The issue of spray drift, its effect on non-target organisms and the implications for the registration of plant protection products is of increasing concern resulting in the specification of crop specific buffer zones on some plant protection product labels. Spray application technologies have been developed that deliver substantial reductions in spray drift and these now play an important part in the management of drift risk enabling buffer zone distances to be reduced in many situations. Establishing buffer zone distances requires information describing drift deposits at a range of distances from the treated area and for many regions in Europe these "standard drift curves" have been based on field trials conducted in Germany in the 1990s. Recently, concerns have been expressed that this data set may not represent application conditions that are widely used in many parts of Europe with the potential for larger buffer zones to be needed to mitigate the effects of spray drift. There is therefore substantial interest in reviewing:
The specification and form of the "standard drift curve" that might be representative of commercial application conditions;
How the drift reducing capabilities of application technologies can be defined, specified and measured with the need for some harmonisation in the methods used in different parts of Europe;
The extent to which modelling approaches can aid data interpretation given the high variability in field drift data and the substantial costs of obtaining such data;
Practical approaches to spray drift mitigation that can be included in product registration and on labels.
The above concerns are also being addressed within the SETAC DRAW workshops and this workshop aims to use invited papers, offered contributions and discussions sessions to further explore the above topics. Results from this workshop, particularly relating to application technologies, will be feed into the work of the SETAC DRAW workshops.
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