Development and testing of innovative devices to reduce the drift of abrasion powder during the sowing of dressed seeds with pneumatic drills
Pochi, D.; Biocca, M.; Fanigliulo, R.; Gallo, P.; Pulcini, P.
International Conference of Agricultural Engineering, CIGR-AgEng 2012
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Pesticides employed in maize seed dressing (namely neonicotinoid insecticides and fipronil) have been claimed to play a role in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) decline. Pneumatic precision drills used in maize (Zea mays L.) sowing can contribute to the dispersion of the abrasion dust produced by dressed seeds. The paper refers about the results of trials carried out on drills equipped with two innovative devices developed at CRA-ING in the framework of “Apenet” research project. The systems are based on a partial recirculation of the air operating the seed distribution in traditional pneumatic drills. The air excess is forced outward through suitable filters and expelled. Preliminary tests ascertained the regular seed distribution in the drills equipped with the prototypes. Trials were carried out at fixed point for detecting the amounts of the drifted active ingredient, using commercial maize seed dressed with thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, clothianidin and fipronil. The test results show powder and active ingredient drift reductions up to a maximum of 95.0% measured (at ground level with fipronil) as a consequence of the use of the prototypes.