Aerial application

Craig, Ian and Woods, Nick and Dorr, Garry J. (2002) Aerial application. In: Encyclopedia of pest management. Taylor & Francis, United States, pp. 7-10. ISBN 978-0-8247-0632-6


[Introduction]: At the beginning of the 1980s it was estimated that there were approximately 26,000 aircraft worldwide involved with the application of pesticides, with the numbers roughly equally divided between the United States of America, the USSR, and the rest of the world (1). This figure has probably decreased in recent years, primarily due to the decline in communal farming in the USSR and Eastern Europe, but also due to improvements in ground application equipment and public concern over spray drift in some European countries. However, aircraft are still used extensively in public health and are still required for the economic production of many crops such as cotton, rice, fruit and vegetables, sugar cane, and forestry. In 1998 there were 2600 registered aerial operators in the United States of America with approximately 6000 aircraft. According to recent United States Department of Agriculture figures, out of 125 million hectares harvested in the United States in 1998, approximately 25% of the land area receiving crop protection products was sprayed using aircraft.

The use of aircraft as a means of agrochemical application has developed due to the greater speed, better timing, and efficiency of application offered by an airborne platform. Aircraft are able to apply agricultural products rapidly over large areas within narrow optimum application windows, often essential for control of the pest. Aircraft can be used over impenetrable canopies and wet! irrigated areas, and problems of soil compaction disease spread associated with ground vehicles are entirely avoided. However, disadvantages include the high risk of flying close to the ground and the fact that aircraft (especially fixed wing) attract attention to the process of pesticide application and cause public concern. Aircraft also release spray at greater height and speed, which may increase drift compared to ground-based equipment.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Print copy not held in USQ Library.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 07 May 2010 08:23
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 04:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: pest management; pesticides; aerial application; aircraft
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0706 Horticultural Production > 070603 Horticultural Crop Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0702 Animal Production > 070205 Animal Protection (Pests and Pathogens)
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified

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