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Agricultural production in the Netherlands has reached a high level. To maintain this level chemical crop protection is still inevitable. However, unlimited use of chemicals may severely damage our environment. Improved and new application techniques may reduce the amount of pesticides used, as well as reduce emission and drift of pesticides.

The common way to treat field crops in crop protection is by using a boom sprayer to spread the chemicals on the crop. Part of the spray is captured by wind and taken to off-target areas neighbouring the sprayed field. The amount of this so-called spray drift can be estimated only after extensive field experiments under varying conditions.

Another approach is to study spray drift by computer simulation of the spraying process; idefics is such a simulation model. It estimates downwind spray deposits and airborne spray when using a conventional boom sprayer in field crops. To do so thousands of drops are followed from nozzle to target or wherever they may land.

Since its introduction in the mid 90's idefics has been used many times in various projects for investigating effects of certain measures that might be drift-reducing. In the near future idefics may gain an even more important position for regulatory purposes.

idefics spray drift modelling
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