Volume 8, Issue 2 (February 2011)
The New EU Directives Requirements and the Innovation in Pesticide Application Techniques
The first reference to crop protection equipment dates back to the second half of the 19th century. From that time until the recent years, the evolution of sprayers had two objectives: The adaptation of machines to the needs of applying the chemicals available in the market and improving their working capacity. Only since the 1980s that the safety aspects related to the operator and to the environment have been taken into account as priority aspects. This line of evolution will be enforced in the near future especially in Europe due to the European Union (EU) Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides (2009/128/EC) and amendment of the EU Machinery Directive (2009/127/EC). Due to the globalisation process, developing countries are now also facing the need to promote the development of plant protection machinery in order to improve the quality of spray application and to reduce the environmental risks related to PPP dispersal. In this review paper, several examples of the use of information technologies to improve the performance of sprayers are reported as solutions for reducing water contamination of PPP due to point and diffuse sources. Finally, it is estimated that potential market improvement for sprayers and components due to the enforcement of the new EU Directive could be 1.3 billion euros for the next 7 years.