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Dust deflector research underway


Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 5:00 AM -

Field-level research is underway this spring to study the compatibility of dust deflectors with planting equipment used by Ontario farmers. Deflectors have been found to significantly reduce off-field drift of dust released during planting of insecticide-treated seed. The work is being undertaken by Syngenta Canada

The findings of Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), who investigated reported incidents of bee deaths in 2012 and 2013, reaffirms the focus on acute incidents involving planting practices associated with corn, and to a lesser extent, soybean production, and the dust generated during the planting of treated seed using pneumatic planters. 

A number of measures to minimize dust during planting have or are being put in place, but deflectors have only more recently come into the conversation here in Canada as a potential dust mitigation tool. The project will help to build local knowledge regarding the design, construction and on-farm use of this type of mitigation technology, with the focus of this particular project on whether or not the use of deflectors has an impact on planter performance.

Participating farmers will install a deflector unit on their planters. They will plant a specified number of acres with the deflector attached to their pneumatic planters, after which the deflector will be removed and performance will be monitored over an additional area equal to the same number of acres planted with the deflector in place. The potential impact of the deflector on planter performance will be measured in a number of ways. 

There is strong research and practice from other parts of the world to suggest that deflectors can make a significant difference in reducing dust drift.

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