BASF opened its new global Agrochemical Application Research Center (AARC) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. The facility will help to further optimize stewardship guidelines regarding on-target application of BASF crop protection products used worldwide. Research conducted at the facility will also address application buffer zones for the company’s products as well as specific tank mix combinations.
“The new Research Center will help us bring new technologies to growers that reduce drift, use rates and fulfill required regulatory testing,” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President North America, BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “Additionally, research from the facility will provide our Technical Service teams with guidelines to help educate our customers on proper application and stewardship best practices.”
The AARC contains a wind tunnel to test the drift potential from spray applications by measuring the droplet size distribution in each crop protection product. Solutions being analyzed are sprayed into a controlled air stream using the same nozzles available to growers. Droplet size distribution is important because it is used to predict the size of land buffers that are required for acceptable product application in commercial settings. Knowing proper application constraints will mitigate the risk of off-target movement and subsequent crop symptomology or injury in downwind locations.
“The Application Research Center allows us to identify the most promising early stage technology under highly realistic application conditions, so we can better tailor further development,” said Jürgen Huff, Senior Vice President Research and Development Crop Protection, BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “We will continue to emphasize and support application stewardship to growers and develop best practices to apply the formulations in a commercial setting.”