"To use engineering methods to optimize pesticide use by improving deposition,

reducing drift and developing safer pesticide handling methods"

THE TEAM
Dr. Andrew Landers

PhD. Agricultural Engineering, University of Bath, UK.
Following many years teaching and conducting research in the UK came to Cornell University in 1998 where he has a research/extension position.

Brad Muise, PhD., MS, MA

Post Doctoral Associate

Bill Larzelere, AS

Engineering Technician

COMMODITIES
Apples, Grapes, Turfgrass and Vegetables

RESEARCH
We work closely within a multi-disciplinary group, namely entomologists, plant pathologists and horticulturalists. We have been most successful in obtaining research funding via a team-approach. We work particularly closely with Wayne Wilcox, (Plant Pathology) and Harvey Reissig, Art Agnello, Greg English-Loeb (Entomology). We have also worked on smaller projects with numerous Cornell University colleagues at Ithaca, Geneva, Riverhead, Hudson Valley and Fredonia. The approach: the engineers look at drift and deposition, the pathologist looks at disease control and the entomologist looks at insect activity. We have studied novel spraying techniques such as Proptec, ESS electrostatic, CIMA and LIPCO tunnel sprayers over 3 year trial periods. We have studied alternate row deposition and new methods of applying pesticides such as steam/hot water/foam system. A set of deflectors have been developed which improve pesticide deposition by 30% average. We have studied the adoption and use of engineering controls to reduce operator contamination and environmental pollution. Engineering controls such as closed transfer systems, tank rinsing devices and carbon cab filters allow for the safer use of pesticides and reduce the risk of operator and sprayer contamination. We will continue to study the inter-relationship between air volume, speed and direction with pesticide volume, forward speed and developing canopy. We will also continue comparative field trials of sprayers and study the development and adoption of engineering controls.

EXTENSION
Field meetings are held throughout the state to demonstrate the latest spraying techniques, primarily in grapes and apples. Airblast sprayers continue to be the main challenge due to the high quantities of drift. During spring and summer of 2003 we held 11 sprayer demonstrations across the state. 35- 40 presentations are made annually at conferences, workshops and grower meetings. A number of conference presentations are national and international.

PUBLICATIONS
We publish a large section in Penn State/Cornell Grape Recommends, and have produced a large number of fact sheets.
A wide range of research and extension papers are to be found on the web page.

FACILITIES
A fully equipped pesticide application laboratory, electronics lab and mechanical workshop.