At Bayer, we are always looking to support innovative ideas which bring sustainable benefits, not only for farmers but also for the environment.
The DroplegUL technology, which uses hook extensions, described as ‘dropping legs – Droplegs’, mounted onto a several-meter-long spray boom, falls perfectly into this category, and you may have read about Bayer’s involvement in its development already. Many of these activities were and are still conducted in close collaboration with Lechler GmbH, the manufacturer of DroplegUL, who won the European Bee Award for “Innovative technological solutions” with this product in 2017.
In 2018, with Dropleg technology mounted on farming equipment, Bayer in alignment with Lechler, conducted a spray drift trial according to the guidelines of the German Julius Kühn Institute (JKI Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants) for the registration of drift-reducing plant protection equipment.
This year, we are delighted to announce and congratulate Lechler GmbH on receiving the approval that Dropleg, equipped with two newly-developed deflector nozzles (FT 90-03 POM) has been classified as 90% drift reduction equipment. This applies to applications carried out in oilseed rape during flowering. As Walter Mayer, Application Technology Expert at Bayer says, “ Along with Lechler GmbH, we are really pleased that farmers using pesticides in a safe and sustainable manner to protect their crops now have an additional, effective and enhanced tool for spray applications in flowering oilseed rape, which fulfils high drift-mitigation standards.”
The Dropleg technology sprays crops underneath the flowering canopy and reduces pollinator exposure.
The hope is that now, with the 90% drift reduction classification, Dropleg technology will find further acceptance and usage among farmers, as its use is highly recommendable with regard to environmental safety aspects. In reducing drift, the technology has been shown to be very effective in lowering the amount of pesticide reaching adjacent fields or areas not used to grow crops on, so will help minimize exposure of creatures living in the surrounding vicinity. As Uwe Rabe, Expert for rapeseed insecticides at Bayer adds, “As the nozzles spray underneath the flowering crop canopy, exposure of crop pollinators such as honey bees is also further reduced, as are residues on flowers, meaning nectar and pollen, and ultimately honey, has lower residue levels. This technology is not just great news for farmers and beekeepers but also for pollinators.” Next to the drift reduction another advantage worth mentioning.
The assessment of the Dropleg technology as a tool to minimize pollinator exposure was part of the FIT BEE project which ran from 2011 to 2015. It was a broad collaboration of researchers and industry parties, supported by the Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in Germany. The project aimed to understand the complex interactions between individual bees, bee colonies, bee diseases and environmental parameters.
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