ELECTROSTATIC SPRAYING EFFECT ON SPRAY DEPOSITION AND POWDERY MILDEW CONTROL IN SOYBEAN

ABSTRACT Electrostatic spray can bring benefits to the pesticide application such as the reduction of application rate and the increase of deposits on targets. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of electrostatic spraying using lower application rates and different adjuvants on soybean spray deposition and chemical control of powdery mildew (Microsphaera diffusa Cooke & Peck). The field experiment was conducted in duplicate. A randomized complete block design with four replications in a 2 × 2 × 2 + 1 factorial scheme was used. The factors were two application rates, with and without droplet electrification, two spray solution compositions, and one additional treatment. Deposition on upper and lower leaves, spray loss to the soil, and powdery mildew control effectiveness were evaluated. The electrical conductivity of the spray solution and the charge/mass ratio induced in droplets were also evaluated. All treatments reduced the soybean powdery mildew severity. Electrostatic spraying responded positively to an increase in the electrical conductivity of the spray solution regarding the charge/mass ratio, but it did not increase spray deposition on the lower third of the canopy and did not influence spray loss to the soil, which was higher as the application rate increased.