Making "sense" of predicting herbicide drift
Each year grape growers report indicidence of herbicide drift injury in Ohio vineyards. Working together with you and DriftSense, we hope to eliminate one of the root causes of drift injury - bad herbicide application timing. The following is a message from Dr. Doug Doohan, Weed Specialist with OSU Horticulture and Crop Science, describing the goals of DriftSense. If you are interested in collaborating with us on this promising technology, please reach out to Dr. Doohan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the past month I (we) have met on 4 occasions with colleagues from Israel who own and manage a company called DriftSense (https://www.drift-sense.com). DriftSense is a startup firm that is dedicated to helping growers and pesticide applicators reduce the risk of herbicide drift from row-crop fields to vineyards and orchards. They are developing a real-time tool that will forecast time periods when it is safe or unsafe apply herbicides, from the drift-management point of view. We think this technology will be of interest to commercial pesticide applicators and to owners/ managers of high value crops like grape. For you as a vineyard owner and operator the tool, when fully developed, will help you to communicate in real-time with adjacent property owners and applicators, providing them with a science-based risk assessment ie when it is safe or unsafe to spray herbicides. It should also be useful in conducting investigations of drift of uncertain origin and timing.
After listening carefully to their background information, the science and the technology behind DriftSense, I have agreed to reach out to several of my vineyard associates about participating in a validation exercise of their technology. Specifically I am reaching out to you because I know that you have been impacted from herbicide drift from a neighbor’s field. If you agreed to work with DriftSense, at no cost to you and no financial benefit to me or Ohio State University, their team would contact you and garner a few key pieces of information from you; your geographic location, the date and time (if known) of the drift event, and the herbicide involved. With these few pieces of information they will model the 48-72 hour time-periods before and after the drift event(s) you experienced. The outcome of the procedure will be a clear representation of how chemical, application technology, weather conditions, and local geography played into the drift you experienced and it will help DriftSense fine-tune their models and prepare to seek additional startup funding.