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Crop protection application method; drip treatment

drip treatment
Written by Jan-Paul de Wit| Last update: 07-04-2021

Crop protection products can be applied to a crop in several ways: by space treatment, by spraying, or by drip irrigation. Increasingly, growers are opting for a drip treatment, because this is the safest option within an integrated system – i.e. a combination of chemicals and natural enemies. However, dripping a crop protection product is not always possible – nor is it always the best option. In this article, our specialists list all the advantages, disadvantages and things to be aware of with a drip treatment. 

What does a drip treatment entail? 

A drip treatment is done using the drip system. By inserting the plugs at the desired spots in the substrate mat you can determine fairly precisely where the irrigation water with the added crop protection product enters the substrate. In contrast to a space or spray treatment, after a drip treatment, the crop protection product is absorbed by the plant via the roots. 

Can all crop protection products be applied via drip treatment?

No, there are only a few products that - according to the manufacturer's legal requirements - may be used for drip treatment. Do you want to know if the product you want to use is suitable for this? Check the legal requirements on the label to see if drip treatment is allowed. 

When do you choose to drip crop protection?

As a result of the increasingly limited package of crop protection products, more and more growers are opting to switch to an integrated crop protection strategy, which involves the use of natural enemies. Do you want to be sure that the vast majority of natural enemies survive the use of chemicals? Then it is smart to choose the drip treatment, because this has the least effect on the biological pesticides, for the following reason.

With an LVM or spray treatment, the crop comes into contact with the product from above by means of droplets. These droplets not only affect the plant and the disease or pest, but also the natural enemies. As a result, they may suffocate or drown in the droplets. This problem does not arise when you include the dripping of crop protection product in your treatment, because the product is distributed through the plant via the roots. It is, of course, important to check whether a crop protection product can be combined with natural enemies; a broad-spectrum contact product will still be lethal in a drip treatment. 

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The advantages of a drip treatment

Besides the fact that drip treatment can be easily combined with an integrated crop protection strategy, it has a number of other advantages. It is a very easy way of administering crop protection products, it saves a lot of labor compared with spraying, and there is no need to invest in equipment.

The disadvantages of a drip treatment

However, a drip treatment also has a number of disadvantages. This is because the crop protection product is diluted in the root environment after each watering. This reduces the effectiveness of the product, with the consequence that the pest may become resistant to it.  

More information about dripping crop protection products

Do you have questions about a drip treatment, about the products that are suitable for this, or would you like tailored advice? Then please contact crop protection specialist Jan-Paul de Wit or ask your question via the form below. We will then contact you as soon as possible - on weekdays even within 24 hours.

Jan-PaulAbout Jan-Paul de Wit

Jan-Paul de Wit is specialist in Integrated Pest Management. He helps and advices growers on how to improve their crops and how to fight diseases, viruses and pests. He advises on the best products to use so that they optimally match the objectives of the grower, as well as the crop, greenhouse and environment.

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