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Drift Reduction Technology - DRT

Drift Reduction Technology Program Description:

The EPA's purpose for the Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) Program is to encourage the manufacture, marketing, and use of spray technologies scientifically verified to significantly reduce pesticide drift. Initially, the focus of the program is on spray technologies used primarily for pesticide applications to row and field crops by ground or aerial application equipment. Plans to expand this program to include technologies for orchard and vineyard crops are being considered.

To participate, technology manufacturers are encouraged to test their technologies for drift reduction potential. Test protocols have been provided to guide these evaluations.

Technologies include but are not limited to:

• Nozzles
• Spray shields
• Drift reducing adjuvants with adjuvants defined as any substance separately added to a pesticide product (typically as part of a spray tank mixture), that will improve the performance of the pesticide product.

The EPA will use a rating system to indicate the level of potential drift reduction of tested technologies. Based on review of submitted test results, a DRT rating will be assigned, using one to four stars, to each technology that meets the minimum standard for drift reduction. Pesticide manufacturers will be encouraged to state on their product labels that applicators should use DRT-rated technologies in applying pesticide products.

Benefits of Using Drift Reduction Technology:

Using DRT-verified pesticide spray technology can benefit pesticide applicators, the environment and people by:

• reducing loss of pesticide from the application site,
• keeping more of the applied pesticide on the crop, improving pest control,
• reducing pesticide exposures to people, wildlife, and the environment, and
• reducing risks of damage and liabilities from off-target deposition of drift.

The use of DRTs should result in significantly less pesticide from spray applications drifting and being deposited in areas not targeted by those applications, compared to spray technologies that do not meet the minimum DRT standard. As a result the EPA may place fewer use restrictions on pesticide products that must be used in conjunction with DRTs.