Researchers try drop nozzles below soybean canopy

A research project was successful in preventing soybean white mold, but the equipment will likely need more development. 

Brian Luck is the Associate Professor of Biological Systems and Engineering at the University of Wisconsin Madison.  He tells Brownfield a two-year study of fungicide applications using drop nozzles below the canopy helped prevent white mold. “What we’re finding is basicly, drop nozzles are helping out, getting the fungicide where it needs to be, maintaining yield, and basicly improving effectiveness of the fungicides we’re applying for white mold.”

Luck says he’s had several farmers ask if the nozzles can hold up under these conditions. “Do we really want to drag drop nozzles through the canopy at R-3, where the canopy is closed in soybeans, basicly, and that’s one of the challenges we’re looking into. It’s a neat engineering problem that we might be able to address where we make a light guard of some sort that we can put in front of some of these plastic nozzles.”

Luck says he’s looking for funding to develop a below-canopy guard for the nozzles, as the researchers were gentle during application and he’s not sure some nozzles would hold up under normal, large-scale applications.

Luck spoke to Brownfield during the recent Wisconsin Agri-Business Classic in Madison, Wisconsin.

AUDIO: Brian Luck discusses drop nozzle study for soybeans with Brownfield’s Larry Lee.

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