Mobile app will guard against misapplication

A new mobile app will minimize the chance of misapplying herbicides to sensitive crops.

A legitimate concern as agriculture makes final preparations to add new, herbicide resistant technology—and new herbicide combinations—into production plans this coming spring will be off-target applications to non-tolerant crops.

Companies that are launching herbicide combinations that include Dicamba and 2, 4-D to be used only on crops tolerant to one or the other—not both—of those products have developed guidelines for the past few years on how to apply these materials as safely as possible. They have established specific protocols for preventing off-target drift, sprayer cleanout, and nozzle selection. A new program takes the guide one step farther.

“Flag the Technology,” a program that originated in Arkansas as a means of identifying fields sensitive to certain herbicides, has evolved into a mobile app for smart phones and tablets. The Texas Plant Protection Association and Texas AgriLife Extension spearheaded the effort.

The system allows farmers to place colored flags at entry points of fields. Each flag color represents a different kind of technology in use in a specific field. Red flags, for instance, mean do not spray non-specific herbicides.

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