What’s Better, the Tortoise or the Hare? Neither.
When you over-apply, you are throwing your money down the drain, and it can lead to non-compliance with pesticide labels by being just a few MPH off the calibrated speed. When you under-apply, it can lead to insecticide resistance in mosquitoes.
In the scenario below, we monitored a typical spray mission by an applicator using a fixed flow sprayer calibrated for a constant spray speed of 10 MPH. For a full season, we monitored how often the driver was maintaining the correct speed and therefore applying the product at the correct rate. As you can see, the amount of time the driver was in the target range was dwarfed in comparison to how often they were under-applying because they were driving too fast.
In this study, the product was intended to be used at a particular application rate. However, the driver’s speed was too fast a majority of the time and was too slow a small percentage of the time. More concerning, 29% of the time the application was outside the limits of the label, which can lead to control problems and/or legal consequences.