A new re­ten­tion sys­tem that could re­duce pes­ti­cide use

Down to Earth - - CONTENTS -

US sci­en­tists find a way of get­ting plants to re­tain pes­ti­cide ad­min­is­tered in small amounts

PES­TI­CIDE SPRAY­ING has a re­ten­tion prob­lem: only two per cent of the spray sticks to the plants, while a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion bounces off the plants into agri­cul­tural lands, and the runoff even­tu­ally pol­lutes our wa­ter sources. Now a team of re­searchers from the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy has found a way which could al­low farm­ers to get the same ef­fects by us­ing just 1/10th of the pes­ti­cide. They have de­vel­oped a com­bi­na­tion of two in­ex­pen­sive ad­di­tives to the spray—each pre­pared with a dif­fer­ent polymer sub­stance. One gives the so­lu­tion a neg­a­tive elec­tric charge; the other re­sults in a pos­i­tive charge. When two of the op­po­sitely-charged droplets meet on a leaf sur­face, they form sur­face and in­creases the re­ten­tion. The re­searchers hope to con­duct field tri­als of the new sys­tem in small farms in In­dia.

Na­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Au­gust 30


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